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Thursday, April 19, 2018

CHARTER PARTY INFORMATION

ASTRA OIL TRADING AG – STANDARD CHARTERING TERMS

We would like to bring to our members’ attention some of the terms of Astra Oil Trading AG contained in their standard terms and amendments to the Asbatankvoy form of charterparty dated 15 January 1998. The clauses we would like to highlight are as follows:

25 – Major Oil Companies Acceptance and Exxon Drug and Alcohol Policy

“Owners warrant that at the time of fixing the vessel is accepted by the major oil companies, and will remain so during the charter…Owners to provide status report of major oil company inspections and acceptances including dates and expirations.”

This clause does not accord with the current vetting practice of many oil companies.

29 – Discharge/Reload

“Charterers shall have the option to top off and/or discharge and/or blend and/or reload part or full cargo which may differ in quality from the original cargo loaded, but still consistent with c/p terms at one or more safe port(s) or sts location(s) throughout the voyage.

Charterers shall reimburse owner for: any additional time used for deviation and in port (except for delays due to vessel’s breakdown and/or failure) at the agreed charter party demurrage rate, port charges, bunkers consumed, cleaning and/or other additional expenses incurred in the performance of this clause, limited, however, to expenses which exceed those owner would have incurred in the performance of the basis voyage. Deviation time at sea shall be calculated based on the BP worldwide marine distance tables at the agreed minimum charter party speed.

Discharge/reload port(s) or location(s) shall not count as additional load or discharge port(s) or location(s) and charterer shall not be restricted by geographical rotation or by the load/discharge ranges specified in the base charter party…”

What is not clear within this clause is whether charterers have the option to reload a full cargo at the final discharge port for carriage to any other port at the demurrage rate plus expenses. This is due to the wording: “…charterer shall not be restricted by geographical rotation or by the load/discharge ranges specified in the base charter party”. However, given that the option is available “throughout the voyage”, as specified in the first paragraph of the clause, it is arguable that the option is only available at interim ports of call and not at the port of final destination. The meaning of the clause would be made clearer by the qualification that the option is only available at interim ports.

31 – Voyage Performance Speed

“It is understood and agreed that the voyage is to be performed at about … knots, weather and safe navigation permitting.”

We have previously highlighted speed clauses in voyage charterers as owners should consider the possible effects of under and over performance of a vessel on any claim for demurrage.

A copy of these terms is available on request from john.fawcett-ellis@intertanko.com

 

SARAS RAFFINERIE S.P.A. – CHARTERING TERMS DATED JULY 2000

Saras Raffinerie S.P.A. issued new chartering terms in July 2000. We have reviewed these terms and commented on the clauses concerning: laytime; late arrival and time bar. Our comments can be found below:

7 – Laytime

“…Owners guarantee that vessel is able to receive oil at a rate of minimum …tons/hrs. In case loading shall not be performed as warranted above due to the vessel, time so lost not to count as used laytime/demurrage and owners cannot claim damages for detention in respect thereof.”

Owners should take note of this clause as it may be a source of dispute on the running of laytime/demurrage during the loading operations. In such a situation the master should be instructed to issue a letter of protest where the delay is not due to the vessel.

8 – Late Arrival

“Should the charterers not exercise the option of cancelling this c/p provided by clause 5 of part II of Asbatankvoy they will be entitled to keep the vessel on roads as long as needed and required by terminal/shore installation and first 48hrs to be for owners account. Time so lost shall count as one half used laytime and once on demurrage the rate of demurrage will be reduced by half on the amount stated in part I for demurrage so incurred. In any event owners cannot claim damages for detention in respect thereof all expenses incurred as a result of what above shall be for the owner’s account.”

Usually, if charterers fail to exercise an option to cancel a charter, the charter and its terms will remain in full force and effect. This clause, however, alters this and provides that time shall count at half rate.

10 – Time Bar

“Charterers shall be discharged and released from all and any liability in respect of any claims owners may have under this C/P (such as, but not limited to claims for deadfreight, demurrage, detention, shifting expenses) unless a claim has been presented to charterers in writing with supporting documents within sixty (60) days from completion of discharge of the cargo concerned under this C/P.”

Most charterers contain time bar provisions which require claims to be submitted within 90 days of completion of discharge of the cargo. This clause, on the other hand, only allows 60 days.

To obtain a full set of these terms please contact:

 john.fawcett-ellis@intertanko.com