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关于NOR及Laytime计算的最新仲裁判例-London Arbitration 15/21

发布者:海员网|更新时间:2021-05-25 21:44:07|咨询可以加微信:cyfu01 | 407人评论)

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  近期在一伦敦仲裁案例1中,再次涉及了NOR递交与滞期费计算争议。在该仲裁中,船东请求赔偿109,495.83美元的滞期费。船东认为在密西西比河内的Davant装货港发生了这些滞期费;但是承租人否认承担赔偿责任,相反认为有时间节省,他们有权获得速遣费6,359.38美元。

  在该仲裁案中至关重要的问题是,如果有的话,所谓的UBT规则并入租船确认书的效果。UBT规则是泊位运营商对使用的泊位用户以合同方式强加的规则。

  租船合同确认书相关条款规定如下2

  装港,1个 UBT Davant的安全港口,UBT规则并入该租船合同。

  如果泊位被占,或者船舶在抵达或在港外无法驶往该泊位的话,NOR可以用电传,传真递交;无论在泊位与否,无论清关与否,无论获得免检疫入港许可与否,无论在港与否。

  在装卸港,装卸时间在有效装备就绪通知书递交12个小时候开始起算,除非更早开始装卸货。如果那样,实际使用的时间计算装卸时间。

  并入的UBT Rules,其中规定3

  如果要装载一艘远洋船舶,则递交准备就绪通知书即意味着该船舶(1)已获得所有必要的政府批准,检查和许可,包括但不限于美国海关的要求,服务和移民归化服务;(2)位于泊位或最近可用的锚地(如以下第2.5节所定义);(3)准备好并在各方面均适合在所有待装货舱中接收货物;(4)已与码头确认已将货物装载至船舶,并已在码头存储,或者,如果要直接转移货物,则将货物装在码头船队的驳船中;(5)确定该货物的状况使船舶当事方和所有监管当局满意。除非满足上述五个条件,否则准备就绪通知将被视为无效。此外,用户特别承认,温度,湿度和重量的变化以及自燃的变化是与处理煤炭,石油焦炭和其他货物相关的内在问题。在装卸货物之前,用户的验船师应确定货物的温度,湿度和状况令人满意。

  2.5最近可用的锚地

  正常情况下,要求远洋船舶提交泊位申请以利用码头设施的锚地在Davant锚地(53.5-54.5 LDB海里)或离路易斯安那州达芬特最近的锚地。

  该船于4月13日约1400到SW Pass,但因港口拥堵而无法直接靠泊。船长于当天1524递交了NOR。然后,该船等到4月17日中午1200,引航员登船,将船舶引到到51海里处的锚地,于4月17日的1824抵达。在抵达该锚地之后不久,该船做了初始水尺检验并通过了货舱检验,船长递交了第二个NOR,并备注该NOR不影响第一个NOR的有效性。

  船舶一直到4月24日1400才最终靠泊,当时船长又递交了第三个NOR,同样批注不影响早先NOR的有效性。

  船东争辩说,第一个NOR是有效的,并且装卸货时间以此为基础开始起算。承租人声称依据UBT规则,并说时间只有在船舶靠泊后才开始计算。承租人认为,UBT规则优先于船东和承租人之间另行商定的任何冲突条款。根据UBT规则,在递交有效的NOR之前,该船必须处于装卸泊位或最接近的可用锚地,并准备好并适合于接收该货物。

  承租人还参考了通过概述合并到租船确认书中的租船条款,即租船合同的印刷条款1,该条款规定4:船舶应前往第10栏中规定的装港或位置装货。以及印刷的第6条5,以及印刷的第41条6 的相关规定:

  承租人认为,SW Pass不是最接近的可用锚地。合并后的租船合同第1条中的删除条款表明,该船必须驶向装货港本身,并且仅在此一个有效的准备就绪通知即可。既然那没有发生,那么只有船舶靠泊后时间才能开始。

  仲裁庭认为,承租人对租船合同第1条的依赖被误解了,因为这取决于随后的内容,包括第6条7。承租人还争辩说,在任何情况下,只有通过货舱检查,该船才准备就绪,而船舶在4月17日才通过货舱检查。此外,各种通知都没有被接受,无论如何,第二和第三个通知是在受载期以外递交的,因此是无效的。

  仲裁庭认为这些论点完全取决于承租人依赖UBT规则是否正确。合同中没有要求在递交有效的NOR之前,船舶必须通过任何检查等。合同中也没有任何要求承租人或其代理人接受通知的要求。同样,它也没有要求在受载期内递交NOR8

  仲裁庭认为实际上,承租人所有的观点都取决于他们所说的是否纳入了UBT规则。仲裁庭认为英国法律的立场是,当合并的文件与当事方订立的主要协议的条款相抵触时,相冲突的条款必须让位与该主要协议中与之不一致的条款9

