Author: Erinn Miller

Poten & Partners, Inc. v. MTM Trading, LLC. (MTM “Gibralter”) – SMA No. 4445, 16 May 2022

DEMURRAGE – WAITING TIME – AMENDED BPVOY4 FORM – COMMISSION – CHARTER BROKER
The MTM Gibraltar was chartered to voyage from Houston to Tuxpan with an option of one or two consecutive voyages. During the second voyage after loading was completed, the vessel spent 117 days waiting for further orders by the charterer, Laurel Shipping LLC. The charter broker, Poten & Partners, claimed that this waiting period counted as demurrage and claimed they were owed commission for these 117 days.

SK Shipping Europe PLC v. Capital VLCC 3 Corporation and Others (The “C Challenger”) – Court of Appeal (Males, Phillips and Carr LJJ) [2022] EWCA Civ 231– 25 February 2022

OVER CONSUMPTION – REPUDIATORY BREACH – TIME CHARTER – SHELLTIME 4 FORM – FALSE REPRESENTATION
Capital Maritime and Trade Corporation negotiated a two-year time charter with SK Shipping on November 25, 2016. The speed and consumption data of the vessels’ last 3 voyages were set out in the charterparty and were guaranteed for future voyages by SK Shipping. Capital Maritime noticed far greater consumption than was guaranteed and ceased paying hire, eventually terminating the charter. Capital Maritime appealed the first court’s decision claiming the representation of consumption in the charter implied a guaranteed representation of future performance.

Stolt Tankers BV v. Stryker Fuels LLC (MT “MONAX”) – SMA No. 4449, 4 August 2022

DAMAGES – UNSTABLE CARGO – TIME BAR CLAUSE
The MT Monax was chartered to make two voyages, one from Ontario to New York carrying Residual Fuel Oil (RFO), and the second from Ontario to Belgium carrying clean products. The voyages were completed between July 1 and September 3. On September 23, 2021, the owner, Stolt Tankers, submitted a claim for damages stating that the RFO was unstable, preventing complete discharge and requiring extensive tank cleaning. The charterer, Stryker Fuels, countered that the claim should be dismissed because it was made outside of the time bar period.

Sea Master Shipping Inc v Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd and Another (The “Sea Master”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (HHJ Pelling QC, sitting as a Judge of the High Court) [2020] EWHC 2030 (Comm) – 28 July 2020

NORGRAIN 89 FORM – INSOLVENT CHARTERER – DEMURRAGE – DAMAGES – COGSA 1992 – CARGO FINANCING – RECEIVERS
Seamaster Shipping, the registered owner of the subject vessel Sea Master, appealed an earlier court decision dismissing their claim for demurrage, or damages in lieu of demurrage, due to delays at the discharge port during a charter to Agribusiness United DMCC.

Eagle Bulk PTE. LTD. v. Salt Source, LLC, (M/V “Gladiator”) – SMA No. 4448, 29 July 2022

FORCE MAJEURE – ANTICIPATORY BREACH – COVID 19 – HURRICANE DAMAGE – CARGO CONTAMINATION – REPUDIATORY BREACH – DEMURRAGE
The MV Gladiator was chartered under a Contract of Affreightment to transport salt from Brazil to Alabama from March-December 2020. The disponent owner, Eagle Bulk, disputed load port demurrage from the first lifting, unpaid freight charges, and losses for a breach of contract due to the charterer, Salt Source, failing to nominate a second cargo. Salt Source counterclaimed for damages to a portion of their cargo which they claimed had been contaminated during the voyage and claimed force majeure due to Covid-19 and Hurricane Sally for the cancellation of the remaining contracted voyages.

London Arbitration 12/22

BERTHING CHARGES – LAYTIME – DEMURRAGE – DAMAGES – AMENDED GENCON 94
Owner refused to let its vessel proceed to berth at the discharge port due to lack of space in its storage yard. Arbitration continued to decide whether the owner was entitled to refuse the orders of the charterer.

Astir Holdings, Inc. v. Xcoal Energy & Resources (The “Lacon”) – SMA No.4438, 25 February 2022

AMERICANIZED WELSH COAL CHARTER – DEMURRAGE – SECOND DISCHARGE BERTH – QUARANTINE INSPECTION – REPOSITIONING CREDIT
Xcoal Energy & Resources chartered Astir Holdings Inc. for carriage of coal from Mobile to one safe berth at Jingtang. En route, Xcoal changed its discharging port from Jingtang to Lanshan, and claimed a repositioning credit since Lanshan was closer to the vessel’s next port. Astir approved the request to unload at two discharging berths instead of the one that was contractually agreed upon, however exceptions to laytime and demurrage at the second berth were not discussed at the time. Arbitration was sought to determine if the charterer’s exceptions to time counting as demurrage should apply for the second discharging berth.

BBC Chartering Carriers GmbH & Co. KG v. Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais (M/V “LEFKES”) – SMA No. 4446, 4 July 2022

DEMURRAGE – LAYTIME CALCULATION – AMENDED GENCON 1994 CHARTER – NO CORRESPONDENCE BBC Chartering Carriers and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais entered into an amended GENCON charter to deliver galvanized steel coils from Praia Mole to Houston. After the voyage the charterer paid the freight invoice in full but disputed the total of the invoice for the demurrage costs. The charterer then gave no reasoning or defense for the disputed demurrage.
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Stolt Tankers B.V. v. Tricon Energy Limited (The “Stolt Lotus”) – SMA No. 4442, 11 April 2022

DEMURRAGE – TIME BAR – AMENDED ASBATANKVOY CHARTERPARTY – STORAGE OR DEMURRAGE Stolt Tankers was chartered by Tricon Energy Limited to ship mono ethylene glycol (MEG) from Baton Rouge and Houston to Antwerp. At Antwerp, the cargo was transshipped to two barges, but the shipments were rejected before discharge. The charterer could not find suitable shoretank storage before another buyer was secured. Stolt submitted invoices to Tricon for “storage” after their 90 day demurrage time bar. NOTE: This recap includes the majority decision and dissenting opinion.
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London Arbitration 27/22

COVID-19 - QUARANTINE -OFF HIRE- HEALTH AUTHORITY - AVIAN FLU - AMENDED NYPE - TIME CHARTER The subject vessel was chartered on an amended NYPE form to load in South America then discharge and redeliver in the Far East. When the vessel arrived at the load port, health authorities immediately quarantined the ship due to the bosun testing positive for COVID-19. The owner claimed a balance of hire of $275,108 for the quarantine period and delay. The charterer claimed that the vessel was off hire during the quarantine period and counterclaimed for damages due to the crew’s history before delivery.
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