2022 Maritime Digest of Arbitration Awards and Court Rulings

Astir Holdings, Inc. v. Xcoal Energy & Resources (The “Lacon”) – SMA No.4438, 25 February 2022

Xcoal Energy & Resources chartered Astir Holdings Inc. for carriage of coal from Mobile to one safe berth at Jingtang. En route, Xcoal changed its discharging port from Jingtang to Lanshan, and claimed a repositioning credit since Lanshan was closer to the vessel’s next port. Astir approved the request to unload at two discharging berths instead of the one that was contractually agreed upon, however exceptions to laytime and demurrage at the second berth were not discussed at the time. Arbitration was sought to determine if the charterer’s exceptions to time counting as demurrage should apply for the second discharging berth.

Stolt Tankers B.V. v. Tricon Energy Limited (The “Stolt Lotus”) – SMA No. 4442, 11 April 2022

DEMURRAGE – TIME BAR – AMENDED ASBATANKVOY CHARTERPARTY – STORAGE OR DEMURRAGE Stolt Tankers was chartered by Tricon Energy Limited to ship mono ethylene glycol (MEG) from Baton Rouge and Houston to Antwerp. At Antwerp, the cargo was transshipped to two barges, but the shipments were rejected before discharge. The charterer could not find suitable shoretank storage before another buyer was secured. Stolt submitted invoices to Tricon for “storage” after their 90 day demurrage time bar. NOTE: This recap includes the majority decision and dissenting opinion.
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BBC Chartering Carriers GmbH & Co. KG v. Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais (M/V “LEFKES”) – SMA No. 4446, 4 July 2022

DEMURRAGE – LAYTIME CALCULATION – AMENDED GENCON 1994 CHARTER – NO CORRESPONDENCE BBC Chartering Carriers and Usinas Siderurgicas de Minas Gerais entered into an amended GENCON charter to deliver galvanized steel coils from Praia Mole to Houston. After the voyage the charterer paid the freight invoice in full but disputed the total of the invoice for the demurrage costs. The charterer then gave no reasoning or defense for the disputed demurrage.
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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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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 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 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 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 11/22

TIME TRIP CHARTERPARTY – AMENDED NYPE 93– LEGAL FEES – DEVIATION CLAUSE – BUNKERS - CREW CHANGE - WEATHER DELAY A vessel was chartered for a 25-30 day period to load at a port in the Sea of Japan and discharge at a port in the South China Sea. The parties agreed the vessel would deviate to Hongai, Vietnam for a crew change. After leaving Hongai, the vessel encountered bad weather, resulting in a 1.05 day delay. The charterer claimed the weather delay would not have occurred if the vessel had made a direct journey. The owner claimed the vessel was on hire at the time of the weather delay.
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London Arbitration 27/22

COVID-19 - QUARANTINE -OFF HIRE- HEALTH AUTHORITY - AVIAN FLU - AMENDED NYPE - TIME CHARTER The subject vessel was chartered on an amended NYPE form to load in South America then discharge and redeliver in the Far East. When the vessel arrived at the load port, health authorities immediately quarantined the ship due to the bosun testing positive for COVID-19. The owner claimed a balance of hire of $275,108 for the quarantine period and delay. The charterer claimed that the vessel was off hire during the quarantine period and counterclaimed for damages due to the crew’s history before delivery.
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