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Strict application of demurrage time bars confirmed by English Commercial Court

In the "OCEAN NEPTUNE" [2018] EWHC 163 (Comm) the Commercial Court considered whether a demurrage claim was barred under a contractual time bar provision. The fixture recap email incorporated amended versions of the ExxonMobilVoy2005 form and the LITASCO clauses. LITASCO Clause 2B listed the documents that had to be presented within 90 days of final discharge. Owners had failed to do this and the court found the claim was time barred. The judgment emphasised the importance of these common provisions in voyage charters, meaning claims can be investigated contemporaneously with charterers having all the necessary factual information to decide the validity of the claim. This case reconfirms that it will be difficult for owners to succeed in demurrage claims where the time bar provisions have not been strictly complied with.

Source: Mr. David Morriss / Holman Fenwick Willan

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