Professional Training

International Oil Trading: Approach to the Legal Issues for Management of Claims and Disputes

4 days
4 days
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Course description

This course covers areas of dispute that may arise in the performance of international shipping and trading contracts. Using a mixture of current practice supported by legal interpretation and precedent, delegates will learn to avoid many of the pitfalls that may occur. Real case studies and exercises will provide hands-on experience to enable delegates to draft, interpret and operate oil trading contracts to minimise the risk of dispute. An on-going case study will simulate events taking place in an arbitration.

What you will learn

  • How to draft and interpret an oil contract and charter party terms
  • How to review and amend documents and letters of credit and documents
  • How to understand the responsibilities involved in contract performance/nomination
  • How to identify and react to a breach of contract
  • How to assess and present quantity and quality claims
  • How to assess and present demurrage claims
  • How insurance is affected ? the need to mitigate
  • How to manage and successfully resolve disputes

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In-house lawyers, trading, operations and chartering managers, personnel involved with administration of contracts and letters of credit, personnel involved in the handling of demurrage, quantity and quality claims, insurance personnel and experienced operational personnel.



  • The process of entering into a contract
  • Verbal and written agreement
  • Confirmation process and written agreement
  • Contract structure and terms
  • General terms and conditions
  • The Vienna Convention vs UK Sale of Goods Act

Quantity and Quality

  • Methodology - internal standards vs terminal practice
  • Description of the oil
  • Specifications and test methods
  • The obligations of the inspector
  • "Final and Binding"
  • Reproducibility vs. repeatability


  • The "Nominations Procedure"
  • Substitution
  • Failure to nominate
  • Frustration and remedies
  • Documentary instructions


  • The purpose of the Bill of Lading
  • Rights of the Bill of Lading holder/right to sue
  • Tanker, ocean, charter party Bills of Lading
  • Clean, dirty, clausing, Note of Protest and markings
  • Shipper, consignee, endorsement, "to the order"
  • Accomplishment
  • The role of the LOI
  • The rights and obligations, bank co-signature

Letters of Credit

  • Types of credit, documentary and standby
  • Role of the banks opening, confirming and advising
  • Obligations, rights of the bank
  • UPC5000
  • Doctrine of Strict Compliance
  • Stale Bills of Lading
  • Presentation and expiration

Breach of Contract

  • Frustration
  • Repudiation/cancellation
  • Force Majeure


  • ISPS code and practice
  • Safe port / safe berth provisions

The Charter Party

  • The process of chartering
  • Chart party terms and standard C/Ps
  • The obligations of the charterer and the owner/master
  • Special clauses
  • Carriage of Goods at Sea Act
  • Hamburg and Hague-Visby Rules
  • General average and implications
  • Remedies for non performance, "Freight is Sacrosanct"
  • Pollution and OPA

Insurance, Claims and Damages

  • P&I Clubs
  • Bulk oil clauses
  • Underwriters
  • Claims
  • Inherent vice
  • The assessment of damages
  • Consequential or remote damages
  • The obligation to mitigate
  • Tort

Dispute resolution

  • ADR
  • Arbitration
  • Litigation
  • Jurisdiction
  • Costs/appeal

Preparation of Operations of Storage Contracts 

Case Studies and Exercises Include

  • Contract negotiation
  • Disputes over quantity and quality
  • Nomination issues
  • Damaged bills of lading
  • Letters of credit acceptability
  • Breach of contract
  • Charter parties
  • Demurrage

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