Saturday, September 23, 2023
Home Blog

“Charter Party Disputes” celebrates its first anniversary with positive reviews


“Charter Party Disputes” celebrates its first anniversary with positive reviews. The website builds on the practice of resolution of charter disputes by negotiation or arbitration. It results from years of extensive research and practical application of LMAA awards in negotiating hundreds of charter party disputes while working as a claims handler for Owners or Charterers.

That prompted me to launch this emerging website on 2021 that is regularly updated and strives to touch on all categories of charter disputes. It also keeps me motivated and determined to engage further in the field of ADR.


This year, the site features more than 50 posts with commentaries on LMAA awards, settled cases by negotiation, four articles were published on I-LAW/ MRI (speed claims, deviation, laytime, bunkers), and two free guidebooks were shared on laytime (A Tribute to Maritime Arbitrators) and underperformance claims (with observations from charter negotiations to dispute settlement), and video presentations (YouTube).

What next?

The site will focus on practical observations from settled cases by negotiation before or during the arbitration proceedings. That adds to the practice of avoiding, managing and resolving charter disputes commercially. For example, “practical issue 1” discusses the parties’ disagreement on laytime calculations (reversible or non-reversible ?) and whether similar issues could be avoided. While “practical issue 2” reflects the challenging process of resolving a dispute by negotiation.

Below is a short video presentation of the site, including testimonials:

Speed & Consumption Claims- “Optimum Voyage” presentation

Glad to announce that I conducted a presentation for Optimum Voyage (, an established weather routing company, on speed & Consumption claims, with an extensive analysis of published LMAA decisions, including debatable issues in the charter negotiations or the WP settlement negotiations between the parties & their representatives.

I thank Optimum Voyage for the invitation to discuss the present & future challenges in speed and consumption claims and their genuine feedback on their applied methodologies to objectively assess the vessel’s performance. 

Below is a short video presentation highlighting only some of the topics discussed:

Speed & Consumption Claims presentation, London Arbitration decisions, Prokopios Krikris

The background sound comes from a video the master presented to justify the slow steaming because of the adverse weather or, as an experienced engineer arbitrator wrote decades ago, “The said momentum is lost by having to ride the waves” C. Barclay (1974).

Linkedin post:

A Snapshot Guide to Laytime & Demurrage -A tribute to Maritime Arbitrators-Prokopios Krikris

 Download PDF icon

40 years published London Maritime Arbitration Awards (1980-2020)- A Tribute to Maritime Arbitrators

Laytime and Demurrage disputes have been the subject of litigation or arbitration for decades. So, legal literature is abundant, along with case law and arbitration awards on this complex topic.

From 1980 to 2020, interesting cases have come before London Maritime Tribunals, and their decisions offer helpful guidance on many points that regularly provoke heated debate in the shipping industry. Undoubtedly, the Maritime Arbitrators’ expertise and support remain invaluable to the shipping industry, including their essential function to participate in the rule of law.

In less than 55 pages, this snapshot guide cites about 270 awards for bulkers, tankers and sale contracts; it refers to about 840 issues discussed in these decisions. Therefore, the user can easily find whether a case has been already determined by a London Tribunal and consider this award (if needed) when a similar dispute arises. However, any decision should be read together with other decisions on equal points, case law and commentaries in law textbooks.

For your reference, most of these decisions refer to disputes that arose under the below amended or standard form of contracts:

  • Sale Contracts: FOB, CIF, etc.

I hope that you find this snapshot guide practical and valuable.

You can see the Snapshot Guide here.

The awards are published in Lloyd’s Maritime Law Newsletter, Informa Group Ltd

Grounding- Payment Under General Average Contributions

In this arbitration, the Claimants claimed US$ 192,285.72 for payment under General Average contributions, for which they said the Respondents were liable. The dispute was referred to arbitration in London as agreed under the law and arbitration clause in the contract. Given the Respondent’s failure to participate,  the arbitrator accepted the appointment as sole arbitrator with LMAA Terms 2017 to apply in the reference.

