BPVOY4 -- DEMURRAGE -- TIME BAR -- FREE PRATIQUE -- WHETHER ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION PRESENTED WITH CLAIM -- Charterer Award This dispute concerns demurrage incurred due to delays at both ports of loading and discharge. Certain documents required by the charterparty, based on the BPVOY4 form, had not been submitted within the 90-day limit and Charterers were attempting a time bar defense.
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.
EMISSIONS REGULATIONS . . . Hong Kong has announced that its emissions regulations for ocean going vessels will be ready to take effect from July 1, 2015. The regulation requires fuel sulfur content not to exceed 0.5 percent while at berth in Hong Kong (except during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure). Breach of this regulation will result in a $25,000 fine and six month jail term for owners and masters. Records of fuel switching must be maintained for three years. On 1 January 2015, MARPOL Annex VI, Regulation 14.3.4 came into effect, lowering fuel...
ASBATANKVOY -- ARBITRATION JURISDICTION -- VALIDITY OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT -- DEMURRAGE AND PORT COSTS -- Owner Award The Charterer denied liability for demurrage under several defenses. They argued that they never agreed to be liable for demurrage nor that there was a valid arbitration agreement. And if the Tribunal held that the charter party did provide for those considerations, then each party’s signature would be required for it to be a valid agreement.
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.
ELECTRONIC BILLS OF LADING . . .BIMCO’s new charter party clause for electronic bills of lading provides a contractual solution for the creation, transfer and surrender of electronic bills. The clause states: “(A) AT THE CHARTERERS’ OPTION, BILLS OF LADING, WAYBILLS AND DELIVERY ORDERS REFERRED TO IN THIS CHARTER PARTY SHALL BE ISSUED, SIGNED AND TRANSMITTED IN ELECTRONIC FORM WITH THE SAME EFFECT AS THEIR PAPER EQUIVALENT. (B) FOR THE PURPOSE OF SUB-CLAUSE (A) THE OWNERS SHALL SUBSCRIBE TO AND USE ELECTRONIC (PAPERLESS) TRADING SYSTEMS AS DIRECTED BY THE CHARTERERS, PROVIDED SUCH SYSTEMS ARE APPROVED BY THE INTERNATIONAL GROUP OF...
TIME CHARTER -- INJURIOUS CARGO DEFINED -- DEBRIS IN PUMPS AND TANKS -- Charterer Award Under a time charter contract, the Vessel loaded a cargo of LNG for the Charterer’s account. After the operation, it was reported that debris could have been introduced into the cargo tanks, however nothing was noticeably wrong at the time. During the course of the following voyages, intermittent problems accumulated until the Vessel had to undergo extensive repairs. Owner blamed the Charterer’s cargo and filed a damages claim to recover their losses.
EBOLA VIRUS . . . Ebola has caused more than 3,300 deaths in west Africa, predominantly in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and more recently in Nigeria. This pandemic impacts shipping contracts and as well as individual Port State Control (PSC) guidelines for vessels arriving from Ebola infected countries. In general, PSC checks a vessel’s last 10 ports of call and grants approval for disembarkation of crew and guards provided 21 days have elapsed since the Vessel’s call to an affected country. Vessels that have confirmed cases of ebola on board are placed in quarantine. Contracts treat this delay differently based on the...
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.
Detention accrues when a ship is delayed outside of the scope of laytime and demurrage, which is directly attributable to fault of the Charterer. Some examples of Charterer’s fault includes failure to have cargo ready when the Vessel arrives within laydays, failure to give voyage orders, delay in paying freight causing Owner to impose a cargo lien, and unreasonable departure delays in releasing the Vessel after laytime ceases to run.