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Septo Trading Inc v Tintrade Limited

8th Jul 2020

Septo Trading Inc v Tintrade Limited [2021] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 258; [2020] EWHC 1795 (Comm)

Robert Bright QC led Sarah Martin (and Sandra Healy prior to trial) in this claim for breach of contract arising from the sale of a cargo of fuel oil loaded on board the vessel ‘The NouNou’ in July 2018, in which they represented the claimant buyer.  The contract was evidenced by a recap which incorporated the BP 2007 General Terms and Conditions.  Teare J upheld the claimant’s claim, finding that the term in the recap stating that any Certificate of Quality was binding was qualified by the BP Terms, with the effect that any such Certificate was binding for invoicing purposes only.  The Judge having found that the product was off-specification for Total Sediment Potential, the Certificate (which stated, inaccurately, that it was not) did not preclude the claimant’s claim, and damages were assessed in the sum of US$3,058,801.

The judgment of Teare J provides important guidance on the construction of sale contracts incorporating standard terms, where inconsistency is alleged.