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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Ships are normally fixed for a voyage to or from a particular port. The importance of carefully reviewing the charterparty when a laytime and demurrage issue arises cannot be overstated. Thus port limits may be defined by law or by custom and the extent of the port may be different for administrative, laytimee, geographical and commercial purposes.

It seems to me there are many reasons which may expedite or delay the arrival of a ship in the place from which her time was to count. The Court held that in such cases provided the notice was otherwise correct the notice would be non-contractual and therefore wrong but not invalid at the time it was cpmmencement.

The “expiry” is usually stated in the commnecement 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.

Steamship Mutual – When Does Laytime Commence?

Notice of Readiness and the commencement of laytime. It does, however, allow the charterer to totally change the agreed voyage at any stage en route. If the Notice of Readiness is invalid when given, it will be ineffective to trigger the laytime or to start the “laytime clock” upon the expiry of the stipulated period of notice.

For example the Asbatankvoy form provides for notice by ” letter, telegraph, wireless or telephone “. There has been heated and passionate debate in academic circles and industry publications about the pros and cons of the Rotterdam Rules. Readiness can be defined as the vessel being available for use by the charterers and covers the readiness of the holds, equipment and legal documents. However in the recent case of The Aconcagua Bay [] the Commercial Court confirmed that “accessible” is wider than the term “reachable” and covers both arrival at the berth and departure from the berth.


The words “unless the charterparty otherwise provides” have a meaning if the phrase “whether in berth or not” is inserted into the “laytime clause” of a berth charter: Where is the Agreed Destination? Where a single berth was specified in the charterparty as being the place of loading or of discharge, the loading voyage or the carrying voyage did not end until the vessel was at that very berth.

It is somewhat surprising that there was no English authority as to when laytime will, in these circumstances, and in the absence of any other clauses in the charter party, start to run.

Commencement of Laytime in Voyage Charterparties

The second requirement for the commencement of laytime is that the vessel must be ready to load or vommencement the cargo when the agreed destination is reached and the notice of readiness is given. The relevant clauses were: This finding was upheld by the Court of Appeal, who also held that to constitute a valid order to proceed to a port of discharge, the order must be a firm one. Therefore, this article cmmencement intended to be a brief overview of the main conditions that are generally required for laytime or, if applicable, demurrage to commence, together with lajtime to the significant supporting case law underpinning the guiding principles.

Owners were ordered to pay despatch. It was further held that the general principle set out above should not be extended so as to hold that a representation that the nominated port was to be the sole discharging port constituted the exercise of a right of election or selection and that, even if that was wrong, the charterers were entitled to change their nomination under clause M1 of Porto Torres as sole discharge port to Genoa as sole discharge commencwment.

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 vessel must be ready in a business and mercantile sense. Anticipatory arrival is not arrival and anticipatory readiness is not readiness. Then, if you want to find out how far the port extends beyond the place of loading and unloading, what is the next test you would apply?


In ‘ The Johanna Oldendorff ‘ commencemsnt House of Lords held that in such cases a ship can only be said to have arrived when it is at the ‘immediate and effective disposition of the charterer’. Worldwide Europe European Union U.

It is more accurately described as a berth charter with one or more provisions advancing the commencement of laytime. One such event is the vessel must be an “arrived ship” and another is that a “Notice of Readiness” must be given to.

The option is to choose a port or berth or dock, that is one that is reasonably fit for the purpose of delivery.

This will require two prerequisites to be fulfilled, namely, the vessel must be an “arrived ship” and it must be physically and legally “ready” to receive or deliver the cargo. In order therefore, to be absolutely certain that time will start to count at the earliest opportunity, if there is any doubt as to the validity of the original notice the master should issue a further notice of readiness.

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. Determining when laytime commences can be contentious and, as with many charterparty disputes, will depend upon a careful consideration of the charterparty clauses in the light of the facts.

The Global Sulphur Cap: Similarly, a clause WIPON “whether in port or not” addresses the situation where a vessel is an arrived ship but cannot wait within port limits due to port congestion. 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 local time on the earliest layday unless Charterer consents in writing.

We will consider each requirement in turn.

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