The vessel was chartered under an amended NYPE 1993 and sub-voyage chartered under an amended Gencon 1994 form for a voyage “1sp Fangcheng/lsa at Mississippi River – int Associated Terminals Meraux Buoy (mile 85-87), and, in chopt, and 1-2sb in Houston” (the ‘Voyage Charter’). The intended cargo (as stated in the recap) was various consignments of different grades of barite ores, some bagged and some bulk, plus one single hold of crude talc ores.

Fifteen different Congen 1994 Bills of Lading were issued in respect of the Cargo in draft form at Fangcheng. The ‘draft Bills’ identified between them, three different consignees (‘Cargo interests’). The Respondents were the named Consignees under the Bills numbered xxx(redacted) to yyy (redacted) . The draft Bills incorporated inter alia “ All terms and conditions..of the charterparty..” expressly that “ General average shall be adjusted…according to York-Antwerp Rules 1994, or any subsequent modification thereof, in London unless another place is agreed in the Charter Party. Cargo‘s contribution to General Average shall be paid to the Carrier even when such average is the result of a fault, neglect or error of the Master, Pilot or Crew. The Charterers, Shippers and Consignees expressly renounce the Belgian Commercial Code, Part II, Art. 148

Clause 12 of the Voyage Charter read as follows:

12. General Average and New Jason Clause

General average shall be adjusted in London unless otherwise agreed in Box 22 according to York[1]Antwerp 1974 and any subsequent modification thereof…

The Casualty

Following the completion of loading at Fangcheng, the Vessel’s orders were to sail to Singapore for bunkers and then on to New Orleans (and thereafter Houston) for discharge. The Vessel departed the berth 1st June with a pilot on board and assisted by two tugs. While turning off the berth the Vessel made ground contact. Thereafter, it was found that the helm would only return to 5° to starboard. It was subsequently established that the rudder and steering gear motors (2) had been damaged. The Vessel then returned to the berth. As a consequence of the foregoing the Vessel could not continue the laden voyage. It was therefore necessary to tranship the cargo.

The Declaration of General Average

On about 8 June, the Claimants declared General Average, and xxx( redacted) was appointed as the General Average Adjuster. The expense of the transhipment exercise formed part of the General Average expenditure and/or sacrifice which was the basis of the liability on the part of the Respondents for which the Claimants contend. Following the declaration of the general average, the vessel was towed to xx port for repairs to the rudder and steering gear motors

On about 28 June, the Respondents concluded and provided the Claimants a General Average Bond including among other terms that “this agreement shall be governed by English Law and the London Arbitration shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute arising out of this agreement and each party shall irrevocably submit to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal”

Voyage charterers, Charterers and Cargo interests entered into a Transshipment agreement on 22 June. Among other terms, it was agreed that “this Agreement and all claims between the parties in respect of the Cargo and/or under the Head Charter, Sub-Charter and Draft Bills of Lading, and any claims in relation to General Average, shall all be subject to English law and London arbitration under the latest version of the LMAA terms, with each Party appointing the same arbitrator for all disputes.”

The cargo was duly transshipped, and delivered at the contractual destination. 

The claimants refer to the Adjustment published on about 12 July and contend that the loss or expense claimed was properly allowed on General Average.


Having considered the relevant documents in this matter with care, the burden of proof was upon the Respondents to allege and to provide any actionable and causative fault in order to resist any liability to make payment of the General Average contributions which were now due. The Claimants were entitled to General Average expenditure and/or sacrifice such that the Respondents remain liable to make payment in respect of contributions due in respect of General Average. Wrongfully, and in breach of contract, the Respondents had failed and/or refused to make payment of the sums due and in respect of which they were liable. Accordingly, the said sums remain due, owing and payable, and the Claimants were entitled to recover the same in debt and/or by way of damages for the above-mentioned breach(es).

