HANJIN: company files for bankruptcy

HANJIN: company files for bankruptcy

Importers have been contacted accordingly in regards to the Hanjin situation who may been affected by this situation. Following is an article dated September 01 2016 – 14:14:11

Hanjin Shipping has filed for bankruptcy, the local branch of the company has confirmed directly with Lloyd’s List Australia, saying that an official email had been sent from HQ.

International specialist financial media (Reuters, Bloomberg etc) are also reporting that the company filed for bankruptcy, adding that the filing was made at the Seoul District Court, South Korea, and that trading in Hanjin shares has been suspended on the Korean Stock Exchange, although Lloyd’s List Australia has not been able to verify these other details directly.

AUSTRALIAN ISSUES

We understand from a source within Hanjin that the company HQ sent a notice yesterday to local Australian branches that that company had filed for bankruptcy.

Customers were then notified.

At 14:41 Australian Eastern Standard Time yesterday, Hanjin pulled credit. It also demanded cash for delivery in a note to customers from the Import Documentation section at Hanjin Shipping.

SHIPS UNDERWAY UNLIKELY TO ARRIVE AS SCHEDULED

One freight forwarder asked Hanjin Australia if this would cause any problems with cargo shipments that are already underway. Hanjin replied: “No I do not think so. The ships are still coming”.

However, based on available data and expert opinion, it is now very unlikely that ships will stick to their original schedules – in fact, one vessel, the Hanjin California (IMO 9631101), has already gone off schedule.

According to Automatic Identification System tracking data, the Hanjin California is approximately 14 nautical miles (26km) off the coast of Sydney. It is not underway, not moored and not moving. However, this vessel was due to call at Port Botany early this morning.

We understand that there are rumours that the port or terminal turned the vessel away. These rumours appear to be incorrect as both the terminal operator Hutchison and the port authority, NSW Ports, have both told Lloyd’s List Australia that the ship did not turn up of its own volition. Hutchison told Lloyd’s List Australia that Hanjin’s ship agent cancelled the pre-booked pilot.

Marika Calfas, CEO of NSW Ports, gave Lloyd’s List Australia the following statement: “We are aware of the Hanjin situation. We expected the Hanjin California at 04:00 this morning but it did not arrive. We were advised by Hanjin that it would not arrive but we were not advised why.”

Evidence, gathered from Automatic Identification System telemetry, is mounting that it is possible that Hanjin vessels have been instructed to stay at sea.

  • Hanjin Saijo is anchored 13nm (24km) off the coast at Port Hedland;

 

  • Hanjin Port Kamsar is anchored 10nm (19km) off the coast at Mackay;

 

  • Hanjin Milano is underway in the Solomon Sea, east of Papua New Guinea bound for Melbourne on Sept 6 but is only travelling at a speed of 1.5 knots; we understand this vessel has been removed from 1-Stop;

 

  • Hanjin Balikpapan is underway east south east of Palau, Papua New Guinea destination Newcastle but only at a speed of 1.5 knots;

 

  • Hanjin Isabel is underway 367nm (680km) south-east-by-south off Christmas Island at a speed of 1.3 knots;

 

  • Hanjin Aqua is moored at Brisbane;

 

  • Hanjin Hinase is moored at Townsville;

 

  • And, as mentioned above, Hanjin California declined to take up its scheduled slot at Botany this morning and is now stationery 14nm (26km) off the coast at Sydney.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE CONTAINERS?

While the situation is still in its early days, it seems likely at this point that there may be extensive costs and delays owing to the nature of the legal processes likely to take place. We spoke to Stuart Hetherington, an expert maritime lawyer, who is both a partner at law firm Colin Biggers & Paisley and who is also the President of the international law body, the CMI.

Firstly, if the ships are not arrested, Mr Hetherington said, then the ships will likely simply wait on the high seas awaiting lawful instructions from whoever has the authority to give such instructions.

Mr Hetherington questioned whether the Korean receiver would necessarily have the power to do so but pointed out that, at this stage, it is unknown.

If a vessel is arrested in Australia then the ship will come under control of the Admiralty Marshal. Cargo owners would have the right to have their property discharged from the vessel, Mr Hetherington advises, but that will come at a cost. The court would require someone to put the money up front to pay stevedores and other costs related to discharging containers.

But other issues may come into play first.

“The first thing to sort out is not having a ship arrested and blocking a berth which is busy and which has other ships due to call. It’s not a problem when you don’t have an insolvency, as a P&I Club or a bank will put up security,” Mr Hetherington said.

However, that is not the case here.

“In a receivership, it can take a long time. If there is no money and no security, it could take weeks,” Mr Hetherington said.

“Whoever has arrested the vessel has to fund the arrest, including the costs of the Marshal. That could involve moving the ship from one berth to another, which will incur a lot of costs as the ships are moved which will require the use of tugs and so on.

“Then there are issues of cross-border insolvency. Someone in Seoul will put their hand up and say that the cross-border insolvency rules apply and then the courts will have to sort out jurisdiction,” Mr Hetherington explained.