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Time lost waiting for berth to count as loading/discharging time or "as laytime"

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Time lost waiting for berth to count as loading/discharging time or "as laytime". This clause, which is found in the GENCON voyage charterparty, relates to the commencement of laytime. Basically, it:

“ . . . means that if the main reason why a notice of readiness cannot be given is that there is no loading/discharging berth available to the ship the laytime will commence t« run when the ship starts to wait for a berth and will continue to run, unless previously exhausted, until the ship stops waiting. The laytime exceptions apply to the waiting time as if the ship was at the loading/discharging berth provided the ship is not already on demurrage. When the waiting time ends, time ceases to count and restarts when the ship reaches the loading/discharging berth subject to the giving of a notice of readiness if one is required by the Charterparty and to any notice time if provided For in the Charterparty, unless the ship is by then on demurrage." ("Charterparty Laytime Definitions.")

Although the "Time lost" clause is in the GENCON, it is freely incorporated by many owners as Rider clauses in other voyage charterparties. The main purpose of the clause is to transfer the burden and risk of the time lost because a berth is unavailable from the shipowner to the charterer, possibly even before the ship becomes an "arrived ship" at the agreed destination if this is a berth. If the agreed destination is a port ("port charter") the clause can also operate, provided a berth is unavailable. The clause is sometimes known as the "Time lost clause" or "Waiting time clause".

One problem that has occurred in the past was that a shipowner could claim for laytime in the normal way if the ship was an arrived ship and the notice of readiness had been properly given, and also claim for waiting time, for the same period. This seems to have been rectified by the courts so the owner cannot claim twice for the same period before berthing.

 

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