By reference to the Adjustment, the sum due in respect of General Average contributions for which the Respondents were liable pursuant to the terms of the draft Bills and/or the Average Bond and/or the Transhipment Agreement was US$ 192,285.72. According to the apportionment of General Average the value relevant to the Consignees (xxx-redacted) the value is US$ 1,312,400. Based on 14.651456586% of the total Contributory Values, this equates to US$ 192,285.72 contribution.

Award accordingly.

Final Arbitration Award, 1 January 2020

This website removes the names of the parties and the tribunal. For more information, you can visit:

Covid 19- Force majeure defence to Kostas Melas- type application failed

Various disputes arose under an amended SUPPLYTIME 2005 form, as described below, that the parties referred to a panel of three arbitrators for determination. The three arbitrators were Members of the Baltic Exchange in the City of London and Full Members of the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (“the LMAA”). The reference proceeded by the exchange of written submissions (Claim Submissions, Defence and Reply submissions). With the Reply submissions, Owners made an application for the immediate determination of their claims. By way of analogy to the case of The “Kostas Melas” [1981] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 18, the Owners submitted that they were entitled to a prompt determination of their claim for hire and disbursements, akin to applications for partial awards for hire on The Kostas Melas principles. The Charterers advanced separate grounds to resist this application. In the light of their findings, the tribunal made an award in the Owners’ favour.

What follows is only a brief reference to the issues. The decision/ analysis was quoted almost as contained in the award.

The dispute referred to the arbitration was the Owners’ claim for US$3,998,167.80 as outstanding sum under the charter party, together with interest at the contractual rate of 2% per month after the due date of each of the outstanding principal invoices. Alternatively, the Owners said they were entitled to interest to be assessed pursuant to section 49 of the Arbitration Act 1996. They also claimed their costs.

The Charterers denied liability for the sum(s) claimed or any sum and asked the tribunal to make an Award in their favour:

(a) declaring that the Charterers were entitled to rely on the force majeure provisions in Clause 32 of the charterparty as a defence to the Owners’ claims;

(b) dismissing the Owners’ claims in full; and

(c) ordering the Owners to pay all of the Charterers’ costs incurred in connection with this arbitration, including fees and expenses of the Tribunal, legal fees and expenses, witnesses’ expenses, and interest on all costs awarded.

For completeness, the Clause 32 “Force Majeure” read as follows:

Neither party shall be liable for any loss, damage or delay due to any of the following force majeure events and/or conditions to the extent the party invoking force majeure is prevented or hindered from performing any or all of their obligations under this Charter Party, provided that they have made all reasonable efforts to avoid, minimize or prevent the effect of such events and/or conditions:

(b) any Government requisition, control, intervention, requirement or interference;

(e) epidemics;

(i) any other similar cause beyond the reasonable control of either party.

The party seeking to invoke force majeure shall notify the other party in writing within 2 working days of the occurrence of any such event /condition.

Tribunal’s decision and findings

The starting point was to determine whether it was appropriate to entertain the application for an immediate determination of the Owners’ claim on the basis of the submissions served to date. The Owners’ application was expressed to be pursuant to paragraph 22 of the Second Schedule of the LMAA Terms which provides:

“22 Parties are at liberty to apply to a tribunal for directions which differ from those contemplated above, but any such application should clearly explain why it is appropriate for some different course to be followed.”

In their response to the application, the Charterers raised four objections and that the tribunal dealt with each in turn.

First, they said that the application was made in contravention of the procedural requirements set out in the LMAA Terms in that it had not previously been discussed with them.

The Owners’ response was that their concern in this case was that procedural directions (specifically an order for exchange of LMAA Questionnaires) would be ordered before their application had been received by the Tribunal, thus defeating the application before it had been made. For that reason, the application was served simultaneously with the Reply Submissions.

That seemed to the tribunal to be eminently reasonable in that, had an order for directions (i.e., for service of Questionnaires) been made in the interim, that would have defeated the application before it had been heard.

Accordingly, the tribunal rejected this submission.

The Charterers’ second objection was that, in the absence of an agreement between the parties to depart from the procedure set out in the Second Schedule, there was an obligation on both parties to complete the Questionnaires.

