Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal, 24 May 2018, Safina v. Transit Fruits and Getma Senegal, no. 15/21119

Transit Fruits, controlled by the Compagnie Fruitière Group, has entrusted the Senegalese company Getma Senegal with port handling, land transit and land transport services in Senegal, through a contract containing an arbitration clause.

The dispute arose concerning the delay in positioning the containers requested by Safina to SEL, a company controlled by Compagnie Fruitière.

The Safina company sued the transit fruits company in the Marseilles Commercial Court. Transit Fruits filed an application for arbitration as a precautionary measure against Getma, the object of which is to order it to lift it and to guarantee it from any convictions that may be pronounced in favor of Safina. Transit Fruits also summoned Getma on notice and warranty in the same court.

The sole arbitrator appointed by the C.A.M.P. decided to stay the arbitration application until 31 March 2016, or until a final decision is rendered by the court seized by Safina against the company Transit Fruits if that decision were to be made before this date.

The Marseilles Commercial Court, by a judgment of 13 November 2015, dismissed all of the Safina company’s claims and deems the appeal in guarantee brought by the latter against the company Getma to be irrelevant.

Getma argues that there is a lack of jurisdiction, basing its arguments on the arbitration clause.

The Court of Appeal rejected this line of argument and upheld the judgment, since Transit Fruits had acted as a forwarding agent and not as freight forwarder.

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