Category: English Maritime Cases

Shipping industry court rulings and arbitration awards under English law.

London Arbitration 13/23 

TIME CHARTER – DEATH OF MASTER - COVID-19 – QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS – PANAMA CANAL - OFF-HIRE – CANAL TRANSIT AUTHORITIES - DELAY DUE TO COVID TESTING – HEALTH AUTHORITY HOLD – DETENTION – AMENDED NYPE FORM Shortly before its arrival at the Panama Canal in May 2021, complications arose on a time charter due to the unfortunate death of the vessel's master. The vessel was placed on hold until PCR test results were available, delaying transit through the Panama Canal and prompting claims by Charterers of off-hire and detention.
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London Arbitration 14/23 

TIME CHARTER – ANCHORAGE IN MISSISSIPPI – HURRICANE IDA – GROUNDING – 360-DEGREE SWING ANCHOR CHAIN ENTANGLEMENT – TUG ASSISTANCE – DELAYS – OFF-HIRE – UNSAFE ANCHORAGES –INDEMNIFICATION OF OWNERS - CLAUSE 8 OF NYPE FORM – BREACH OF WARRANTY - VESSEL ALWAYS AFLOAT – ALLEGED NEGLIGENCE OF MASTER - HULL FOULING – FRESH OR BRACKISH ANCHORAGE WATER – LATE EVIDENCE. A vessel was chartered for an 80-90 day one-way trip from the US Gulf to China under an amended NYPE 1946 form with additional clauses. Berthing in New Orleans/Mississippi River was delayed by Hurricane Ida, leading to a 34-day wait at Alliance Anchorage. After loading bulk corn, the vessel sailed on September 27, 2021, and was redelivered in China on December 7, 2021. Arbitration was sought to resolve disputes over final hire accounts, grounding of the vessel, fouling of the hull, and alleged negligence of the master.
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London Arbitration 15/23

SPEED AND CONSUMPTION CLAIM – WEATHER ROUTING COMPANIES’ METHODOLOGIES – VERACITY OF DECK LOG DATA – DEADFREIGHT – SURVEY COSTS AND BANK CHARGES – HONG KONG SEAT A single-deck geared bulk carrier was chartered to transport nickel ore from the Philippines to China. Owners alleged wrongful deductions by the charterers for underperformance, deadfreight, survey costs, and bank charges and sought US$54,675.21. The arbitration centered on speed and consumption clauses and weather routing methodologies.
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London Arbitration 16/23

BUNKERS ON REDELIVERY – MEANING OF “PRICE AT BOTH ENDS” - EXCEEDING 5 PERCENT ALLOWANCE – OFF-HIRE DUE TO CREW CHANGE – WRONGFUL DEDUCTION REPAID LATE – INTEREST Owners of a vessel chartered on an amended NYPE 1946 form sought compensation for market rate differences on bunkers at redelivery. The arbitration also dealt with crew changes, off-hire, and time spent on sub-chartering.
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Hyphen Trading Ltd v BLPL Singapore Pte Ltd – Singapore High Court, 25 Oct 2023

ADMIRALTY – SALE OF CARGO – DISPUTE OVER CARGO OWNERSHIP - VALIDITY OF BILLS OF LADING – WHETHER CARGO COULD BE SOLD WITH OWNERSHIP DISPUTE HTL, a UK commodity trading company, claimed ownership of nickel briquettes and held bills of lading for their shipment from Malaysia to India. A dispute arose with BLPL, the alleged contractual carrier, over ownership of the cargo. HTL sought to sell the cargo in Singapore and petitioned the Court to do so in advance of the ownership ruling.
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Rhine Shipping DMCC v Vitol S.A. (The “Dijilah”) – EWHC (Comm Ct), 26 May 2023

DEMURRAGE - BPVOY4 - CLAUSE 13 INDEMNITY - VESSEL FREE OF LEGAL ISSUES – CARGO ON VESSEL ARRESTED - DELAY TO LOAD AT SECOND LOADPORT - INCREASE IN PURCHASING COSTS DUE TO DELAY - INDEMNITY AND WARRANTY CLAUSES - ASSUMPTION OF RESPONSIBILITY BY OWNERS - CAN CHARTERERS’ “GAINS” FROM INTERNAL HEDGING ARRANGEMENTS BE USED TO OFFSET OWNERS’ BREACH OF CHARTER CLAIM - REMOTENESS OF LOSS RULES FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT Disponent Owners chartered the tanker "Dijilah" from West Africa to China, then faced legal issues over sanction compliance by the commercial operator/owner. Property seizure by financiers caused delays, leading Charterers to pay an extra USD 3.7 million for cargo, but they gained USD 2.9 million internally. Disputes ensued as Owners claimed demurrage charges, countered by Charterers citing losses from the delay.
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Singapore Arbitration 2/23

DEMURRAGE - GENCON 1994 FORM - FAILURE TO PROVIDE CARGO - BREACH OF CONTRACT - NON-PARTICIPATING RESPONDENT - UNCITRAL MODEL LAW - COMPENSATORY DAMAGES - NO APPOINTMENT OF ARBITRATOR The case involved a fixture recap that agreed cargo was to be loaded in Vietnam and delivered to a port in China. The charterers failed to provide the cargo despite repeated requests from the owners. The charterers refused to participate in arbitration and provided no defense.
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Singapore Arbitration 3/23

DEMURRAGE - FAILURE TO NOMINATE VESSEL - BREACH OF CONTRACT - MITIGATION OF LOSS - PRINCIPLE OF MINIMUM PERFORMANCE This case involves a dispute arising from a trip charter for the shipment of coal from Indonesia to Thailand. The charterparty specified two voyages. The Owner failed to nominate vessels for these shipments, leading to a breach of the charterparty.
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London Arbitration 5/23

In London Arbitration 4/23, a dispute arose between charterers and owners regarding cargo discharge instructions leading to this counterclaim. The charterers asserted that they instructed the owners not to unload cargo, for they were exercising a lien on the cargo to recover $3,705,033 owed by sub-charterers. Owners proceeded to unload the cargo, which charterers claimed invalidated the lien. Charterers claimed a breach of the charter and sought damages equal to the lien amount.

FIMBank plc v. KCH Shipping Co Ltd– Court of Appeal, 24 May 2023

FIMBank appealed a decision regarding the misdelivery of cargo, revolving around the application of the Hague-Visby Rules and the time bar provision. The Court of Appeal analyzed the evolution of the Hague-Visby rule’s wording and its implications. The court also examined the potential of an implied term within the bills of lading.