The vessel shall not tender Notice of Readiness prior to the earliest layday date specified in this Charterparty and laytime shall not commence before hours . Four key events must occur before the commencement of laytime begins. 3. Commencement of laytime. Normally three conditions must be satisfied before the charterer can be required to start loading or.

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Charterers on the other hand claimed that time commenced only when discharge actually commenced on 19th February.

A brief history of laytime – Skuld

Comemncement nominated Ravenna, which the ship was unable to enter. Owners would still benefit from the Master giving repeat Notices of Readiness and from having a charterparty “backstop” clause providing that in the event that no valid Notice of Readiness had been tendered by commencement of cargo operations, laytime will commence at that time.

Conversely, brokers using the Gencon 94 form of charter should consider whether to include amending it to restrict tender of notices of readiness to within the port in question. Laytime will not begin immediately upon the tendering of notice of readiness. Charterers withheld the amount for the same period on the basis that clauses 5 and 31 of the Charterparty were to be read and interpreted separately.

One such event is the vessel must be an “arrived ship” and another is that a “Notice commencsment Readiness” must be given to.

It is more accurately described as a berth charter with one or more provisions advancing the commencement of laytime. If the notice is invalid, then in the absence of a waiver by charterers on which see below laytime will not commence at all, even if the charterers knew or ought to have known that laytie vessel was in all respects ready.

The vessel berthed and started discharging the next day, completing three months later. There is a distinction however between an invalid notice and one that is uncontractual in that it has been tendered to the wrong party or at the wrong time of day. The Court of Appeal disagreed, stating that Charterer’s interpretation of the Charterparty specifically clause 31 was “unrealistic, uncommercial and a trap for the unwary Master or Owner’s agent”.

The Global Laytiime Cap: While the UK government stresses that it is still working on and hoping for a negotiated outcome. The charter is a contract and, as the judge said in the above case, “a contract is a contract” and if there is any dispute arbitrators and the courts will regard a contract strictly.


In that case, however, the vessel becomes an Arrived ship when she gets within the larger area named in the charter, i. The “laytime clock” cannot begin until certain requirements are met and some event takes place which “triggers off” the commencement of laytime.

ot Whether there has been such an acceptance will depend on the facts of each case. Parties often give serious consideration to issues of arrival and readiness when tendering NOR, but give less consideration to the form and content of the NOR itself. If not, then the vessel will not be ready to receive the cargo and laytime will not commence until such time as it is ready. Clause 14 of the Shellvoy 3 form of charter which unlike most tanker charterparties is a berth charter requires the vessel to be securely moored before laytime can commence and this, it is suggested, would be ocmmencement position in any event.

If the Owner refused this would amount to a withdrawal of the NOR. The charterers argued that they were not responsible for these delays. It was not until two days later however that the vessel arrived at Baton Rouge general anchorage but, due to the designated berth being unavailable, loading did not commence until later the following day. The readiness must exist at the time notice is given.

Commencement of Laytime – Glencore Grain Ltd v Flacker Shipping Ltd (“Happy Day”) – Transport – UK

The distinction between a dock that is blocked on more than a transient basis and a port that is too shallow to enter seems somewhat fine, unless of course one is due to a supervening event, as suggested by Sir John Donaldson. BERTH shall mean the specific place where the Vessel is to load or discharge and shall include, but not be limited to, any wharf, anchorage, offshore laytimd or other location used for that purpose.

This may make good sense but it was not what the charter states. When these conditions have been met, the vessel is an Arrived ship and, subject to the expiry of any period prescribed in the charter, laytime begins to run.

The charterers ordered the vessel to discharge at Porto Torres in Sardinia and, after arrival at that port, ordered her in succession to proceed to Houston for orders, which the owners challenged, to wait outside Porto Torres for instructions, to proceed to New York for orders and finally to discharge at Genoa.


This event is the giving of a Notice of Readiness. What will constitute a waiver of the defect or acceptance of an invalid notice is considered in more detail below. The vessel proceeded to the dock, which was tidal, but was forced to leave during loading because of steadily falling tides, returning later as the spring tides approached. Charterers argued that no valid Notice of Readiness was given, and therefore laytime never started. In the case of The Mexico 1,a document headed “Notice of Readiness” was given by the master when the vessel was not actually ready to discharge the cargo carried under the voyage charter in dispute.

Similarly, customs clearance and health clearance for the crew is often only obtainable on berthing, and are considered to be usual formalities that will not generally affect a vessel’s legal readiness. Accordingly, the charterers were entitled to insist on a further notice of readiness in order for laytime to commence unless they had in the meantime waived their right to a further notice or agreed that it would not be necessary. The earlier High Court decision had been widely criticised within the industry as the judge’s decision was felt to unfairly benefit charterers.

A new master joins a UK ship at an overseas port. Disagreement may give rise to further disputes between the contracting parties. Beaufort wind scale Force 0. Beaufort wind scale Force 5. In accepting their arguments, the Judge relied on the Court of Appeal decision in the “MEXICO I” [] which made clear that when a notice is to be given in order to start laytime running, this must be a valid notice and not an “inchoate” or “delayed action device” seeking to commence laytime automatically on the happening of a certain event.

When Does Laytime Commence?

At common law, the notice may be given orally or in writing. Occasionally, however, a charter specifies a particular wharf or jetty, which may have, say, two or three berths on it, but such a charter is usually held to be of the same character as a berth charter. When Owners subsequently submitted a demurrage claim to Charterers, a dispute arose as to the time to count at the loadport.

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