The tribunal agreed with the Owners that, in this case, it was appropriate for a “different course to be followed” because they had all the information and submissions necessary to determine the Owners’ claim for unpaid hire and disbursements.

The Charterers third argument, namely that the application was inappropriate, given the issues in dispute between the parties, and that it was appropriate that there be an oral hearing, the tribunal agreed with the Owners that each of the defences advanced by the Charterers in the Defence Submissions (including the “force majeure” defence) were capable of being determined on the basis of the submissions and the exhibits served to date and that no further evidence or submissions were required. The tribunal did not consider that an oral hearing was required for the fair determination of this matter. The Owners’ claim was based on uncontested invoices for hire and disbursements and determination of the legal defences asserted by the Charterers did not require an oral hearing. Therefore, the tribunal agreed with the Owners that the application was analogous to the determination of claims for unpaid hire under The Kostas Melas principles.

The fourth argument advanced by the Charterers, namely that they were entitled to make out the remaining elements of their claim “by reference to the evidence and submissions required” was ill-founded. The tribunal agreed with the Owners that this was a straightforward claim and one easily capable of determination on the basis of the submissions and documents before them. The tribunal bore in mind that, of course, section 1 of the Arbitration Act 1996 provides:

“The object of arbitration is to obtain a fair resolution of disputes by an impartial tribunal without unnecessary delay or expense.”(out emphasis added)

The Charterers have already had an opportunity to put forward their case in full through their Defence Submissions and the tribunal was in a position now to determine the merits of the Charterers’ defences.

Accordingly,  the tribunal had no hesitation in concluding that they should consider the application on its merits and on the basis of the submissions and documents presently before them.

Thus, the tribunal turned to consider the three limbs of the Charterers’ defence.

I “The commencement of arbitration proceedings was premature.”

The tribunal agreed with the Owners that there are no preconditions to the valid commencement of arbitration proceedings set out in clause 34; it simply provides that “a party wishing to refer a dispute to arbitration shall appoint its arbitrator and send notice of such appointment in writing to the other party requiring the other party to appoint its own arbitrator within 14 calendar days of that notice.

There were numerous exchanges between the Owners and the Charterers in which the Owners sought a resolution of the dispute prior to the commencement of arbitration proceedings. In no way could it be said that the commencement of arbitration proceedings was premature.

The tribunal rejected the Charterers’ assertion that they “replied constructively and honestly” to the Owners’ requests for payment. Their various responses did not explain when payment would be made and simply represented an attempt to delay (or, as the Owners said justifiably, “stall”), making payment.

The tribunal noted the Owners’ position that they were entitled to commence and progress arbitration proceedings in order to obtain arbitration awards against the Charterers, in order that they can use the awards to claim under the Parent Company Guarantee issued by the Charterers’ Parent Company. Given the cash flow difficulties asserted by the Charterers, the Owners were plainly entitled to obtain arbitration awards so that they could then seek to obtain payment in respect of sums owed by the Charterers from the Charterers’ Parent Company.

Therefore, the tribunal agreed with the Owners that not only were they entitled pursuant to clause 34 to commence arbitration proceedings against the Charterers to pursue their claim, but they were also justified in so doing.

II “The commencement of arbitration proceedings is contrary to UK Guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by COVID-19”

The tribunal agreed with the Owners (for the reasons given by them) that the UK COVID-19 Guidance:

(a) was not applicable to the contractual relationship between the Owners and the Charterers (neither party being a UK party);

(b) was a guidance only, and did not affect the Owners’ rights and remedies available under the charterparty or at law;

(c) in any event, even if the UK Covid-19 Guidance was applicable, it had not been breached by Owners.

