In The TANKVOYager, Vol. 12 No. 2, the English High Court’s ruling in the case of Tidebrook Maritime Corp. V. Vitol SA of Geneva (The “Front Commander”)  was recapped and has now resurfaced in light of the Court of Appeal ruling.
Loading prior to the commencement of laydays can have many positive outcomes, not least of which is the expedited turn around of the voyage. However, this being said, there are pitfalls for which both Owners and Charterers should be aware of. Discussed below are two of them.
Recently introduced, EXXONMOBILVOY 2005 (EMV2005) contains a slight reduction in requirements and a subtle change in semantics as compared to its predecessor, EXXONMOBILVOY 2000 (EMV2000). EMV2000, itself a limited update of EXXONVOY 90, was the product of the merger of Exxon and Mobil and published on 1 June 2000. The below provides a brief summary of the differences EMV2005’s laytime / demurrage clauses have as compared to EMV2000’s laytime / demurrage clauses.
With hurricanes Katrina and Rita recently hitting the U.S. Gulf, Charterers and Owners have found their vessels incurring lengthy waits. Since Asbatankvoy remains the most popular bulk liquids boilerplate and it incorporates the term storm in its Clause 8 half-time provision, the below defines the term storm under both English and U.S. law.
SHELLVOY 6, recently introduced and put into use by Shell effective April 2005, provides an update to SHELLVOY 5 in many different ways. As a quick background, SHELLVOY 5 was created in 1987 and last updated in 1999 through the use of Shell’s additional clauses. SHELLVOY 6 incorporates all of the 1999 standard amendments and further attempts to clarify SHELLVOY 5 in other aspects of a voyage charter. The below will provide a quick summary of the demurrage changes between SHELLVOY 5 and SHELLVOY 6. Although a dry (no pun intended) subject, operations personnel, contract administrators and last but not least, demurrage analysts should find this overview germane.
The recent decision by the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) UK to overturn the High Court’s prior ruling in the case of Portolana Compania Naviera v. Vitol SA – “The Afrapearl” is sure to have a profound affect on how the maritime industry views a one-half demurrage provision such as the “breakdown of machinery or equipment in or about the plant of the charterer, supplier, shipper or consignee of the cargo…” as per Asbatankvoy’s Clause 8. In short, per the Court of Appeal’s ruling, Owners will need to further amend Asbatankvoy’s Clause 8 and other like clauses as contained in similar charter parties if they wish to protect themselves from delays resulting from ill-maintained terminals or terminal breakdowns due to the fault of the charterer. As we shall see, the wording provided in BPVOY 4’s exceptions clause may be one way Owners can protect themselves from ill-maintained terminals.
Effective 1 July 2004, the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code looks to provide a modicum of security in this era of global terrorism. Adopted, along with other maritime security measures, by a conference held at IMO in December 2002, the ISPS Code is now mandatory under amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Containing two parts, one mandatory and one recommended, the ISPS Code contains security related requirements for Governments, port authorities and shipping companies and then sets out a series of guidelines regarding how to meet these requirements, respectively.
Although the charter party stipulated that the Vessel take necessary measures to arrive on time, the Vessel was delayed at loadport due to a congested berth and arrived to disport on demurrage. Afterwards, the Owners filed a demurrage claim for the voyage, but neglected to include the required heating log. The Charterers argued that the missing heating log and an alleged failure to meet voyage provisions for arrival illegitimizes the claim.
After an initial tank failure and a subsequent cleaning, the Vessel's tanks were approved by the Charterer's inspector. But upon further samples taken, the inspector retracted his approval and rejected the tanks because of high water content in the loaded cargo. The Charterer requested that the Vessel sail without the loading balance of cargo and the Owners submitted a claim for demurrage and wrongful cancellation.
The Owner counts the time spent between hoses off and the barges' departure as laytime because the Vessel was restrained from moving.