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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Why do some cargo ships have more than one set of load lines marked, i. The requirements before a Notice of Readiness can be given must be met before laytime commencemenf commence. However, the Court also considered what the position would be if the charterparty required the notices of readiness to be “given” or “received” by charterers within certain periods and they are in fact given or received outside these periods. The “laytime clock” cannot begin until certain requirements are met and some event takes place which “triggers off” the commencement of laytime.

This also raises the issue as to whether The Laytime Definitions for Charterparties definition applies, can the same area of water be considered to be within more than one port?

Commencement of laytime

The most that can be said is that the charterer does not exercise his option at all unless he chooses a berth that is free or is likely to be so in a reasonable time. However, the clause may also state that Xommencement of Readiness is to be given after the vessel is “cleared by Customs”. Readiness can be defined as the laytiem being available for use by the charterers and covers the readiness of the holds, equipment and legal documents.

It does not apply where a berth is available but unreachable because, for example, of bad weather. Laytime commences at that time, as if a valid Notice of Readiness had been served then. The Laura Prima [] 1 Cokmencement Rep. If the vessel berths on arrival without delay, there can be lqytime disagreement as to when the vessel is ready and the clock starts, but if there is a delay the situation is less clear.

If the charterers and the owners who agree to voyage charter terms choose to make laytime refer to the happening of a particular event, that is the way the law will regard the commencement of laytime, not as if the contract contained in the.

Commencement of Laytime | Handybulk Shipping

The commentary issued with them says this about the deletion of the requirement that the berth be within the port:. Arrival at Destination The vessel must have arrived at the place within the port where NOR may be validly served as specified in the charterparty. For example the Asbatankvoy form provides for notice by ” letter, telegraph, wireless or telephone “. Home Topics A brief history of laytime. The charterers argued that they were not responsible for these delays.

He referred to the words of Potter LJ in “The Happy Ranger” “The commercial context and the purpose of the contractual requirement to serve NOR which is to trigger the Charterers’ obligation to unload whereby laytime starts to run immediately in the absence of express provision…” The sole and dominant purpose of NOR is to tender the vessel for loading or discharge and thus to act as the trigger for the commencement of laytime.


Often this is too simplistic to decide this point and such phrases must be read in conjunction with the other terms of the charterparty which may be much more specific about where the vessel must arrive for the purposes of tendering a Notice of Readiness.

Insight & Knowledge

PORT shall mean any area where vessels load or discharge cargo and shall include, but not be limited to, berths, wharves, anchorages, buoys and offshore facilities as well as places outside the legal, fiscal or administrative area where vessels are ordered to wait for their turn no matter the distance from that area.

Subject to lqytime express terms laytimd 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. The Master gave a Notice of Readiness when the vessel was waiting for the tide to berth. Laytime will not begin immediately upon the tendering of notice of readiness.

If the NOR is tendered but the Vessel is either not arrived or not ready or in some instances both then the notice will be invalid. The fact that the vommencement was expedited in this case by the good nature of the dock authorities in letting her in in order to prevent her from lying in the roads without sufficient coal, is one of the circumstances that have in fact resulted in her being an Arrived ship before she would otherwise have been.

Beaufort wind scale Force 4. For many years Courts and Tribunals held that the warranty “always accessible” on arrival was effectively synonymous with “reachable on arrival”.

The charterparty will often specify the means i. Laytime shall not commence before the date stipulated comkencement Part 1, except with Charterer’s sanction The vessel berthed and started discharging the next day, completing three months later.

For example, WIBON or 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.

The distinction between a dock that is blocked on more than a transient basis and a port that is too shallow to enter seems somewhat fine, unless of course one is due to a supervening event, as suggested by Commencemejt John Donaldson. Hull, Glasgow and the Weser ports, where the usual waiting area is recognised as not being within the port and therefore to stretch the definition of the port to encompass them, is at best artificial and likely to give rise to problems.

This effect operates only in the situation where a berth is not available for the vessel on its arrival. Simply stated, a berth charter obliges the owner to be all fast at the berth before his vessel can be considered as an arrived ship commencekent generally this places on him the risk of any delays in getting to the berth.

Given that an invalid NOR will not trigger the commencement of laytime, the consequences of invalidity can be serious. If therefore, there is any doubt as to the validity of the notice, it is always advisable for the master to tender a further notice. Do you have a Question or Comment? As the Court pointed out, whether the defect can be so “cured” is a question of fact rather than the law and will vary from case to case.


While ckmmencement of that promise will not alter the commencement of laytime, it may provide Owners with a claim for detention for any delay pf the vessel prior to it reaching the arrival destination.

The cause of any unreachability is immaterial and will include bad weather and other navigational reasons such as shortage of tugs in addition to port congestion. This means that the vessel must be both physically ready, in that the holds must be clean and dry and in every way fitted to carry the cargo loaded, and that any equipment which is relevant to loading or discharging must be ready e.

In the Court of Appeal, Sir John Donaldson distinguished the Reardon Smith case 12 and a case he called the Olivebank case, 13 where charterers had nominated a Danish port that the ship concerned was unable to enter owing to a prohibition by the British Government applied during the First World War, saying: In The Maratha Envoy68 the House of Lords firmly rejected an attempt to claim that notice of readiness could be given at the Weser lightship anchorage, which was the anchorage for all four Weser ports, but outside the limits of any of them.

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.

To be valid, the vessel must be at the agreed destination and be ready to commence cargo operations within the charterparty definitions, when the Notice of Readiness is given. As mentioned at the outset, the law relating to the commencement of laytime is expansive and not straightforward. Worldwide Europe European Union U. Owners were ordered to pay despatch. This could result in a considerable amount of waiting time being at the owners risk rather than at the charterers. As a rule of thumb and subject to the terms of the particular charterparty customs clearance and health clearance for the crew will not generally be needed to be granted before this requirement is satisfied, provided that it is a “mere formality” and the Master has no reason to suspect that either will not be given by the port authorities.

The most familiar is the WIBON “whether in berth or not” provision which means that under a berth charterparty, if the berth is not immediately accessible, the notice of readiness may be given when the vessel is in the port in which the berth is situated.

The option is to choose a port or berth or dock, that is one that is commenncement fit for the purpose of delivery. It therefore seems likely that this subject will again come before the courts before very long.

Similarly a WIPON “whether in port or not” provision will enable the notice in certain circumstances to be tendered even if the vessel has not yet entered the port area. It is important that these requirements are followed strictly because if an NOR is invalid on tendering, it cannot subsequently become valid.