VOL. 23, NO. 1. Maritime Digest of Arbitration Awards and Court Rulings

Star Tankers, Inc. v. Chevron Marine Ltd. (The “SN Federica”) – SMA No. 4289, 23 Sep 2016

ASBATANKVOY - DEMURRAGE - NOR VALIDITY - EXPEDITE INSPECTION - SUBSTANTIAL READINESS – “ROOT CAUSE” PRINCIPLE Nearly 38 days after the tender of NOR, charterer inspected and subsequently directed the vessel to repair its anchor chain prior to berthing. The repair took 3 days. Charterer subsequently claimed that as the vessel was not ready the NOR was invalid with the 38 days for Owner’s account.
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London Arbitration: 27/16, 28/16, & 29/16

DISPONENT OWNER TERMINATING TIME CHARTER FOR CHARTERER’S FAILURE TO PAY HIRE - WITHOUT PREJUDICE PRIVILEGE - WHETHER PARTIES IN DISPUTE - WHETHER OWNER WAIVED CHARTERER’S BREACH - IMPOSSIBILITY OF PERFORMANCE DEFENSE - MEASURE OF DAMAGES With the subject vessel out on time charter disponent owner was not receiving hire from charterer. As funds were not passed from disponent owner to head owner, head owner terminated the head charter and disponent owner in turn cancelled the charter with charterer. The panel was tasked at determining whether prior settlement discussions between the parties should be admissible or protected by privilege. Further, the panel would need to determine whether owner had waived charterer’s breaches and then whether or not to award damages.
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Spar Shipping AS v Grand China Logistics Holding (Group) Co Ltd – Court of Appeal, 7 Oct 2016

NYPE 1993 TIME CHARTERS - FAILURE TO PAY HIRE - WITHDRAWAL OF VESSEL FROM LONG TERM TIME CHARTER - WHETHER PUNCTUAL HIRE PAYMENTS A CONDITION OF THE CHARTER - WHETHER CHARTERER IN RENUNCIATORY BREACH While on separate time charters owner withdrew three vessels from service due to charterer’s failure to pay hire in accordance with the contracts. Owner brought arbitration against the charterer. However, shortly before the hearing the charterer was liquified and the proceedings stayed. The present case involves the charterer’s parent company, as guarantor.
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London Arbitration 25/16

GENCON – DEMURRAGE/DESPATCH – CAN USED LAYTIME BE PRO-RATED BASIS THE NUMBER OF HATCHES WORKED – DID A WEATHER DELAY OCCUR – DID CHARTER JUSTIFY DEDUCTIONS DURING NIGHTTIME Regarding demurrage incurred, the charterer believed that the used laytime needed to be pro-rated basis the amount of hatches being worked at any given time. Additionally, the charterer requested deductions for bad weather and the times the ship was not working during nighttime hours. The owner disagreed with these points, and took the case to arbitration.
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London Arbitration 26/16

BALTIMORE FORM C BERTH GRAIN VOYAGE CHARTER – CARGO SHORT LOADED - BUYER DEMANDS DISCOUNT FROM CHARTERER AFFILIATED SELLER – CHARTERER CLAIMS DAMAGES IN THE FORM OF THE DISCOUNT FROM OWNER – WHETHER DISCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE OF DAMAGES - WHETHER CHARTERER EVEN LIABLE FOR LOSSES After a vessel was short loaded, the charterer affiliated seller had to sell the cargo at a discount due to buyer’s demands. The charterer then claimed damages from the owner in the form of the discount, arguing that the vessel was at fault for the short load. The owner rejected this, and the charterer brought the case to arbitration.
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Buenamar Compania Naviera, SA v Panatlantic Bulk Carriers, Inc. – SMA 1339, 9 Jun 1979

BALTIMORE BERTH GRAIN FORM - DEVIATION - LATE LOAD PORT NOMINATION - DEADFREIGHT - LT ALLOWANCE - ALWAYS AFLOAT Several disputes arose between an owner and charterer concerning a cargo delivery that took place from Texas to Columbia. This included a deviation claim arising from a late port nomination and a short load due to draft at the public elevator. The owner had attempted to prevent the issue by requesting a change in load port rotation, but this never came to fruition. The owner contended that the charterer failed to provide a berth whereat the vessel could load always afloat, and charged deadfreight for the unloaded quantity. A dispute also arose over whether laytime allowance should be received were deadfreight to be paid.
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ADM International SARL v Colbun S.A (The “MN Bulk Orion”) – SMA 4281, 30 Jun 2016

VALIDITY OF NOR TENDERED PRIOR TO FREE PRATIQUE AND CUSTOMS CLEARANCE AND WITH STOWAWAYS ONBOARD - OWNER’S OBLIGATION TO DISCLOSE PRESENCE OF STOWAWAYS - WHETHER PANAMA CANAL EXPENSES DUE TO OVERLOADING FOR OWNER’S OR CHARTERER’S ACCOUNT Under a COA a vessel was nominated to carry coal from Colombia to Chile. Due to not yet having obtained free pratique and customs clearance, and whilst having stowaways onboard, Charterer argued that the NOR tendered at load was invalid. During transit to the disport the vessel was found in breach of Panama Canal draft restrictions and incurred unexpected expenses due to overloading which each party believes to be for the other party’s account.
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London Arbitration 24/16

TIME CHARTER – HOLD INSPECTION FAILED – WHETHER DELAY IN RE-BERTHING AFTER HOLDS CLEANED AND PASSED INSPECTION OFF HIRE Upon arrival at the load port, the vessel’s holds failed inspection. After the holds were cleaned, the vessel was re-entered into the berthing queue. Charterer claimed the second delay in berthing was due to the holds failing inspection whereas owner claimed it was due to berth congestion.
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Imperator I Maritime Co v Bunge SA (The “Coral Seas”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Phillips J) EWHC 1506 – 24 June 2016

TIME CHARTER - VESSEL FAILED SPEED WARRANTY DUE TO FOULING, ITSELF RESULTING FROM A PROLONGED WAIT IN TROPICAL WATERS - WHETHER FAILURE TO MAINTAIN SPEED THE RESULT OF COMPLIANCE WITH CHARTERER'S ORDERS Due to an underperformance caused by fouling on the Vessel, itself caused by extended stay in tropical waters as ordered by charterer, charterer claimed off hire. Owner countered stating the underperformance resulted from compliance with the charterer’s orders.
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