Ninth Circuit Applies U.S. Maritime Lien to a Pervasively Foreign Dispute

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On 11 March 2008, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Trans-Tec Asia v. M/V Harmony Container. The Court held that a lien under the Federal Maritime Lien Act ("FMLA") attached to a foreign-owned and foreign-flagged vessel based on non-payment to a foreign "necessaries" supplier for goods delivered in a foreign port. The FMLA allows persons with claims against a vessel’s owner or operator to enforce maritime liens against the vessel itself under the legal fiction that the vessel is responsible. (Although this case applied a FMLA lien to a vessel when it was found in a U.S. port, the implication of the holding is that U.S. law could apply under these circumstances regardless of the port of call.)

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Published In: International Trade Updates, Maritime Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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