Whether Charterers were entitled to make deduction of hire and, in particular, whether the vessel was off-hire from 18.00 hrs November 15, 201 0 till 04.00 hrs November 17, 2010?
OWNER TIME CHARTER (BALTIME 1939) TIME CHARTERERS VOYAGE CHARTER VOYAGE CHARTERERS BILL OF LADING CARGO INTEREST
TIME CHARTERERS OWNER S CLEAN B/L? YES, BUT VS LOI SURVEY SHIP TO SAIL BEFORE 15/11 DRAFT B/L? NO REPLY 15/11 NO WAY FOR CLEAN B/L AS REMARKS OF SURVEYOR OFF-HIRE NOTICE 16/11 CLEAN B/L ISSUED 17/11 SHIP SAILS TWO DAYS OFF-HIRE? OR MAYBE NOT? 50 000 $ AT STAKE
“ Under the terms of the Time Charter Party Master was to issue bill of lading in accordance with mate’s receipt (clause 37). He was not obliged to issue clean bill of lading where mate’s receipt was claused. Can see no basis on which Charterers were entitled to place the vessel off hire and to make deduction of hire.”
OWNERS’ POSITION: “ Charterers were not entitled to order Owners to issue clean bill of lading and so have no basis for arguing that the time taken to consider Owner’s request, to agree the terms of LOI and to issue bill of lading is for Owner’s account. Owners could simply have refused Charterer’s request and all the time taken would have been for Charterers’ account.”
CHARTERERS’ POSITION: “ Master should have followed Charterers’ instructions (clause 9 and clause 33) and, although clause 26 provides for what can and what can’t be deducted from hire, clause 27 provides that „Vessel is off hire when not ready to sail and follow Charterers’ instructions”.” “ By advising to issue clean bill of lading in exchange of LOI, by providing Charterers with Owners proforma LOI, by finally issuing clean bill of lading in exchange of LOI, Owners have expressly or impliedly confirmed that they were discussing and then followed what they now call Charterers’ illegitimate orders and by doing so Owners expressly or impliedly contested to, ratified and endorsed the legality of Charterers’ orders. Therefore Charterers’ position re deduction of hire is justified.” “ Charterers believe that the delay could have been avoided would there be a clear and unchangeable position of Owners.”
THERE WAS SOME MISCOMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARTIES AND BOTH PARTIES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT TO SOME DEGREE. SUGGESTION: TO SPLIT THE DEDUCTION 50/50.
QUESTION: Whether the vessel was off-hire from 14.11 hrs December 17, 2010 till 06.00 hrs December 18, 2010?
TIME CHARTERERS MASTER OWNER (RIC) YES PROCEED TO CRETE (RIC) YES 17/11 SHIP SAILS TO CRETE 1 8 /11 RETURN TO MALTA YES BUNKERING AT MALTA SHIP RETURS TO MALTA BUNKERING AT CRETE OFF-HIRE? 50.000 $ AT STAKE OR MAYBE NOT? YES
Owner’s position: „ Master soon as received instructions from your side to sail without bunkering asked us for bunker availability at Souda port (Crete) and we informed Master that at Souda port (Crete) there was no bunker available. After that Master informed you that it was not safe to proceed without having booked bunker in Souda port (Crete), especially in winter. Also we would like to point out that Master saved Charterers’ responsibility for many many huge amount, so there is no fault from Owners’ side.”
Charterers’s position: „ Decision to proceed to port of discharge without bunkering at Malta was made in consideration with Master, who has not given any protest on critical quantity of bunker as per ISM regulations upon moment of making such decision, and verbally (by phone) agreed to proceed to Crete. Owners were in copy of every correspondence. In any case Charterers were not granted to make any orders to Master/Owners with regard to ISM/ISPS regulations.” „ We base our claim on the fact that Master had approved procedure to proceed further, sailed to Crete without waiting for weather improvement and then later on, after several hours Master/Owners had changed their mind and requested bunkering. Charterers had lost time/bunker while going back to Malta.”