Voyage Charters

Page 814

Chapter 23


13. Agency1 138
  In every case the Owners shall appoint his own Broker or Agent both 139
  at the port of loading and the port of discharge. 140

Appointment of port agents

23.1 Under the Gencon agency clause, as under many voyage charters, the right and the duty of selecting and appointing agents to attend the ship at loading and discharging ports is vested in the owners. The clause may be contrasted with the provision normally found in time charters to the effect that the master shall be under the orders and directions of the charterers as regards employment and agency, which obliges the master or owners to appoint the agent nominated by the charterers.2 23.2 The reference in the clause to a “broker” is perhaps surprising, since in modern commercial practice there is no reason why owners whose ship is operating under charter should require the services of a broker at either port. If the ship is employed by the charterers as a general ship it is they rather than the owners who might require the services of a loading broker. Historically, however, ships were often fixed for the return voyage by local agents at the end of the outward voyage, and the purpose of the reference may be to exclude the result reached in some cases, decided under charters which provided that the ship was to be “consigned to charterers’ agents” to the effect that the charterers’ selected agent was entitled not only to attend the vessel but also to find a return cargo, and for his services to recover from the owner a commission on the return freight, for which the charterer could sue as trustee for the agent.3

Duty and authority of port agents

23.3 The obligations and the authority of a ship’s agent at the loading or discharging port are governed by the terms of the express instructions which he receives from his principal and,

Page 815

subject to those, by any relevant usage at the port in question. Where the agent is simply instructed in general terms, his duties were described as follows by Pearson L.J. in Blandy Bros. v. Nello Simoni:4

The ship’s agent is, in the normal case, the agent of the shipowner at the particular port, and the ship’s agent, therefore, at that port stands in the shoes of the shipowner; and it is reasonable to suppose that he has the authority to do whatever the shipowner has to do at that port. We have then to consider what normally are the obligations of the shipowner.

The rest of this document is only available to i-law.com online subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, click Log In button.

Copyright © 2024 Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited. Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 13831625 and address 5th Floor, 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD, United Kingdom. Lloyd's List Intelligence is a trading name of Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited.

Lloyd's is the registered trademark of the Society Incorporated by the Lloyd's Act 1871 by the name of Lloyd's.