E-Bulletin April 2017 – ARUNDEL CASTLE and Port Limits

The English High Court has found against the owners of the MV Arundel Castle in their appeal against an arbitration award.

The meaning of ‘port limits’ was considered in the context of the owners’ demurrage claim, which relied upon a Notice of Readiness (NOR) being valid. The NOR had to be tendered within port limits. The owners’ argument that the meaning of port limits should extend to include the area in which the vessel tendered NOR in this case was rejected by the arbitration tribunal and by the Court.

The judgement will be relevant both for charterers chartering out on voyage terms and for voyage charterers. The appeal was brought under Section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996, as a matter of general public importance.

The question for the court was as follows: “On a proper interpretation of the fixture recap entered into between the parties dated 27 October 2014, if the [owners] had no right to tender notice of readiness outside port limits, what is the meaning of port limits?”

Tomas Ling discusses the case.

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