Monday, July 15, 2024

Vague terms remain in speed and consumption clauses

Glad to share that my recent article was published in Maritime Risk International and can be found as well in i-law.

This article briefly discusses the terms even keel, deep water, calorific fuel value, and the seawater temperature found in vessel’s performance warranties. These terms started life in shipbuilding contracts and complicate the process of establishing breach and loss under a time charter party. Finally, for clarity, the article provides observations from some of the disputes that I handled for Owners, Charterers or weather routing companies (Claims Consultant). However, not all issues are addressed in this short article.

In a few published and unpublished awards, the tribunals considered and decided issues related to these terms. Also, in practice, much of the parties’ discussion centered on the burden of proof (including proof of causation-competing causes), presumptions-rebuttal by hard evidence, and implication-given the bare wording.

My previous guidebook, ‘Speed and Consumption Claims: A practical perspective and statistics'(see here: Speed and Consumption Claims: A practical perspective and statistics – Charter Party Disputes,) made a brief reference to such terms and their frequent usage in charter parties’ performance clauses (see Part III – statistics) that result in disputes.
The original post can be found here: Vague terms remain in speed and consumption clauses – Maritime Risk International (

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