SwissMarine Pte Asia v. Mosaic Fertilizer (MN “PRESINGE”) – SMA No. 4457, 10 March 2023

BREACH OF COA – FAILURE TO PROVIDE SAFE BERTH – FAILURE TO NOMINATE SAFE VESSEL - DEMURRAGE – FORCE MAJEURE – WEATHER – HURRICANE – LOST TIME SwissMarine and Mosaic Fertilizer had a COA for the carriage of phosphate rock from Peru to the US Gulf for discharge at either New Orleans Triport and/or Tampa – Port Manatee. On the way to discharge at Tampa, concerns were raised by the Port that the Vessel could not safely berth, so the vessel was diverted to New Orleans. Shortly after arrival at anchorage on the Mississippi River, the US Coast Guard limited marine traffic due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Ida. Mosaic declared force majeure, and the PRESINGE did not complete cargo operations until 38 days later. Owners alleged demurrage was due and that Charterers were in breach of COA for failing to provide a safe berth. Charterers countered that no demurrage was due because of the force majeure event, and Owners were in breach of COA for failing to nominate a safe vessel.
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