DEADFREIGHT – VOYAGE CHARTER – FORCE MAJEURE – WHETHER CHARTERER LIABLE FOR DEADFREIGHT AFTER FORCE MAJEURE EVENT Owner claimed deadfreight after Charterer was unable to load a complete quantity of cargo at the loading port due to a fire. Charterer contended that the fire at the loading port constituted a force majeure event, and as such they were not liable for deadfreight incurred as a result. Norstar Shipping and Trading Ltd. (hereinafter, “Owner”) claimed for deadfreight amounting to $102,640.28 against Ravago LM Pte Ltd. (hereinafter, “Charterer”). The Owner entered into a space voyage charter on the Asbatankvoy form using the...
DEMURRAGE – NO APPEARANCE – PAYMENT OF INTEREST AND ARBITRATION COSTS Owner sought payment of outstanding demurrage amount from Charterer and initiated arbitration proceedings. Charterer failed to participate in the proceedings, but it did submit payment of the outstanding demurrage amount following Owner’s submissions. Owner claimed for interest, attorney’s fees, and arbitration costs against Charterer. Caribe Tankers, Ltd (hereinafter, “Owner”) brought arbitration proceedings against Murex LLC (hereinafter, “Charterer”) over an unpaid demurrage amount totaling $31,119.08. The demurrage charges incurred under two charters, both fixed under Asbatankvoy, and two voyages of the CARIBE ROSA. Owner requested consolidation of the two demurrage...
EXXONMOBILVOY2005 - DEMURRAGE - DELAY DUE TO FOG - WHETHER GALENA PARK A PORT OR IN THE PORT OF HOUSTON - WHETHER HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL A RIVERPORT - RIVERPORT CLAUSE - DISPUTE OVER BURDEN OF PROOF - Charterer Award When charterer deducted fifty percent of a delay due to fog basis an exceptions clause, owner countered that the Houston Ship Channel was a riverport and thus the “Riverport(s) Clause” applied with the weather delay subsequently counting in full. In addressing this question, the Panel also advised as to where the burden of proof would lie and whether Galena Park was a port.
NYPE - INORDINATE AND INEXCUSABLE DELAY AFTER COMMENCEMENT OF ARBITRATION - ARBITRATION ACT OF 1996 - APPLICATION FOR DISMISSAL DUE TO WANT OF PROSECUTION - LIMITATION PERIOD - APPLICATION TO APPEAL TO HIGH COURT Damage claims arose after the collapse of a crane on board a vessel. Arbitration commenced two years later however no submissions were made until nearly 12 years after the incident. Charterer applied to have the claim dismissed for want of prosecution by owner. The panel agreed with charterer and owner applied to the High Court for a chance to appeal.
VESSEL ORDERED TO ANCHOR OUTSIDE “PORT LIMITS” BY PORT AUTHORITY - DEFINITION OF “PORT LIMITS” - WHETHER VESSEL CONSIDERED GEOGRAPHICALLY READY TO TENDER NOR WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF C/P - DEMURRAGE A vessel arrived off of the load port and was instructed by the port authority to anchor outside the port limits to await berth availability. The Court was tasked at determining whether the vessel was geographically ready for the purposes of tendering notice of readiness. The Court also looked at the definition of “port limits”.
BIMCO OREVOY VOYAGE CHARTER - VESSEL UNABLE TO LIFT MINIMUM QUANTITY - OWNER CLAIMS FORCE MAJEURE - CHARTERER REPUDIATES CHARTER AND CHARTERS SUBSTITUTE VESSEL A vessel arrived at the load port with a portion of her previous cargo frozen to the inside of her hold. After owner failed to secure a substitute vessel charterer terminated the charter and fixed its own sub. Charterer’s claim for damages was denied by owner who presented a counterclaim basis what owner believed to be charterer’s wrongful repudiation of the charter party.
VALIDITY OF NOR TENDERED PRIOR TO FREE PRATIQUE AND CUSTOMS CLEARANCE AND WITH STOWAWAYS ONBOARD - OWNER’S OBLIGATION TO DISCLOSE PRESENCE OF STOWAWAYS - WHETHER PANAMA CANAL EXPENSES DUE TO OVERLOADING FOR OWNER’S OR CHARTERER’S ACCOUNT Under a COA a vessel was nominated to carry coal from Colombia to Chile. Due to not yet having obtained free pratique and customs clearance, and whilst having stowaways onboard, Charterer argued that the NOR tendered at load was invalid. During transit to the disport the vessel was found in breach of Panama Canal draft restrictions and incurred unexpected expenses due to overloading which each party believes to be for the other party’s account.
INTERIM PORT - LIGHTERING - DEMURRAGE - TIME BAR - WORLDSCALE A demurrage claim presented by owners was rejected due to charterers belief that the time in question was to be considered an interim port.
TIME CHARTER – HOLD INSPECTION FAILED – WHETHER DELAY IN RE-BERTHING AFTER HOLDS CLEANED AND PASSED INSPECTION OFF HIRE Upon arrival at the load port, the vessel’s holds failed inspection. After the holds were cleaned, the vessel was re-entered into the berthing queue. Charterer claimed the second delay in berthing was due to the holds failing inspection whereas owner claimed it was due to berth congestion.
A golden rule when assessing a contract is to read the contract as a whole and give meaning to all clauses in conjunction with each other. A recent NY Arbitration, SMA 4272, combined with an older award, SMA 2477, shows how simple phrasing, reinforced via a lack of options and market constraints, can overwhelm other charter terms and convert a port charter to a berth charter.