Category: Current

London Arbitration 14/22

ADDITIONAL DISCHARGE BERTH – VEGOILVOY FORM – DURESS – TIME BAR – SPECIAL AGREEMENT – PORT LIMITS – DEMURRAGE - JURISDICTION OF TRIBUNAL - WAR RISK A vessel was chartered on a standard Vegoilvoy for transport of soybean oil from Argentine to “1 SP/1SB BIK or BANDAR ABBAS [Iran] in CHOPT.” Charterer instructed the vessel to anchor outside port limits with higher war risk premium, before shifting to berth. The charterer then required a second berthing that was not contractually agreed upon. The owner offered an alternative “special agreement” with strict stipulations. The charterer claimed that they agreed to the stipulations and costs under duress and refused to remit payment.
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London Arbitration 13/22

BREACH BY CHARTERER – EXCESS BUNKERS – REDELIVERY NOTICE – NYPE 1946 – QUANTIFICATION OF LOSS - FIXTURE RECAP A vessel was chartered by a fixture recap incorporating the terms of an amended NYPE 1946 form. Charterer delivered the vessel back to her owner with excess bunkers and insufficient redelivery notices. Arbitration began to quantify the loss due to the two admitted charter breaches. The charterer admitted to the breaches of the charter, but claimed that the term “ABT” in the contract should offer them extra allowances in terms of the excess bunkers. The owner claimed that with sufficient redelivery notice they could have found alternative employment for the vessel.
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London Arbitration 30/22

DEMURRAGE – AMENDED ASBATANKVOY FORM – NOTICE OF READINESS – NORT VIA EMAIL The subject vessel was chartered on an amended Asbatankvoy form. After completion of the voyage, the owner submitted a claim for demurrage, however the charterer argued the notice of readiness at the discharge port was invalid because it was tendered via email. Charterer held time should start counting when discharge commenced.
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London Arbitration 19/22

NOTICE OF READINESS - NOR - DEMURRAGE – ALTERNATIVE ANCHORAGE The subject vessel was hired to transport aniline from China to Houston and tendered NOR while at the Shanghai shipyard. The owner claimed there was no waiting space at the loadport, the berth was occupied, and the anchorage at CJK was congested. Charterers denied demurrage costs incurred, asserting the NOR was invalid for it was not tendered at the customary anchorage per charterparty requirements. The owner asserted it was implied that if the vessel were not able to enter the loadport, NOR could be tendered at a location equidistant or nearer to the loadport than the customary anchorage.
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London Arbitration 29/22

SPEED AND CONSUMPTION METHODOLOGY – REDELIVERY - REDELIVERY OF BUNKERS - ARMED GUARDS – HULL FOULING – AMENDED NYPE 1946 FORM – TUG ASSISTANCE – OFF HIRE – BIMCO PIRACY CLAUSE A subject vessel was chartered for four to seven months. After redelivery, the owner issued a Final Hire Statement, and the charterer denied owing any balance to the owner. The issues under dispute in the proceedings were speed and consumption, redelivery, redelivery of bunkers, armed guards, hull fouling, damage, and tug assistance.
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Nautica Marine Ltd v Trafigura Trading LLC (The “Leonidas”) – English Commercial Court: Foxton J: [2020] EWHC 1986 (Comm): 28 July 2020

VOYAGE CHARTER - APPROVAL OF A VESSEL - DAMAGES FROM BREACH OF CHARTER - PRE-CONDITION OF CHARTER - PERFORMANCE CONDITION OF CONTRACT - IMPLIED OBLIGATIONS OF CHARTERER - PUTATIVE LOSS OF PROFITS – BREACH OF CHARTER Nautica (Owner) negotiated a prospective voyage charter of the tanker "Leonidas" with Trafigura (Charterer) for a laden voyage carrying oil cargoes. The charter was subject to obtaining suppliers' approval of the vessel within a four-day deadline. When the deadline passed without Trafigura obtaining suppliers' approval, the charter was abandoned. Nautica claimed damages for the charterer's alleged breach of charter of the difference between the profit it would have gained on the prospective charter and the (lesser) profit made on the fixture entered.
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Shagang Shipping Co Ltd v HNA Group Co Ltd (The “Dong-A Astrea”) – Supreme Court (Lord Hodge DP, Lord Briggs, Lord Hamblen, Lord Leggatt and Lord Burrows JJSC) UKSC 34 –  5 August 2020

BRIBERY - ENFORCE CHARTERPARTY AGAINST GUARANTOR - TORTURE - CONFESSION EVIDENCE OBTAINED BY TORTURE – LIABILITY OF GUARANTOR The appeal was based on whether a charterparty's guarantor (HNA) could avoid liability under the guarantee because the charterparty was allegedly obtained through bribery and so was unenforceable. The bribery charge was based on confessions made in Chinese criminal procedures by individuals who reportedly paid and received the bribe.
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Playa Shipping Corporation v Citgo Petroleum Corporation (M/T “Mambo”) – SMA 4418, 16 March 2021

DISPONENT OWNER – US SANCTIONS – TRADE SANCTIONS – ASBATANKVOY – DEMURRAGE – EXECUTIVE ORDERS – SECURITY AWARD - VENEZUELA The claim was for outstanding demurrage and port expenses from the Owner to Charterer. The Charterer did not contest the amount owed but maintained that sanctions imposed by the US Government on Venezuela prevented it from paying unless and until the Owner obtained a special license from the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The current arbitration was a Partial Final Award and focused on the Owner's request for an Interim Award requiring Charterer to post security for Owner's claims.
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Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd v Noble Chartering Inc (The “Tai Prize”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (HHJ Pelling QC) [2020] EWHC 127 (Comm) – 31 January 2020

BILL OF LADING – DAMAGED CARGO – LIABILITY FOR DAMAGED CARGO – INDEMNITY – DISPONENT OWNERS – TIME CHARTER – HAGUE RULES When a vessel commenced unloading in China, receivers discovered the soybean cargo had heat and mold damage. The Chinese courts upheld a claim by the receivers against the shipowner for US$ 1,086,564.70. The shipowner sought arbitration in London against Noble Chartering, the head charterer/disponent owner, for fifty percent of the amount paid to the receivers. Noble then requested London arbitration against its charterer, Priminds Shipping, claiming indemnity and legal fees. Priminds appealed the arbitration ruling to the High Court.
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London Arbitration 21/21

ASBATANKVOY - FRUSTRATION – VOLGA-DON SHIPPING CANAL (VDSC) – WINTER CLOSURE – ADDITIONAL FREIGHT - DEVIATION – INTERIM PORT CLAUSE – ALTERNATIVE DISCHARGE CLAUSE – DEADFREIGHT – DEMURRAGE - DELAY A sea-river vessel was chartered on an amended Asbatankvoy to transport fuel oil. The vessel was to sail from Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, to OPL Kavkaz, Russia, via the Volga-Don Shipping Canal (the VDSC). The VDSC accelerated its official closing for the season, and the vessel was refused “commercial” entrance. The charter was frustrated, and the vessel was forced to retrace its route back to the Caspian Sea. Owners claimed additional freight, deadfreight, deviation, quantum meruit demurrage, and damages for detention.
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