Q1 2022. Maritime Digest of Arbitration Awards and Court Rulings

Brujo Finance Company v Sea Energy Company (MT “Alkimos”) v ES Euro shipping AG (MT “Alkimos”) – SMA 4388, 3 Jul 2020

ASBATANKVOY – KOLMAR TERMS – VIOLATION OF US SANCTIONS – SANCTIONS CLAUSE – STS TRANSFER – ALTERNATIVE ORDERS – PARTIAL FINAL AWARD – SUBJECT MOTION – DISCERNABLE RISK – VENEZUELA
The consolidated arbitration between the Owner and Respondents centered on whether the owner validly invoked the Charter’s Sanctions Clause when demanding alternative orders (Subject Motion). The owner claimed a discernable risk that the ship-to-ship transfer of cargo could have violated US Sanctions against Venezuela. This partial final award is issued solely in response to the Subject Motion and does not address any other disputes between the Owner and Respondents.

London Arbitration 20/21

NORGRAIN – CHANGE IN DISCHARGE PORT NOMINATION – OWNERS CLAIM FREIGHT FOR TRANSPORT TO FIRST PORT NOMINATED– ESTOPPEL – UNJUST ENRICHMENT
The vessel was chartered on an amended Norgrain form to transport a cargo of soybeans from Brazil to China. Discharge port(s) were nominated during the voyage and subsequently changed. The owner asserted the first ports nominated were binding and freight payable basis same although the vessel did not complete passage to these ports and instead discharged cargo at another port.

London Arbitration 9/22

AMENDED NYPE – OFF HIRE – FAILURE TO PRESENT CLEAN HOLDS – DAMAGES FOR FAILURE TO PRESENT CLEAN HOLDS – RATE OF OFF-HIRE – BREACH OF CHARTERPARTY
The vessel was chartered on an amended NYPE form for a charter trip. Off-hire was claimed for failure to provide clean holds, and the rate of off-hire contested. Charterer also sought damages for breach of the charterparty due to rejection of the holds.

K Line Pte Ltd v Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd (The“Eternal Bliss”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Andrew Baker J)[2020] EWHC 2373 (Comm) – 7 September 2020

NORGRAIN – DEMURRAGE – DAMAGES – LIQUIDATED DAMAGES
When vessel was required to wait at anchorage for 31 days due to berth congestion and lack of space for the cargo, the cargo was found to be significantly damaged in the form of mold and caking.  The receiver successfully claimed damages from the owner who in turn claimed it from the charterer.  The charterer claimed owner’s sole recourse was that of demurrage.

FIMBank plc v KCH Shipping Co Ltd (The “Giant Ace”) – QBD (Comm Ct) (Cockerill J) [2020] EWHC 1765 (Comm) – 3 July 2020

ARBITRATION TIME BAR – MISDELIVERY OF CARGO – ARBITRATION ACT 1996 – DEMISE CHARTERER

When the bank alleged misdelivery of cargo basis a lack of bills of lading, the lawyers requested an extension of time for arbitration against the owner rather than the demise charterer. The court was then tasked with determining whether the claimant is entitled to an extension of the arbitration time bar.

EURONAV NV V REPSOL TRADING SA (THE “MARIA”) – QBD (COMM CT) (HENSHAW J) [2021] EWHC 2565 (COMM) – 24 SEPTEMBER 2021

SHELLVOY 6 – DEMURRAGE – TIME BAR – COMPLETION DATE – WHETHER CLAIM TIME-BARRED

On October 23, 2019, The Maria vessel was chartered on a Shellvoy 6 form to carry crude oil from Brazil to different US west coast ports, including Long Beach, California. The issue was if the owners’ claim for US$487K plus interest was time-barred. 

London Arbitration 6/22

NYPE FORM – TIME CHARTER – HOLD CLEANING – OFF HIRE DURING EXTENDED HOLD CLEANING – COVID-19 PANDEMIC – COVID-19 PROTOCOLS – OFF HIRE DUE TO ALLEGED CREW SICKNESS 

Two disputes for off-hire developed on a one time, time charter trip from India to China relating to extended hold cleaning and alleged crew sickness.

London Arbitration 4/22

NYPE FORM – TIME CHARTER – PANDEMIC – COVID-19 PROTOCOLS – OFF HIRE – PUT BACK – DELAY – DEFAULT OF MASTER – BREACH OF CHARTER

A standoff between a vessel and pilot company over owners’ Covid-19 protocols and pilots boarding resulted in a delay to berth of almost nine days. The owners added the lost time to their final account and the charterers filed a counterclaim, citing off-hire and put back.

London Arbitration 14/21

DEMURRAGE – DETENTION – DAMAGES – BUNKERS – QUANTUM MERUIT
The vessel arrived at the port and tendered NOR. Charterers declared discharging was not allowed until berthing. Owner initially claimed demurrage then revised it by way of quantum meruit to include the cost of bunkers consumed.

Ace Quantum Chemical Tankers CV v Nordic Tankers Trading. (MN “Chem Sirius”) – SMA No.4392, 26 July 2020

SPOT CHARTER – PRORATED WAITING TIME – SUSPENDED LAYTIME – DROPPED TENDER
Vessel tendered NOR whilst charterer’s berth was available and after awaiting a short period of time, went to another berth. Thereafter, charterer’s berth was occupied and vessel periodically waited for charterer’s berth and worked berths for other charterers’ accounts. Owner claimed as demurrage those periods of time whilst vessel was awaiting charterer’s berth whilst it was charterer’s position that the root cause of the overall delay in berthing was vessel’s decision to not work charterer’s berth when given the opportunity.