The Guidance was directed at UK companies and the UK economy, not to an international contract between the Owners and the Charterers, neither of which were UK entities. Moreover, the Guidance expressly stated that “it is not non-statutory guidance” and it was not intended to override “any specific … relief available …in the relevant contract … [and]… in law, custom or practice”. Even had the Guidance been applicable, the tribunal did not consider that the Owners were in breach of it. In refusing to make payment of the outstanding invoices (despite their contractual obligation to do so) and by failing to give any indication of the timeframe when payment would be made, the Charterers were effectively seeking an indefinite extension in the period for making payment of outstanding invoices, during which the Owners could not take any steps to obtain payment. That cannot have been the intention behind the Guidelines.

III Force Majeure

The tribunal agreed with the Owners that there was a need to establish a causal link between the force majeure event and the inability to perform. In this case there was no causal link between the alleged force majeure events complained of by the Charterers and the Charterers’ failure to pay the Owners’ invoices. The vessel was redelivered on 17th January 2020, before there had been any global impact of COVID-19 and before the initial lockdowns on Wuhan and other cities in Hubei Province in China were imposed on 23rd January 2020. The charterparty had been performed and concluded before the impact of COVID-19 and the only outstanding obligation is for the Charterers to make payment of the Owners’ outstanding invoices, which is not an obligation affected by clause 32.

Most of the invoices fell due prior to 31st January 2020. There was no basis on which the Charterers could contend that payment of those invoices was “due to” or “prevented or hindered” by the impact of COVID-19.

It was apparent from the Charterers’ Defence Submissions that the real reason that they failed to make payment to the Owners (the dominant and effective cause) is that they have “insufficient cash reserves” because of issues regarding the projects between them and [ x- Redacted]. “Insufficient cash reserves” is not a force majeure event and any delay in the “resolution of numerous change orders and related claims” or failure to receive payment from [ x- Redacted] cannot excuse the Charterers’ failure to pay the Owners’ invoices due under the charterparty. Thus, the tribunal agreed with the Owners that they are entirely separate contracts and the parties did not agree that the Charterers’ liability to pay the Owners’ invoices would be contingent on the Charterers receiving payment from third parties.

Award accordingly.

Final Arbitration Award, 2 September 2020

This website removes the names of the parties and the tribunal. For more information, you can visit:

Delayed submissions – “time bar” defence failed- LMAA ICP procedure

Perhaps no surprise that the Owners raised this unsuccessful defence to a counterclaim for underperformance in the recent London Arbitration 9/23 (published in LMLN).

In London Arbitration 9/23, Owners contended that the Charterers’ counterclaim was time-barred due to delayed service of the defence submissions, based on their narrow interpretation of sub-para 5(g) of the LMAA SCP that applied to this reference. Therefore, the tribunal decided to deal first with this issue before considering the counterclaim. For the reasons found in the award summary, the sole arbitrator disagreed with the Owners’ contention and held that the counterclaim could be advanced. Readers can read more about this award on LMLN only.

Regarding London Arbitration 9/23, the arbitrators’ conclusion on the issue was proper.. Sub-para 5(g) is clear in its effect and application. In addition to that stated in the summary, the full sub-para 5(g) spells out the procedure to be adopted to ensure that the tribunal will act fairly and give each party a reasonable opportunity of putting his case and dealing with that of his opponent, as mirrored in s.33 of the AA 1996, a mandatory provision of Part I of the Act. The Owners’ narrow interpretation of sub-para 5(g) – reading parts of the clause in isolation- would render sub-para 5(g) inconsistent with s.33 (a mandatory provision).


In the below LMAA ICP Arbitration dealing with the Owners’ claim for damages for detention, the Charterers raised the defence that the Owners’ claims were time-barred. The tribunal dealt first with this issue.

The Charterer’s Lawyer has argued that ICP (2012) provides at paragraph 6 (b) that Claims
submissions […] shall be served by the Claimant within 14 days of the appointment of the second member of the tribunal or the appointment of a sole arbitrator […]. The Claims Submissions were served on 28th August 2017 considerably beyond the laid down 14 days required under ICP (2012).

The Charterer’s lawyer further argued that even if settlement discussions were underway, the Owners should have preserved its rights by applying for an extension of time in accordance with ICP (2012) paragraph 12.