  仲裁庭认为承接The Linardos10案中的这一原则,承租人所依赖的UBT规则的各个方面与租船合同概述中提到的基本协议的条款相抵触,并通过合并的承租人条款得到加强11

  仲裁庭认为此外,就像在The Linardos案中一样,UBT规则旨在管理码头和泊位用户之间的合同关系,因此,当将它们并入到租船合同时,必须牢记这一点,即使不考虑The Linardos案的原则,在租船合同中对这些条款进行解释时必须谨慎行事,以确保只有规则中与租船协议真正相关并兼容的条款才能生效12

  承租人的意见书仅提及第6条13关于装卸时间计算的。仲裁庭认为这实际上证实了总结中已达成的共识。如果说第41条的引述部分与租船确认书中的条款相抵触,那么根据合同概述的内容,必须以合并租船合同的第6条为准14

  承租人提到了The Agamemnon15案,他们认为在SW Pass递交的NOR为时过早,因为那不是离该泊位最近的锚地。仲裁庭认为,在那个案中,重点实际上是有关无效通知以后是否可以生效;那个案中的船舶几乎没有在SW Pass等待:船舶在那儿停留了不到四个小时,然后就上引水到上游。但是在本案情况下,船舶必须在SW Pass锚地上等待很长时间,在此期间,锚地是船舶可以到达装货港的最近点。从当时可以达到的程度来看,船舶是“在港口外”,并且尽可能地靠近港口,尽管离港口有相当大的距离16

  仲裁庭认为根据合同概述中商定的租船条款规定,该船有权在SW Pass递交NOR,因为该位置是船舶到达港口时离港口最近的可用锚地,而UBT规则不影响该NOR的有效性17

  最终仲裁庭裁定船东的索赔成功了,他们将获得109,495.83美元的索赔额,外加利息和费用。

  关于NOR递交及Laytime计算,日常中经常会发生争议,为避免由此带来的不确定,船长在递交NOR的时候一定要认真查核租船合同中的相关规定。该NOR必须满足租船合同中所要求的条件,避免递交的NOR无效。

  如果没有相反规定,船舶到达某个位置临时停顿,而没有抛锚或者临时抛锚等待引水的情况下,递交的NOR无效18。结束海上航行的时候和船舶是否抵达没有关系,船长在EOSP的时候递交的NOR无效19

  有些合同会规定必须在取得Free pratique之后才可以递交NOR,那么船舶就必须在获得free pratique之后才能递交有效的NOR20。此外如海关清关21,移民局许可22,健康许可23都属于NOR递交的条件。如果租约规定船舶必须抵达港界内才可以递交NOR,则在港界外递交NOR无效24。有些合同甚至规定了递交NOR的方式,如果船长习惯性用电邮方式递交NOR,则可能导致NOR无效25

  因此,作为谨慎的船长,递交NOR必须严格按照合同条款规定,而不是按自己习惯来递交。关于这方面的,可以参阅魏长庚船长等人翻译的第7版的Laytime and Demurrage一书,经典好书。

  Footnotes

  1. London Arbitration 15/21.

  2. Fixturenote provides:

  “- LOAD PORT: 1SP UBT DAVANT- USA (ATTACHED UBT RULES SHALL INCORPORATE WITH THIS CP

  

  - SHOULD THE BERTH BE OCCUPIED OR SHOULD THE VESSEL BE PREVENTED FROM PROCEEDING TO THEBERTH AFTER HER ARRIVAL AT OR OFF THE PORT NOTICE OF READINESS MAY BE TENDEREDBY TELEX, FAX WWWW

  - AT BOTH ENDSPORT LAYTIME SHALL COMMENCE TO COUNT 12 HRS AFTER VALID NOR IS TENDEREDUNLESS OPERATIONS SOONER COMMENCED. IN CASE SOONER COMMENCED, ACTUAL TIMEUSED TO COUNT.”

  “WWWW” was anacronym for “wibon, wccon, wifpon, wipon”, ie “whether in berth or not, whethercustoms cleared or not, whether in free pratique or not, whether in port ornot”.

  UBT Rules provides:

  “2.2 NOTICE OF READINESS

  In the case ofan Ocean Vessel to be loaded, issuance of the Notice of Readiness shall meanthat the Ocean Vessel (1) has obtained all requisite governmental approvals,inspections and clearances, including, but not limited to, those required bythe US Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service; and (2)is located at the Berth or Closest Available Anchorage (as defined in section2.5 below); and (3) is ready and suitable in all respects to receive the Cargoin all holds to be loaded; and (4) has confirmed with the Terminal that theCargo is to be loaded to Vessel is in storage at the Terminal or, if Cargo isto be direct transferred, is in barges in the Terminal’s fleet; and (5) hasdetermined that the Cargo is in a condition satisfactory to the Vessel Partyand all regulatory authorities for shipment. Notice of Readiness shall beconsidered invalid unless the aforementioned five conditions are met. Inaddition, User specifically acknowledges that varying temperatures, moistureand weight changes and spontaneous combustion constitute inherent problemsassociated with the handling of coal, petroleum coke and other Cargo. Prior toloading or unloading, User’s surveyor shall determine that the temperature,moisture and condition of the Cargo is satisfactory.

