FORCE MAJEURE -- LOADING OF BAUXITE CAUSING UNAVOIDABLE DUST -- SUSPENSION OF LOADING ORDERED BY PORT AUTHORITY -- WHETHER CHARTERERS LIABLE FOR DELAY -- Owner Award This dispute arose under a contract of carriage of a sepiolite cargo from “1-2 load berth chop always afloat Santander” to a UK port. Charterer asserted that the force majeure clause in the governing contract denied any Owner’s claim in the form of demurrage, or alternatively, damages, as a result of delays caused by the port authority’s suspension of loading operations.
ASBATANKVOY -- DAMAGES -- COGSA -- CARGO CONTAMINATION -- BURDEN OF PROOF -- PRE-SHIPMENT CONDITION -- OWNER’S DUE DILIGENCE TO PREVENT CONTAMINATION -- DEMURRAGE -- Owner Award Upon arrival at the discharge port, the Vessel’s onboard cargo was found to be off-spec. The Charterer concluded that the Vessel had caused the contamination and submitted a damages claim. Owner rejected the claim stating that their Vessel had met the cleaning requirements set forth by the Charterer’s surveyors at the load port and submitted a counterclaim for demurrage.
NYPE -- TIME CHARTER -- NON-PAYMENT OF HIRE AND REPUDIATORY BREACH -- QUANTUM OF OWNER’S CLAIMS -- Owner Award This dispute arose under a time charter for two vessels for a period of 36 to 37 months with two additional optional periods (for each vessel) of 11 to 13 months. Vessels were delivered in February and April. Then in January the following year Charterer breached their obligation to pay hire causing Owner to withdraw the Vessels from Charterer’s service. In determining Charterer’s repudiatory breach, the Tribunal decided the appropriate measure of damages for lost hire and stevedore damages.
AMWELSH -- CONTRACT CONSTRUCTION -- LIABILITY FOR PORT CHARGES -- Final Owner Award This dispute arose under a voyage charter in determining the party responsible for paying the port charges at the discharge port. At issue is the interpretation of an amended clause alleged to be in contravention to the intention of the deal.
NYPE -- TIME CHARTER -- PERFORMANCE SUSPENDED FOR UNPAID HIRE -- WHETHER OWNER REQUIRED TO SERVE ANTI-TECHNICALITY NOTICE -- WHETHER OWNER ENTITLED TO EXERCISE LIEN ON CARGO -- Owner Award This dispute arose under a trip charter from U.S. to China, where Owner suspended performance of contract due to outstanding hire, resulting in delays to discharge and additional hire until the redelivery date as Owner ordered the vessel to anchorage to wait. Charterer refused to pay the additional hire claiming that the vessel was off-hire during time spent at anchorage and Owner was liable for damages by depriving Charterer of service.
GENCON -- BERTH CHARTER -- VESSEL DELAYED REACHING LOAD PORT OWING TO ICE -- WHETHER NOTICE OF READINESS VALID -- ERRONEOUS OVERPAYMENT -- LAW OF RESTITUTION -- Partial Charterer Award This dispute arose under a voyage charter fixed to load end-January at Rostov-on-Don, Russia wherein a special Ice Clause was incorporated. The Vessel subsequently incurred excessive delays reaching the load port owing to ice, both at the ice edge and while in the ice. The validity of the Vessel’s Notice of Readiness tendered from the anchorage where she was ordered (400 miles from the port) was also at issue. Owner brought arbitration proceedings to collect outstanding demurrage or, alternatively, damages for detention; and, Charterer counterclaimed for an erroneous overpayment.
CONTAINER DEMURRAGE -- DOCTRINE OF LACHES -- STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS -- DELAYED PROCEEDINGS -- INTEREST CALCULATION -- Plaintiff Award The Claimant’s container sat at the discharge port for a period of 4 years. During that time they issued 13 demurrage claims contemporaneously to the Cargo Merchant for the container’s running delay. However, the Defendant never paid, so once the container was returned by Customs, the Claimant brought admiralty action against the Defendant to recover those outstanding funds. As this was several years after the voyage (and a number of these claims), the Merchant argued that these claims were barred by laches.
GENCON -- DETENTION DUE TO VESSEL GROUNDING -- UNPAID FREIGHT BEFORE BREAKING BULK (BBB) -- CARGO LEIN -- OUTSTANDING LIABILITY -- Owner Award Owner commenced Shortened Arbitration Procedures to recover $33K in demurrage, detention, and ancillary costs under two voyages. At issue under the first voyage concerned the Charterer’s “safe berth, safe port, always afloat” obligation as it relates to the Vessel’s grounding at the loadport, subsequent hull inspection costs, and departure delay. Under the second voyage the Owner enforced a lien on the cargo while awaiting Charterer’s freight payment and seeks compensation for detention.
AGENCY AGREEMENT -- CHOICE OF LAW -- JURISDICTION OF DISPUTE -- LEGAL AUTHORITY OF SIGNATORY -- CONTRACT AMBIGUITY -- Partial Owner Award For over seven years, the contract partners performed under an Agency Agreement dated 1 July 2005. During that time, some issues arose with regard to the formation and legality of the Contract, whether to apply U.S. or Austrian law, as well as questions of conduct like infringements and monetary claims. In this award the Panel must determine the governing law and jurisdiction.
NYPE -- ANTICIPATORY BREACH -- WHETHER CHARTERERS ENTITLED TO GIVE VOYAGE ORDERS TO TRANSIT GULF OF ADEN -- OWNERS ASSERTING THAT PERMISSION REQUIRED -- WHETHER OWNERS IN REPUDIATORY BREACH -- Owner Award At dispute is whether Charterer was entitled to terminate the time charter contract with the Disponent Owner because permission by the head owner was required if Charterer instructed the Vessel to transit the Gulf of Aden (GOA) – an area of piracy for which additional war risk premium was payable. Although GOA transit ability was a hard requirement by Charterer in the time charter negotiations with the Disponent Owner, it was not stipulated in the contract between Disponent Owner and head owners.