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The Case of Rosmorport v. RIMSCO on Losses Associated with the Termination of Charter Agreement

The Court determined:

- what claims can be filed outside the bankruptcy case,
- what costs relate to ordinary payments and not to losses.

On 12 November 2023, the Arbitrazh Court of Primorsky Krai (Russia) partially satisfied the claim of FSUE Rosmorport (Claimant) against Russian Expert and Marine Survey Corporation RIMSCO (Respondent) for the recovery of damages in the amount of 99 million Roubles related to the return of the vessel from charter.

The Respondent is in bankruptcy proceedings. It has filed a motion to dismiss the claim; stated that the claim should be considered in the bankruptcy process. The Court denied this motion, finding that the claims were of current character.

The Court explained what it considers current claims:

- all claims arising after the date of initiation of bankruptcy proceedings,
- any claims for payment for goods, works and services supplied, performed and rendered after the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings, including that submitted in pursuance of contracts concluded before the date of acceptance of the application for declaring the debtor bankrupt.

Background of the case:

- The vessel “Professor Mehrabov” belongs to Russia and is under the administrative control of the Claimant,
- The Respondent is the charterer under the bareboat charter agreement,
- The Respondent is declared bankrupt,
- The Respondent was unable to make payments for the vessel, the debt was confirmed by other court decisions,
- The Claimant notified the Respondent of the termination of the contract and demanded the return of the vessel,
- The Respondent demanded to accept the vessel at the port of Dalian (China). The Court denied this claim,
- The Claimant incurred expenses for the removal of the vessel from the charter in the port of Dalian.

The Court's decision

The Claimant's costs are causally related to the Respondent's breach of the obligation to return the vessel.

The losses include:

- debt of the Respondent to the Chinese shipyard and agent, repaid by the Claimant,
- costs associated with preparing the vessel for towing and towing itself,
- costs for parking at the berth, supplying the vessel with electricity and fresh water, and garbage removal.

The Court did not include in losses:

- expenses for crew wages, travel expenses and crew insurance, daily allowances, repatriation of the crew, since these are the ordinary expenses of the Claimant,
- payments to the captain of the vessel under a contract for the provision of paid services that coincide with his official duties,
- expenses for some legal services related to the arrest of the vessel.


The Court interpreted the concept of “current payments” quite broadly, which may be beneficial to claimants in such disputes, but has a negative impact on the rights of other creditors of the insolvent debtor. Consideration of this case without taking into account the interests of other creditors is the exception rather than the norm.

The Court's reasons in this matter are not sufficiently detailed. It is difficult to attribute the Claimant's losses to current payments simply on the basis that they arose after the bankruptcy case was filed. Here it would be necessary to analyze the purpose, nature and reason for the expenditure.

Current payments could include payments for the lease of the vessel, payable by the Respondent under a previously concluded agreement, expenses for maintaining the vessel and crew. The Claimant’s expenses incurred to free the vessel from the maritime demands of foreign contractors, arrest and to leave the port of China are more likely to be unforeseen and extraordinary in nature, they are caused by the Respondent’s violation, and not by the current activities necessary to maintain the life of the company.

As for the Court's decision to classify certain expenses as losses in general, it may be of interest for similar maritime cases in the future to determine the category of ordinary or foreseeable losses.

Reference: Case A51-5355/2019
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