The Charterer’s lawyer added that the twenty-one day safe harbour provision otherwise applicable to a failure to comply with the ICP (2012) time limits, does not apply to claims submissions. This paragraph directs that the Tribunal shall dismiss the claim unless it would not be just to require service of claims submissions at that time but that any such determination must be made at the time the claims submissions were due.

The Charterer’s lawyer accepted the benefit of the amicable resolution of disputes. However, it was submitted that there was no basis for determining that it would not be just to require timely submission of the Owner’s claim which was presented over four months after the time limit.

The Charterer’s lawyer, therefore, submitted that even if, which was denied, settlement discussions had been continuing, as the parties had selected ICP (2012) for the resolution of any disputes, it was for the Owners to seek an extension of time to protect its position. The Owners failed to submit its Claims Submissions within the laid down period or seek an extension of time. The Owner’s claims were therefore time-barred and must be dismissed

The Owners’ lawyers admitted late service of the Owner’s Claims Submissions but this they have said was because English law encourages parties to try to settle disputes amicably before resorting to formal proceedings.

The Owner’s lawyers challenged the Charterer’s lawyer’s interpretation of ICP (2012) paragraph 12. As said, it provides that the Tribunal can give the parties 21 days to comply with a relevant step in the proceedings. The Charterer did not ask the Tribunal for an Order for the service of Claims Submissions and so none was made. Furthermore, the power to dismiss a claim arises where there is a failure to serve claims submissions which was not the case as Claims Submissions were served. The Owner’s Solicitor also drew attention to Section 33 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and added that Section 33 confers wide procedural discretion on the Tribunal and dismissing the Owner’s claims would be neither just nor proportionate.


ICP (2012) paragraph 19 (a) gives discretion to depart from the procedures (other than in respect of costs) in any case which the Tribunal considers to be exceptional. The circumstances of this case, with the disputed basis of the standing of settlement negotiations between the time of the arbitrator’s appointment and the service of Claims Submissions, the Charterer’s failure to seek an Order for compliance and the fact that the time-bar issue was not raised until service of the Defence Submissions, together present exceptional circumstances. Further, ICP (2012) provides for the application of English law and therefore the Arbitration Act 1996 with its requirements for the fair and impartial resolution of, and suitable procedures for dealing with, disputes. Justice and fairness would not be served by dismissing the Owner’s claims. For the reasons set out, the Owner’s claims were not time-barred.

Final Award 15 February 2018

Note: For more information, please check on Jus Mundi awards mostly come into the public domain through enforcement under the NYC 1958.

What are the top best demurrage practices in your routine?

Thanks to Voyager for raising this interesting question and considering my brief comments below on this exciting topic.

Question: “What are the best practices you apply in your routine while working with demurrage?

One must paint the whole picture of demurrage; knowledge of the entire process is key to establishing and applying proper practices while working with demurrage. Therefore, the “Applied demurrage practices” should be checked against the whole process: from pre-fixture negotiations to dispute resolution and process evaluation & improvement to add value. 

To address this question and for easy reference, the above image briefly illustrates the demurrage practices in my routine. In particular,  it highlights the need for (i) good knowledge and understanding of market & trade practices, (ii) teamwork, i.e. collaboration with various departments within the company and 3rd parties, e.g. port agents, experts, P&I Correspondents, etc.,(iii) proper ship-shore communication and (iv) continuous process evaluation and improvement that adds value. Finally, on the right side, it reflects the whole process of demurrage, as follows.

Pre-Fixture: consider amendments or incorporation of clauses or commercial terms to the contract; potential ambiguities or inconsistencies lead to disputes. Keep up to date with market changes and developments, e.g. new proposed clauses (see BIMCO) given the evolving emissions regime or for other matters, case law and arbitration awards, P&I Club circulars, seminars, etc. Pay attention to specific details or limitations about the expected employment by making proper inquiries to agents or other parties. For example, the delays at the JCC inspection area before or after leaving Black Sea caused significant demurrage disputes, the new proposed clauses dealing with decarbonisation require further consideration, etc.

