Voyage Charters

Page 959

Chapter 39


8. DEMURRAGE. Charterer shall pay demurrage per running hour and pro rata for a part thereof at the rate specified in Part I for all time that loading and discharging and used laytime as elsewhere herein provided exceeds the allowed laytime elsewhere herein specified. If, however, demurrage shall be incurred at ports of loading and/or discharge by reason of fire, explosion, storm or by a strike, lockout, stoppage or restraint of labor or by breakdown of machinery or equipment in or about the plant of the Charterer, supplier, shipper or consignee of the cargo, the rate of demurrage shall be reduced one-half of the amount stated in Part I per running hour or pro rata for part of an hour for demurrage so incurred. The Charterer shall not be liable for any demurrage for delay caused by strike, lockout, stoppage or restraint of labor of Master, officers and crew of the Vessel or tugboat or pilots.


39.1 The parties must agree the demurrage rate in Part I(I), and demurrage at the agreed rate is then payable “per running hour and pro rata”.1 Unless the charter form is amended by the parties, or the bill of lading contains special stipulations not found in the prescribed form, only the charterer is liable for demurrage, and the shipper and bill of lading holder are under no personal liability, although the owner may exercise the lien for demurrage against them.2 39.2 The first sentence of clause 8 seeks to define the basic period for which demurrage is payable. In The Tsukuba Maru,3 it was argued by the charterer that the expression “loading and discharging and used laytime” meant only those periods actually used in loading and discharging, and such periods as were expressly stated to be used laytime under other provisions of the charter. Rejecting this argument, Mocatta J. held that “used laytime” was not a term of art, adding:

I do not consider that the first sentence of clause 8 is only dealing with time actually used in discharging (I omit loading) together with used laytime as elsewhere provided in the charterparty. I think the sentence applies to any time that exceeds the 72 permitted hours before the operation of discharging is completed, excluding of course the time taken by the vessel travelling from the loading port to the discharging port … and adding as time counting against the 72 hours what is described at various places in the charterparty as used laytime although no use in fact is being made of the laytime in question for loading and discharging as the case may be.

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