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Freight management flaws: incorrect notices or disputed claims

26 октября 2023 г.: ru 8 en 330 ноября 2023 г.: ru 3 en 111 декабря 2023 г.: ru 1 en 1 всего: 156 23.10.23

Recently, Interlegal law team defended the Client’s interests in a dispute regarding incorrectly calculated demurrage. The case concerned Charter Party on barley transportation from Reni to Sardinia and, in particular, the problems arising from serving incorrect NOR and incorrectly drawn up stowage plan.

Notice of Readiness (NOR) in sea transportation acts as a starting point for laytime calculation, but in some cases in can become a false starting point like in our recent case. In fact, a keystone of this case is that Master’s Notice of Readiness launched a series of subsequent events that worsened position of both parties: the charterer and the shipowner. Due to such a false start, the vessel commenced loading, while the holds did not pass the survey. The situation worsened even more when force majeure impeded loading operations and part of the cargo got damaged due to precipitation; therefore, loading was delayed, because the damaged cargo needed to be discharged.

But such a scenario only began when the vessel was detained, because upon completion of loading, the charterer received not only an invoice for the vessel idle stay, but also a demand for payment of dead freight, all based on the stowage plan drafted by the Master after loading the cargo.

Our law team conducted claims handling in order to contest the shipowner’s claims, the keystone whereof was precisely the incorrect documents whereto the shipowner referred in substantiation of its claims. False Notice of Readiness actually prevented commencement of laytime, which greatly eased our client’s situation, because the valid Notice was never issued.

Interlegal law team facilitated both claim reduction and amicable settlement of the dispute between the parties. This case is a good reminder of the importance of attention to detail in shipping cases. Although the legal intricacies may seem to be complicated, in fact everything is simple: one should follow the rules, be attentive and responsible (and MANY OTHERS!!!) for avoidance of all troubles.

Interlegal claims handler Oleksii Bannykh and associate attorney Taras Dragan, managed by associated partner Karyna Gorovaya, settled the case.

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