Post-Fixture: follow up with other departments on the proper performance of the contract, with particular consideration to notice provisions, cancelling clauses, Vessel’s nomination clauses (TBN) within the agreed periods and reconfirmation/substitution by other parties, compliance with the specific warranties given under the contract, declaration of port rotation (if any), etc. Also, guide the master constantly and ensure compliance with the instructions: when and where to tender NOR, whether to increase speed to arrive within a specific date/ time to tender NOR, inaccuracies in SOF or remarks to be inserted timely before the ship’s departure, documents to be submitted or evidence collected concerning potential disputes, etc.

Demurrage Collection: comply strictly with time bar provisions, pre-conditions to pay demurrage, interim payments of demurrage, proper submission of documents along with your demurrage claim and consideration of special agreements upon preparing laytime calculations, e.g. cross-check with the Vessel’s operator and chartering team before issuing the demurrage statement. For example, the parties agreed to amend the laycan dates with NOR to be tender earlier or added another port of loading or discharging (reversible, shifting time?) or declared the demurrage rate with the Vessel’s nomination/ acceptance or reached a special agreement when the Vessel waited for orders or during the period of delay given that Owners exercised a lien for unpaid freight, etc.

Dispute Resolution: this may become more complex and depends on many factors not referred to below. Again, it requires collaboration with other departments because, in most cases, the parties may settle easier when the commercial departments discuss the issue directly and preserve business relations. When this fails, how to resolve the dispute is a matter of further consideration having regard to the disputed amount, the dispute resolution options and the counterparty. Therefore, the dispute resolution provisions should always be carefully considered as these provisions may affect the party’s right to recover or significantly delay the claimed demurrage collection. For example, in some cases, the relevant clause contained pre-conditions to arbitrate, which prolonged settlement and payment of demurrage. In other cases, the clause was poorly drafted or included procedural arbitral rules unfamiliar to the parties. These prompted settlement after making discounts on the claimed demurrage amount.

Entire Process Evaluation: highlight both the drawbacks and benefits of the process; continuous evaluation and feedback are essential features of this vital stage. Suggest potential corrective actions to prevent mistakes in similar cases, e.g. issues with contract drafting/ interpretation, lack of proper communication with the ship for SOF matters or other voyage instructions or collection of evidence in similar disputes, etc. Notably,  I focus more on evaluating and improving the entire process; based on experience, this is an often neglected part by the parties leading to the same mistakes repeatedly. Besides, this is not without its challenges; likely a topic for another discussion.

*The above list is not exhaustive.

London Arbitration-“All details about, without guarantee”

In this LMAA Arbitration, the tribunal also considered three minor counterclaims. One related to a dispute about the vessel’s speed and performance.

The Underperformance claim

The charterers claimed $23,524.82 on the basis that there was underperformance on a voyage from Ponta Madeira to the South West Pass. They relied upon a X company’s report. D’s first response was that there was no speed or consumption warranty in the charter and therefore no claim could lie. This was because in Appendix A to the charter, which set out the description of the ship’s performance, appeared the words “all details about and without guarantee”.Y sought somehow to suggest that the charter did not accurately reflect the parties’ agreement. However, they did not claim rectification, a failure which itself would seem to be fatal to this contention. In any event, there was no basis for the argument. The fixture recap, although not containing the phrase in question, confirmed that all the terms and details were to be as per the “BTB” charter, i.e. the head charter which itself incorporated the “without guarantee” provision. That is enough to dispose of this point

In addition, the X report did not approach the matter properly. Y referred to D’s
criticisms of this report as being “doubtless well-trodden”. Whilst that description may be correct, if somewhat sarcastic, it is right because the criticisms are right. So, even absent the “without guarantee” point, Y had no basis for this claim.

Final Award, 13 March 2012

Note: For more information, please check on Jus Mundi awards mostly come into the public domain through enforcement under the NYC 1958.