TIME CHARTER - DEFINITION OF REDELIVERY - WHETHER REDELIVERY MUST STRICTLY ADHERE TO CHARTERPARTY TERMS - WHETHER VESSEL IN FACT REDELIVERED TO OWNER Under a time-charter, Charterer and Owner disputed the redelivery of a vessel. An arbitration panel determined the legal test in respect of redelivery and applied the facts surrounding the case. Albeit not redelivered as stipulated within the charter, the panel majority concluded the ship had been properly redelivered but Owner applied for permission to appeal the ruling to the High Court.
A golden rule when assessing a contract is to read the contract as a whole and give meaning to all clauses in conjunction with each other. A recent NY Arbitration, SMA 4272, combined with an older award, SMA 2477, shows how simple phrasing, reinforced via a lack of options and market constraints, can overwhelm other charter terms and convert a port charter to a berth charter.
COMMENCEMENT OF LAYTIME - WHETHER SHINC TERM TRUMPS OFFICE HOURS - DESPATCH After NOR was tendered and loading commenced on a Sunday, the Owner and Charterer disputed when laytime commenced. Owner noted the laytime allowance referenced “shinc” allowing for laytime to commence on Sunday whereas charterer noted NOR was only to be tendered Monday through Friday.
EXTENSIVE DELAY PURSUING CLAIM IN ARBITRATION – WHETHER DELAY INORDINATE AND INEXCUSABLE – WHETHER SETTLEMENT NEGOTIATIONS ONGOING DURING DELAY - WHETHER NEGOTIATIONS CONSTITUTED A STAY OF PROCEEDINGS Respondent requested an arbitration claim be withdrawn citing an inordinate and inexcusable delay in moving forward with proceedings. The claimant countered that the delay was due to both parties agreeing to stay proceedings whilst working towards a settlement.
NYPE TIME CHARTER - LATE PAYMENT AND NON-PAYMENT OF HIRE - WHETHER LATE PAYMENT A REPUDIATORY BREACH - CALCULATION OF DAMAGES - Owner Award The charterer acknowledged its late payments of hire were a breach of the charterparty yet denied that the late payments were a repudiatory breach. In contrast, and despite charterer offering payment proposals, the owner contended charterer’s conduct constituted non-payment rather than late payment and was thus a repudiation of the charter party.
PAYMENT FOR BUNKERS DELAYED - INTEREST ACCRUES AND IS ITSELF NOT PAID When bunkers were not paid for in a timely manner, interest accrued per seller’s terms. And although the vessel owner eventually paid for the bunkers, the interest remained outstanding.
ASBATANKVOY – PORT CHARTER VERSUS BERTH CHARTER – DELIVERED SALE
SHELLTIME 4 – VESSEL DETAINED FOR INVALID AUTHORIZATION FORM – OFF HIRE – OWNER DISAGREES CITING CONTRACT TERMS – Owner Award Whilst in a Venezuelan port the vessel was detained after an invalid authorization form was discovered by the Port Authorities. The charterer claimed the vessel was off-hire during the detention. The owner disagreed and commenced arbitration.
TIME CHARTER - WHEN SECURING DEMURRAGE FROM RECEIVER, VESSEL WAS ACCIDENTALLY ARRESTED BY SUB-CHARTERER - WHETHER SUB-CHARTERER OR RECEIVER ARE CONSIDERED “AGENTS” OF TIME CHARTERER - WHETHER VESSEL OFF-HIRE In order to secure demurrage from its buyer, seller, who was also a sub-charterer, obtained an arrest order on the cargo. In doing so, the Vessel was also erroneously named as an object of the arrest. During the period of the arrest of the Vessel, the time charterer withheld hire basis a clause in the charter party. Owner refuted same given that per the clause if arrest is caused by “agents” of the time charterer then the vessel is not off hire. Per owner, the time charterer’s sub-charterer and sub-charterer’s buyer were “agents” of the time charterer.
PORT VS. BERTH CHARTER - RIVER PORT - WHEN VESSEL CONSIDERED ARRIVED - COAST GUARD RESTRICTING TRAFFIC - COLLISION - DEMURRAGE - LAYTIME Upon arrival in Argentina the vessel could not proceed to charterer’s port due to wreckage salvage operations taking place on the Paraná River. Owner started counting laytime basis a notice of readiness tendered outside the commercial confines of charterer’s port; the sole disport named in the fixture. Contending that the charter party was a berth charter, Charterer disputed the time at which the vessel was to be considered an arrived ship.