Star Reefers said a leading Russian fruit importer that chartered its vessels has ignored a U.K. court order to pay $16.5 million damages to the Norwegian refrigerated cargo ship operator.
“It is remarkable that in the 21st century a global company like JFC can behave as if it above the law,” said Simon Stevens, CEO of Star Reefers.
The High Court in London ruled in late August that a subsidiary of St. Petersburg-based JFC Group terminated 36-month charters on three Star Reefer ships 14 months early on spurious allegations over carrier performance. Several months prior to the cancellation, JFC’s Cyprus-based unit Kalistad failed to pay charter fees on time and sought to renegotiate the charter rate.
JFC didn’t appeal the ruling and the Court ordered the company to pay the damages to Star Reefers by September 6.
JFC failed to comply with the order and the High Court has registered the company as a judgment debtor. The judgment is publicly accessible and regularly reviewed by banks, rating and credit agencies, creditors and suppliers, Star Reefers said.
“Star Reefers remains committed to seeking the damages the High Court has imposed,” Stevens said.
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