Category: English Maritime Cases

Shipping industry court rulings and arbitration awards under English law.

London Arbitration 7/19

OFF-HIRE – RIGHT TO EQUITABLE SET-OFF – WHETHER DEDUCTION WAS MADE FOR OFF-HIRE OR HIRE WAS SUSPENDED Owner made several claims against Charterer for deductions made to balance of hire. Charterer issued counterclaims and sought to use right to equitable set-off. Further, Charterer asserted that hire was suspended rather than deducted as off-hire.  Upon completion of a time charter voyage on an amended NYPE form Owner claimed for a balance of $237,719.07, and initiated arbitration proceedings. Following this claim Owner made two applications for arbitration.  The first was for the immediate award of $80,925.74 amounting from a hire statement drawn...
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London Arbitration 10/19

DEMURRAGE – DESPATCH – WHETHER NOTICE OF READINESS TRIGGERED WHEN SIGNED BY OWNER’S AGENT – LAYTIME – LOADPORT ANALYSIS REPORTS – SALES CONTRACT Following a delay in discharging cargo, the Seller claimed demurrage from the Buyer. The Buyer contended that laytime commenced at a later date, since the Seller had failed to provide loadport analysis reports as provided in the sales contract and a requirement to the tender of notice of readiness. Further, the notice of readiness provided by the Seller was sent to X, the notify party, who the Seller believed was an agent of the Buyer.  The Buyer...
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London Arbitration 12/19

DEMURRAGE – LAYTIME – NOTICE OF READINESS – WHETHER NOR WAS VALID – WEATHER WORKING DAYS – BAD WEATHER – FORCE MAJEURE  Charterer excepted laytime from counting for several issues arising at the loading and discharge ports. The issues being whether the first notice of readiness was valid, whether a storm warning constituted bad weather, whether the force majeure provision was applicable, and whether bad weather prevented discharge.  This arbitration followed the determination from London Arbitration 11/19, which found that the Charterer would not be allowed to serve counterclaims and defense submissions against Owner. Owner claimed demurrage amounting to $174,025.77...
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London Arbitration 13/19

DEMURRAGE – REPUDIATORY BREACH – ARRIVED AND ALL RESPECTS READY TO LOAD – WHETHER NOR WAS VALID – NOTICE OF READINESS – FORCE MAJEURE – LIABILITY FOR FAILED HOLD INSPECTION Upon vessel’s arrival at the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River the Master tendered NOR to a port upriver.  Charterer’s independent surveyor then found that the holds were not clean whereas after a second, this time successful, inspection loading was further delayed due to an oncoming hurricane which grounded the vessel. Owner claimed demurrage, damages for loss of profit, and compensation for lost bunkers. Charterer asserted that the NOR was...
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London Arbitration 14/19

BILLS OF LADING – WHETHER BILLS OF LADING WERE RELEASED ON TIME – CARGO SHORTAGES – PORT SECURITY CHARGES – DRAFT SURVEYS – DEMURRAGE – FREIGHT PAYMENT Charterer claimed against Owner with regard to several issues arising from a reported cargo shortage accounted by the loading port draft survey. Accompanying this, issues arose with regard to a delay in the release of the bills of lading. Owner contested the claims and issued a counterclaim against Charterer for demurrage.  Disputes arose between Owner and Charterer for a voyage chartered on an amended Norgrain form from Savannah, US to Huelva, Spain, Casablanca,...
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London Arbitration 15/19

SPEED AND PERFORMANCE – WHETHER LOST TIME AND EXPENSES TO BE FOR CHARTERER – HULL CLEANING – PROLONGED PORT STAY When the Vessel required hull cleaning after a prolonged port stay Charterer contended that they were not liable for time and expenses as the inspection and cleaning occurred after redelivery.  During a voyage chartered on an amended NYPE 1993 form the Vessel encountered a prolonged port stay, which necessitated hull cleaning. Charterer claimed the time and expenses of the cleaning would not be for their account due to the structuring of the clause providing for extended port stays. The relevant...
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Alize 1954 and Another v Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG and Others (The “CMA CGM Libra”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Teare J) [2019] EWHC 481 (Admlty) – 8 March 2019

GENERAL AVERAGE – WHETHER VESSEL WAS UNSEAWORTHY – OBLIGATION TO EXERCISE DUE DILIGENCE – WHETHER PASSAGE PLAN WAS DEFECTIVE Cargo interests refused to contribute to general average after the Vessel was grounded. It claimed the grounding was the result of the Owner’s failure to exercise due diligence in providing a seaworthy vessel.  When the container vessel CMA CGM LIBRA (hereinafter, “Vessel”) was grounded whilst departing the port of Xiamen, China the cargo interests denied contribution to general average due to the cause of the grounding. The Owner stated that the grounding occurred as a result of an uncharted shoal. It...
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Eleni Shipping Ltd v Transgrain Shipping BV (The “Eleni P”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Popplewell J) [2019] EWHC 910 (Comm) – 10 April 2019

PIRACY – HIRE – APPEAL – WHETHER CAPTURE AND ARREST CLAUSE APPLIED – WHETHER PIRACY CLAUSE APPLIED Owner claimed for lost hire from Charterer totaling about $5.6 million, the majority of which was lost due to the Vessel being captured by pirates. To support their claim, the Owner stated the capture and arrest clause did not apply since the Vessel was not captured by an “authority” as provided in the clause. Further, it was stated the piracy clause did not apply due to the capture occurring outside the geographical location listed in the clause.  The Owner of the Eleni P...
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Aprile SpA and Others v Elin Maritime Ltd (The “Elin”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Stephan Hofmeyer QC sitting as a Judge of the High Court) [2019] EWHC 1001 (Comm) – 18 April 2019

DAMAGES – LOSS OF CARGO – WHETHER SEAWORTHINESS IS AN ABSOLUTE OBLIGATION – EXCLUSION CLAUSE – BILL OF LADING  Cargo interests claimed damages against Owner for loss of deck cargo during the voyage. It was asserted that the Owner was liable due to negligence and its failure to ensure the vessel was seaworthy upon commencing the voyage. Owner contended that the exclusion clause provided in the bill of lading was applicable since it covered damages “howsoever caused”.  The cargo interests (Aprile SpA and Others) claimed damages against Elin Maritime Ltd (hereinafter, “Owner”) for the loss of deck cargo resultant from...
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Sonact Group Ltd v Premuda SpA (The “Four Island”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Males J) [2018] EWHC 3820 (Comm) – 12 December 2018

DEMURRAGE – ASBATANKVOY – ARBITRATION CLAUSE – WHETHER ARBITRATORS HAD JURISDICTION – SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT  Charterer contended Owner’s demurrage and heating cost claim after it was brought to arbitration. It asserted that the claim was not in the arbitrator’s jurisdiction as it arose from the settlement agreement, which did not contain an arbitration clause.  Under an amended Asbatankvoy form the vessel Four Island was chartered for carriage of fuel oil from Kavkaz to the discharge port of Novhodka in Russia. Owner claimed for demurrage and heating costs against Charterers totaling $909,148.08, which was settled in emails where the Charterer agreed to...
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