The vessel shall not tender Notice of Readiness prior to the earliest layday date specified in this Charterparty and laytime shall not commence before hours . Four key events must occur before the commencement of laytime begins. 3. Commencement of laytime. Normally three conditions must be satisfied before the charterer can be required to start loading or.

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For laytime to have commenced, a vessel must have arrived at the place where cargo operations are to be performed.

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Accordingly, the charterers were entitled to insist on a further notice of readiness in order for laytime to commence unless they had in the meantime waived their lxytime to a further notice or agreed that it would not be necessary. The charterers ordered the vessel to discharge at Porto Torres in Sardinia and, after arrival at that port, ordered her in succession to proceed to Houston for orders, which the owners challenged, to wait outside Porto Torres for instructions, to proceed to New York for orders and finally to discharge at Genoa.

In those circumstances, a shipowner will be entitled to tender NOR if the vessel has reached the usual waiting area for the port, irrespective if that area is outside port limits. Commncement the phrases quoted have other applications in the charterparty and are agreed, for example, to limit the number of berths that may be used in each port.

The content of this article does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on in that way.

Commencement of Laytime

Given that an invalid NOR will not trigger the commencement of ov, the consequences of invalidity can be serious. The “expiry” is usually stated in the laytime clause, so that the laytime commences to count against the charterer at a specific instant or after a specified number of hours, after the “notice” has been given.

What should the master look for when they join, and what should be his priorities? Although it is sufficient that the relevant equipment can be ready when actually required. In such cases, the Master may consider the end of sea passage as denoting arrival but in fact the particular configuration or practice of the port may mean that this is incorrect.

These have assisted in the development and clarification of this area of the law. The day after ETAs were provided, the charterers changed their nomination to Batumi, where the vessel was expected to arrive after the right to cancel arose.


Food, Drugs, Healthcare, Life Sciences. This may be in the form of a warranty on the part of the charterers that, upon arrival at the loading or discharging port, the vessel will be able to proceed directly to berth.

What will constitute a waiver of the defect or acceptance of an invalid notice is considered in more detail below.

In general terms, there are three conditions which need to be satisfied under most charterparties before laytime can commence. For example, WIBON “whether in berth or not” in a berth charter has the effect of allowing an NOR to be tendered prior to reaching the berth, as contractual destination, if the berth is unavailable due to congestion. Before a vessel can start work there are a number of documentary procedures which are owners responsibility including customs clearance, crew clearance and checks on stability.

However, there are still some grey areas. The position is less straightforward for a “port charter” where the vessel, to be an arrived ship, must reach the named port and must have either reached the intended berth or, if the berth is not available, a place within the port where waiting ships usually lie.

This was clearly not the case and the notice was therefore invalid and could not trigger the commencement of laytime. Real Estate and Construction. The charterers may choose to accept an otherwise invalid notice. Then we were told that an option was given to the charterer, and that it was not properly exercised unless a berth was chosen that was empty. Arrival Subject to the express terms of the charterparty, once the vessel has arrived at the agreed destination, it will be an ‘arrived ship’ for the purposes of calculating when the laytime should start to run.

Of the nomination of the specific dock by the charterers, Bovill CJ said: Therefore, under a berth charter, the risk of congestion or other delays in berthing is generally allocated to the shipowner rather than the charterer.

But I think there was a confusion in this argument also. The vessel must be ready — as well as having arrived at the agreed destination, the vessel must be ready to load or discharge the cargo.

It is therefore important that both owners and charterers are able to effectively analyse the terms of the charterparty which deal with the conditions which need to be satisfied before the laytime clock starts running. Therefore the NOR was tendered in a non-contractual manner but was not invalid.

Commencement of laytime

Ships are normally fixed for a voyage to or from a particular port. Both the maize and the beans were overstowed by parts of the completion cargo. All the above must be proved by owners. Because when ordered to berth and load before the laydays owners were obliged to do so it makes no commercial sense that owners should also seek a separate express agreement to the commencement of laytime, particularly if, and if charterers construction of clause 31 was correct, such a request could be met by a refusal and threat to hold owners liable to indemnify charterers for any time lost time from not following charterers orders.


We will consider each requirement in turn. Click here to register your Interest. However, this acceptance must be in clear comemncement and in these circumstances owners will leave themselves open to the argument that this acceptance was induced by an incorrect representation in the notice as happened in the “MEXICO I”. The owners claimed that laytime commenced when the cargo became fully accessible on 6th February.


The Voylayrules 36 defined berth in the following lattime They argued that ordering a vessel to start loading before the commencement of laydays did not amount to express consent that laytime should start before the first layday. Neither of these cases had to decide whether laytime could start at all when no valid NOR was given and if it could, when it would commence.

Therefore, readiness does not involve completion of minor or routine formalities. More from this Firm. Probably the answer is that by implication it can. Laydays were due to commence 9 January but it became apparent that the vessel would arrive early at the commrncement port.

Before the Court of Appeal, Charterers maintained their position that the necessary written consent to sanction the early commencement of laytime had not been given. Insight Commencement commence,ent laytime: The second requirement for the commencement of laytime is that the vessel must be ready to load or discharge the cargo when the agreed destination is reached and the notice of readiness is given.

Coming to and Investing in the UK. Both these arguments were rejected by Greer J, who said: The Court of Appeal held that where: Subject to the express terms of the charterparty, once the vessel has arrived at the agreed destination, it will be an ‘arrived ship’ for the purposes of calculating when the laytime should start to run. It is more accurately described as a berth charter with one or more provisions advancing the commencement of laytime.

Charter parties may indicate that if notice of readiness is given after