2023 Maritime Digest of Arbitration Awards and Court Rulings
FORCE MAJEURE – DEMURRAGE – DISPONENT OWNER – LOSS OF EARNINGS
After 46 days at load port awaiting cargo, the Claimant terminated the contract claiming breach of charterparty. The Respondent claimed force majeure due to supplier issues. Claimant sought damages plus fees, costs and interest.
MEDITERRANEAN IRON ORE VOYAGE CHARTER – FAILURE TO PROVIDE CARGO – DAMAGES – CALCULATION OF DAMAGES – DEMURRAGE – FORCE MAJEURE – GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE
Seacape Shipping and Trading (Claimant) alleged Metalex 2000 (Respondent) breached the voyage charter for failing to provide cargo and subsequently claimed for damages and demurrage. The Respondent claimed government interference and force majeure but participated only minimally in the arbitration.
DEMURRAGE – BERTH OPERATOR RULES (UBT) – COMMENCE OF LAYTIME – DESPATCH
Owner claimed demurrage was due to delays at the Davant, Mississippi, loading port and cited the charterparty. Charterer countered Owner owed despatch and that UBT Rules as incorporated into the fixture superseded the charterparty.
SYNACOMEX 2000 – DEMURRAGE – LOW WATER – DELAYED BARGES – FORCE MAJEURE – LACK OF WAREHOUSE SPACE – STEVEDORE DELAYS – TIME BAR – DEVIATION COSTS – REJECTED CARGO – BUNKERS CONSUMED BETWEEN PORTS
A vessel chartered to carry a cargo of corn was fixed on an amended Synacomex 2000 form dated 18 September 2016 and hired to deliver to a single port, to be nominated. Lack of water delayed barges, lack of warehouse space delayed discharge as did alleged issues with stevedores and cargo rejection. The latter 3 issues led to the vessel sailing to three discharge ports. The owner claimed demurrage and deviation costs.
SALES CONTRACT – DEMURRAGE – PUBLIC DOCK CLAUSE – COMMENCEMENT OF LAYTIME
Two vessels encountered delays whilst awaiting berth, resulting in delivered Seller claiming demurrage. Relying upon a public dock clause in the marine provisions, Buyer insisted time waiting for berths did not count and that rather time only starts after the vessels’ gangways were secured. Owner claimed contract confirmations, which included a laytime commencing clause, superseded Marine Provisions, and that laytime began after the tender of NOR
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.