  

  2.5 CLOSEST AVAILABLE ANCHORAGE

  Ocean Vessel sfiling a Berth Application to utilize the Terminal facilities normally will be required to anchor at Davant Anchorage (Mile 53.5-54.5 LDB), or the closest available anchorage to Davant, Louisiana.”

  4. Printed clause 1, provides:

  “The saidVessel shall, , proceed to the loading port(s) or place(s) stated in Box 10

  5. Printed clause 6, provides:

  “If theloading/disch berth is not available on the Vessel’s arrival at or off the portof loading/discharging, the vessel shall be entitled to give notice ofreadiness within ordinary office hours on arrival there, whether in freepratique or not, whether custom cleared or not.”

  6. Printed clause 41, provides:

  “In any casethe notice of readiness to load must be tendered once:

  (a) has arrivedat the port limits

  (b) is physically ready in all respects to load or discharge the nominated cargo.”

  7.Tribunal held:

  Held, that the charterers’ reliance on printed clause 1 of the charter was misplaced because that was subject to what followed, including clause 6.

  8. Tribunal held:

  Those arguments depended entirely on whether the charterers were right on the UBT Rules. Therewas no requirement in the contract for the vessel to have passed anyinspections, etc before giving a valid notice of readiness. Nor was there anyrequirement in the contract that notice be accepted by the charterers or theiragents. Similarly it contained no requirement that notice be given within thelaycan.

  9. Tribunal held:

  In effect, allthe charterers’ points depended on what they said was the incorporation of theUBT Rules. However, the position under English law was that where anincorporated document conflicted with the terms of the primary agreemententered into by parties, the conflicting terms had to give way to those in thatprimary agreement with which they were inconsistent.

  10. The Linardos [1994] 1 Lloyd's Rep.28.

  11. Tribunal held:

  Applying theprinciple in The Linardos, the aspects of the UBT Rules relied on by thecharterers conflicted with the terms of the fundamental agreement as found inthe recap, and reinforced by the incorporated charter terms.

  12. Tribunal held:

  Further, asin The Linardos, the UBT Rules were designed to govern contractualrelationships between the terminal and users of the berth so, when reading theminto a charterparty that had to be borne in mind and, even without regard tothe Linardos principle, great caution had to be exercised ininterpreting them in the charterparty context so as to ensure that only thoseprovisions in the Rules that were truly relevant to and compatible with thecharter agreement were given effect to.

  13.Clause 6 provides:

  “If the loading/disch berth is not available on the Vessel’s arrival at or off the portof loading/discharging, the vessel shall be entitled to give notice ofreadiness within ordinary office hours on arrival there, whether in freepratique or not, whether custom cleared or not. Laytime or time on demurrageshall then count as if she were in berth and in all respects ready forloading/disch provided that the Master warrants that she is in fact ready inall respects. Time used in moving from the place of waiting to theloading/disch berth shall not count as laytime or time on demurrage. If, afterinspection, the Vessel is found not to be ready in all respects toload/discharge time lost after the discovery thereof until the vessel is againready to load/discharge [sh]all not count as laytime.”

  14. Tribunal held:

  That in effect confirmed what had been agreed in the recap. If it be said that the quoted partof clause 41 conflicted with that then, in the light of what the recapprovided, it and clause 6 of the incorporated charter had to prevail.

  15. The Agamemnon [1998] 1 Lloyd's Rep.675.

  16. Tribunal held:

  But the pointin that case was really as to whether an invalid notice could later becomeva lid; and the vessel there hardly waited at the Southwest Pass: she was therefor less than four hours before moving up the river. In the present case, thevessel had to wait a long time at an anchorage which was, during that time, thenearest point that she could get to the loading port. She was, so far as couldbe attained at the time, “off the port”, and as close to the port as she couldbe, albeit a considerable distance away from it.

  17. Tribunal held:

  In the light ofthe charter provisions agreed in the recap, the vessel was entitled to givenotice of readiness at the Southwest Pass as that was the nearest availableanchorage off the port at the time she arrived there, and the UBT Rules did notaffect that position.

  18. Laytime and Demurrage at paras.3.54, Voyage Charters at paras.57.4, London Arbitration 8/03,The Maratha Envoy [1978]A.C.1.

  19. London Arbitration 16/05.

  20. The Eagle Valencia [2010] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.257 (C.A.).

  21. The Savvas [1982]1 Lloyd’s Rep.22.

  22. The Aello [1960] 1 Lloyd’s Rep.623.

  23.The Austin Friars (1894)10 TLR 633.

  24. The Arundel Castle [2017] 1 Lloyd’s Rep.370.

  25.The Port Russel [2013] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.57.



  海运圈聚焦专栏作者Alex (微信公众号 航运佬)


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