Category: English Maritime Cases

Shipping industry court rulings and arbitration awards under English law.

Alianca Navegacao e Logistica Ltda v Ameropa SA (The “Santa Isabella”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Andrew Henshaw QC sitting as a Judge of the High Court) [2019] EWHC 3152 (Comm) – 22 November 2019

Upon arrival at the disport, cargo damage was discovered which delayed discharge. Charterers argued they are not liable for the delays or damage to the cargo on the account of owners failing to properly care for the cargo or choose the “usual and reasonable route”. The key issues addressed for a decision were: choice of route, vessel speed/reasonable despatch, ventilation, re-infestation, quarantine, and delays in discharging.
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Bilgent Shipping Pte Ltd v ADM International Sarl (The “Alpha Harmony”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Teare J) [2019] EWHC 2522 (Comm) – 2 October 2019

Sub-Charterer cancelled the Sub-Charter on the grounds that although the NOR was tendered prior to the end of the cancellation date, the NOR was not tendered within the permitted hours denoted in the Sub-Charter. The charterer subsequently cancelled the Head Charter basis the same grounds.
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Seatrade Group NV v Hakan Agro DMCC (The “Aconcagua Bay”) QBD (Comm Ct) (Robin Knowles J) [2018] EWHC 654 (Comm) – 26 March 2018

Owner claimed damages against the charterers for detention for the extensive delay leaving berth due to a damaged bridge and lock. Owners’ supported their argument by claiming charterers were in breach of the “always accessible” warranty found in the charterparty. The question for decision was if the warranty was to include both the arrival and departure to berth.
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Ocean Prefect Shipping Ltd v Dampskibsselskabet Norden AS (The “Ocean Prefect”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Teare J) [2019] EWHC 3368 (Comm) – 6 December 2019

The “Ocean Prefect” ran aground upon entering the port of Umm Al Quwain. Owner claimed that the Charterer breached the safe port warranty and commenced arbitration proceedings. The question that arose is whether the MAIB report is admissible in the arbitration as evidence.
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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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