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Is Wilmar Trading Pte Ltd v Heroic Warrior Inc a Cause for Concern or Simply a Reiteration of Well-established Principles of Tort?

Lim Min Isabel & Tan Hui Tsing

[2020] SAL Prac 7

Establishing a title to sue by a cargo claimant has long been a necessary and integral step towards obtaining a successful recovery of its claim. Yet, some have raised concerns that the decision in Wilmar Trading Pte Ltd v Heroic Warrior Inc [2019] SGHC 143 has apparently upset the proverbial apple cart in this respect where the claimant who had not proved its ownership of the cargo at the time of loss was permitted to claim in tort against the shipowner. This article considers the application of the test for tortious claims in Singapore and the Singapore court’s incremental approach applied towards cargo claims in tort.