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Bocimar Seeks Arbitration Decision in Spat with Emirates Trading Agencies

Saturday, January, 17, 2015

A huge dispute between normally quiet dry bulk company Bocimar (part of Compagnie Maritime Belge [CMB]) and Emirates Trading Agencies (ETA) has been brought to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) with an official filing by Bocimar asking for arbitration in the matter.


The dispute is rumored to be valued at $110 million, and involves two capesize ships that Bocimar provided to ETA on hire, and which ETA defaulted on.  The capesizes were hired for between $40,000 and $45,000 per day.  Bocimar had to replace the lost rent on the ships with lower-paying contracts, as the prevailing rates has shifted in the intervening months.  It estimates its total losses at $60 million.  The final figure sought as damages also includes unpaid rent on the two ships prior to the default.


Bocimar is not alone in seeking compensation from ETA, which has been subject to a wide range of sanctions including ship arrest and auction from a long list of ship owners, financiers, and cargo companies.  However, Bocimar’s decision to seek arbitration in Dubai, where the owner of ETA is one of the most wealthy and powerful men, is a new twist.  Most other interests believe it impossible to pursue action against ETA in the United Arab Emirates and have concentrated on international solutions.


The final figure of $110 million includes interest charged by Bocimar on the unpaid amounts and may be subject to change if the DIFC rules on the matter.