Category: English Maritime Cases

London Arbitration 11/16

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DURING DELAY - WHETHER NEGOTIATIONS CONSTITUTED A STAY OF PROCEEDINGS Respondent requested an arbitration claim be withdrawn citing an inordinate and inexcusable delay in moving forward with proceedings.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.
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London Arbitration 14/16

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.
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ST Shipping and Transport Pte Ltd v Space Shipping Ltd (The “CV Stealth”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Popplewell J) – 20 April 2016

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.
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NYK Bulkship (Atlantic) NV v. Cargill International SA (The “Global Santosh”) – Supreme Court (Lord Neuberger PSC, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Sumption and Lord Toulson JJSC) [2016] UKSC 20 – 11 May 2016

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.
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London Arbitration 10/16

TIME CHARTER – OWNER CLAIMING BALANCE OF HIRE – CHARTERER WITHHOLDING HIRE BASIS OFF-HIRE AND EQUITABLE SET-OFF – DATE OF ACCRUAL OF OWNER’S CLAIMS – WHETHER OWNER’S CLAIMS TIME-BARRED UNDER LIMITATION ACT Near the end of a time charter hire payments were withheld by Charterer to offset various claims against Owner. Just shy of 6 years after redelivery, arbitration was commenced against Charterer who contended the claim should be time-barred basis the date of accrual for each missed hire payment. The issues in dispute arose under a time charter of the NYPE form. Clause 5, in relevant part below, provided:...
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Glencore International AG v. PT Tera Logistic Indonesia and Another – QBD (Comm. Ct.) [2016] EWHC 82 (Comm), 29 January 2016

ARBITRATION – COUNTERCLAIM SUBMITTED AS DEFENSE DURING ARBITRATION – QUESTION AS TO WHETHER COUNTERCLAIM TIME BARRED – Charterer Award Four contracts were negotiated between two parties regarding the charter of floating cranes. Later, the owner brought an arbitration case in an attempt to recover detention. With its defense at the arbitration, the charterer counterclaimed for demurrage. The arbitration panel found that the charterer’s counterclaim was time-barred. The charterer appealed.
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London Arbitration 5/16

COA – CARGO CONFISCATED BY GOVERNMENT - WHETHER DEMURRAGE IS OWED BY CHARTERER – WHETHER CHARTERER ENTITLED TO LAYTIME – Owner Award A COA was negotiated for eight shipments of nickel ore. During the second delivery, operations were stopped and the ship, inclusive of cargo loaded, was confiscated due to suspicions that the cargo was illegally mined. After release of the Vessel a couple months later and then the completion of the operation, a few months after the release, the owner claimed that the charterer was liable for demurrage and was not to receive allowed laytime given charterer had failed to load a cargo. The charter rejected this contention and the owner brought the case to arbitration.
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SBT Star Bulk & Tankers Gmbh & Co KG v Cosmotrade SA (The “Wehr Trave”) – QBD (Comm. Ct.), 22 March 2016

TIME CHARTER – WHETHER CHARTERER CAN ORDER VESSEL TO CONDUCT ADDITIONAL VOYAGE AFTER FIRST VOYAGE – Charterer Award A time charter was negotiated regarding a voyage that allowed for multiple load and discharge ports. During discharge at the final port, the charterer ordered the vessel to begin an additional voyage. The owner rejected the assertion that the charterer was within their rights under the charterparty to conduct additional operations. An arbitration panel ruled in favor of the charterer with the owner subsequently appealing to the High Court.
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London Arbitration 8/16

MASTER’S VS AGENT’S SOF - BURDEN OF PROOF - RAIN PERIODS - CRANE BREAKDOWNS - OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS NOT TO COUNT - Owner Award The agent’s statement of facts (SOF) included periods of rain which were not included in the Master’s SOF. The burden of proof lay on the charterer to prove any laytime exception. Also at controversy is how to properly prorate time when the vessel was under utilizing her available hatches and cranes as well as which holidays to consider as non-working days.
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London Arbitration 4/16

BPVOY3 – FREIGHT RATE CALCULATION DISAGREEMENT – WHETHER RATE IS TO BE DETERMINED BASED ON COMPLETE VOYAGE – Owner Award A charterparty was negotiated for a voyage from a predetermined load port to one or two discharge ports with an addendum regarding the freight rate calculation. A disagreement ensued over the wording of addendum to how freight should be calculated; namely, whether the rate should be determined by taking into account the voyage in its entirety.
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