Voyage Charters

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Chapter 48

Quarantine and Fumigation

(a) QUARANTINE. Should the Charterer send the Vessel to any port or place where a quarantine exists, any delay thereby caused to the Vessel shall count as used laytime; but should the quarantine not be declared until the Vessel is on passage to such port, the Charterer shall not be liable for any resulting delay.
(b) FUMIGATION. If the Vessel, prior to or after entering upon this Charter, has docked or docks at any wharf which is not rat-free or stegomyia-free, she shall, before proceeding to a rat-free or stegomyia-free wharf, be fumigated by the Owner at his expense, except that if the Charterer ordered the Vessel to an infected wharf the Charterer shall bear the expense of fumigation.


48.1 Clause 17(a) differentiates between orders given to owners to proceed to quarantine ports depending on the time of the declaration of the state of quarantine.2 If the charterers order the vessel to a port which is already quarantined when the order is given, delay “thereby caused” counts against the charterer’s laytime. However, should the state of quarantine be declared when the vessel is on passage to a quarantined port, no liability to the charterers is to result. The clause deals solely with the charterer’s responsibility for time lost as a result of quarantine restrictions. In those cases where the charterer’s responsibility is excluded by the clause, the owner will receive no demurrage or damages for detention in respect of the delay, but his own liability for deterioration of the cargo, or for late delivery, is excluded by Article IV rule 2(h) of the Hague Rules. The clause does not deal with other potential problems, such as whether, in the case of extended delay, the charterer is obliged or entitled to issue a revised order3 or whether the charter is frustrated.4

“Should the charterer send the vessel”

48.2 This phrase suggests an active order on the charterer’s part, and seems inapplicable to the case where the port is named in the charter, and no further act of nomination on the part of the charterer is required.

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48.3 Clause 17(b) is mainly self-explanatory, but raises the familiar question of whether berthing orders given by receivers or port authorities are to be treated as the orders of charterers for the purpose of the clause.5 Stegomyia is a species of mosquito which carries yellow fever.

U.S. Law

48A.1 Clause 17 applies to delays arising from a quarantine existing at a port nominated by the charterer. Port requirements regarding routine inspection by health authorities do not affect the commencement of laytime under clause 6, and laytime is interrupted only if the vessel is delayed by health authorities so as to affect cargo operations.6