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Policy & Compliance


BIFAlink


My overseas agent has asked me to take lien on some goods shipped Incoterms ® DPU without a retention of title


The UK forwarder received a telex release for the shipment and the consignee has been copied on the release. The UK consignee says he has paid the shipper for the goods and wants release.


The overseas agent says that he has not been paid by the shipper and asks the UK forwarder to hold the shipments until he is paid. Can the UK forwarder delay release on instructions of his overseas agent, or does he risk problems?


Answer


The overseas agent is trying to exercise a lien but it no longer has possession of the goods (either physically or constructively).


July 2020


If the UK consignee has paid for the goods then it is the owner of them. The dispute is between the overseas agent and the shipper, but the shipper is no longer the owner and you can only exercise a lien against the owner of the goods. To follow the overseas agent’s instructions could open you to liability for a wide range of possible outcomes, including a lawsuit if an onwards contract was thwarted.


Disclaimer BIFA staff have some operational knowledge based on past questions we have handled, but we have no formal legal training and this information is for guidance only. A lien is a useful tool for the forwarder, however, as can be seen from these sample questions, there are complex aspects to enforcing a lien and we can advise the names of suitable solicitors if needed.


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