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Global Maritime Investments Ltd v STX Pan Ocean Co Ltd; Navios International Inc v Sangamon Transportation Group; Global Maritime Investments Ltd v Navios International Inc

US Gross Transportation Tax is a tax levied by the US Government on hire and freight earned by owners and disponent owners on voyages to and from the US. As long ago as the 1980s, BIMCO produced a standard clause for inclusion in charterparties which requires the charterer to reimburse the owner if he becomes liable for such tax. The question in this case was how that clause was intended to operate where there is a chain of charterparties. In particular, does it allow a disponent owner to recover what he has had to pay to other disponent owners above him in the chain in respect of US tax? Christopher Clarke J held that it did not go that far: it only allows a disponent owner to recover the tax for which he himself is liable to the US Treasury.

Henry Byam-Cook acted for STX Pan Ocean (instructed by Holman Fenwick Willan LLP) and Julian Kenny acted for Sangamon (instructed by Reed Smith)