ASBATANKVOY -- CHARTER PARTY -- ARBITRATION -- TANK CLEANLINESS -- WRONGFUL CANCELLATION -- Charterer Award Upon the Vessel’s arrival at loadport, the Charterers’ inspector rejected the Vessel due to excess rust and tank lining deterioration. The Vessel crew attempted to clean the tanks over laycan, but ultimately could not meet the inspector’s minimum standards, so the Charterers subsequently terminated the charter party. The Owners refuted the cancellation by claiming that the expected standards were unjust and began arbitration for losses.
TRUCKER STRIKE -- CONSEQUENTIAL DELAYS -- WORK SLOW-DOWN -- BURDEN OF PROOF -- Charterer Award Due to a trucking strike at disport, the discharge operation was protracted, causing the Vessel to incur demurrage. The Charterer refuted the demurrage claim, citing that the strike was out of their control, and therefore, exempt from demurrage fees. On the other hand, Owner argued that the Charterers had not satisfied their obligation to search for alternative means of discharge.
FRAME CONTRACT -- VOYAGE -- TIME-BAR --CARGO CONTAMINATION -- LIMITATIONS ACT 1980 -- Seller Award This arbitration began as a result of two disputed "frame contract" voyages between the same Buyer and Seller. The first dispute centered around a potential time-bar exception under the Limitations Act 1980 to the Buyer’s presented claim. The second dispute concerned contaminated cargo onboard the Vessel, the resulting demurrage at disport and the liability of such contamination and delays.
GENCON -- IMPORT -- CARGO -- POSSESSORY LIEN -- DETENTION AT DISPORT -- ARBITRATION ACT 1996 -- PROPER CHARTER PARTY CANCELLATION -- Owner Award Because the Receivers recently had their import license revoked, the Vessel was unable to discharge cargo at the nominated disport. The Owners responded by exercising their possessory lien on the cargo and ordered the Vessel to remain outside of port while concurrently accruing demurrage. The Owners began arbitration with the threat of charter party cancellation if the cargo was not received commercially acceptable time.
TIME CHARTER -- WRONGFUL CANCELLATION -- WAR OUTBREAK -- COMPENSATION FOR MARKET LOSS -- Charterer Award The Owners began arbitration when the Time-Charterers returned the Vessel in 2001, several years before the conclusion of their time charter period without reimbursement for the remainder of the charter. The Owners argued that the Time-Charterers were liable for the outstanding payment and demanded compensation. Conversely, the Time-Charterers cited a wartime exception clause which made them indebted only up to the Second Gulf War in 2003.
FROZEN BALLAST -- PROOF OF PUBLIC HOLIDAY -- SUBSTANTIVE PROOF -- Charterer Award Two separate demurrage issues arose over the course of the voyage. At loadport, the Vessel appeared to be fully loaded when, in fact, there was frozen ballast water remaining on board. The Charterers argued that the time spent waiting for the ice to thaw and loading recommencement should not count as used laytime. A second arbitration issue concerned the Charterers’ belief that December 27 was a national holiday (and a laytime exception) at disport.
Demurrage, as a means to compensate the shipowner for delays to his or her Vessel, is clearly defined within the majority of voyage charters. Not so clearly defined is the payment of detention or how long a Charterer is able to leave a Vessel on demurrage prior to incurring detention. In the below, we will examine the payment of detention while reviewing a couple of examples of the historical precedent (there are many) which work to form the industry’s current perception of detention. Finally, we will review contemporary boilerplates, which, in reacting to the historical precedent attempt to protect the Charterer (and hinder the Shipowner) by defining detention in terms of demurrage.