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Charterer’s obligations under the voyage charter (PDF)

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					                                  Charterer’s obligations under the voyage charter
                                               Igor Sterzhantov©2012



Charterer’s obligations under the voyage charter
By Igor Sterzhantov©2011

www.lawandsea.net

Introduction
The charterer’s duties under a voyage charter are:

    1. To nominate port of loading and discharging;
    2. To provide the goods for loading and
    3. To load and later to discharge the goods at the discharging port.

Breach any of these obligations will not give to the shipowner right to rescind the charter but
only sue for damages, unless such breach if of frustrating character.

Obligation to nominate port
The charterer should nominate the port of loading and discharging and this nomination is in no
way limited by any consideration of the shipowner’s convenience or expense which would be
incurred in complying with this nomination, but subject only to safe port/berth warranty. The
charterer is impliedly obliged not to nominate an utterly impossible port, because that would
be practically no exercise of the option1 at all, but otherwise he is free to nominate as he
chooses2. Definition of an impossible port was made by Willmer L.J. in Reardon Smith Line Ltd.
v. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food [1961] 3 W.L.R. 110 at p 155:

         … assuming in favour of the shipowners that the charterers were under an implied
         obligation not to nominate an impossible port, I am of opinion that a port only becomes
         an impossible port for this purpose when loading thereat will subject the ship to such
         delay as will frustrate the commercial object of the adventure, so that the voyage when
         performed will be something different from that contracted for.

Generally nomination is to be made by the charterer or his agent, but voyage charter may
expressly provide by whom and how nomination to be made. Sometimes, when “… or so near
thereto as she may safely get” clause3 comes into operation, the shipowner will have a liberty
to load or discharge at other port than nominated, in which case, if the owner exercise this
option, he may be deemed to warrant safety of berth or port which he chooses.

The law implies that nomination of load port or ports shall be made within reasonable time, but
early enough to avoid any delays which the vessel can suffer from the absence of such
nomination. As to nomination of discharge port, some charters as, for example, the Gencon
form, specifies that it must be made “on signing bills of lading”. Usually, when no separate


1
  Per Bowen L.J. in Tharsis Sulphur & Copper Co. v Morel Bros. & Co. [1891] 2 Q.B. 647
2
  Reardon Smith Line Ltd. v. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food [1961] 3 W.L.R. 110; [1962] 1 QB 42
3
  See or so near thereto as she may safely get.

                                                     Page 1
                            Charterer’s obligations under the voyage charter
                                         Igor Sterzhantov©2012


nomination received by the time of signing of bills of lading, then issue of bills of lading
specifying discharging port is deemed to amount to such nomination.

Irrevocability of nomination was underlined in The Jasmine B [1992] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 39 by

Read this article in full on:
http://www.lawandsea.net/CP_Voy/Charterparty_Voyage_Charterers_Duties_Tonominatejport
.html

Read more on shipping law and carriage of goods by sea on http://www.lawandsea.net




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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: The charterer should nominate the port of loading and discharging and this nomination is in no way limited by any consideration of the shipowner’s convenience or expense which would be incurred in complying with this nomination, but subject only to safe port/berth warranty. The charterer is impliedly obliged not to nominate an utterly impossible port, because that would be practically no exercise of the option at all, but otherwise he is free to nominate as he chooses.