12-03-2018

Demurrage time bar and complete non performance - London Arbitration 3/18

Further to the recent demurrage time bar decision of the English Commercial Court in the "Ocean Neptune", a London Tribunal has considered another interesting question in relation to demurrage time bars. 

In London Arbitration 3/18 the dispute concerned a demurrage time bar clause requiring all supporting documents within 90 days "after completion of discharge at last discharging port".  The voyage was never completed and after the NOR had been given at the load port charterers told owners that they were cancelling the fixture.  Owners claimed demurrage but charterers argued the claim was time barred.

The tribunal held they could not imply a term on what date should be read into the clause in circumstances of complete non-performance. Express wording would have been needed for the time bar to operate in these circumstances.

For charterers the moral of this decision is clear: word your demurrage time bar clauses with care.

Source: Mr. David Morriss / Holman Fenwick Willan

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