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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There has been heated and passionate debate in academic circles and industry publications about the pros and cons of the Rotterdam Rules.

A brief history of laytime

Only gold members can continue reading. He referred to the words of Potter LJ in “The Happy Ranger” “The commercial context and the purpose of the contractual requirement to serve NOR which is to trigger the Charterers’ obligation to unload whereby laytime starts to run immediately in the absence of express provision…” The sole and dominant purpose of Lsytime is to tender the vessel for loading or discharge and thus to act as the trigger for the commencement of laytime.

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

Based on the load ports originally nominated, the owners of the Antiparos arranged to bunker at the second load port but when this was changed they had to change their stem to the new nomination.

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.

Then we were told that an option was given to the charterer, and that it was not properly exercised unless a berth was chosen that was empty.

Commencement of Laytime in Voyage Charterparties

It is more accurately described as a berth charter with one or more provisions advancing the commencement of laytime. To be valid, the vessel must be at the agreed destination and be ready to commence cargo operations within the charterparty definitions, when the Notice of Readiness is given.


It seems to me there are many reasons which may expedite or delay the arrival of a ship cojmencement the place from which her time was to count. The agreed destination depends on the terms agreed between the owner and charterer and absent any specific clauses depends on whether the charterparty is a berth charter or a port charter. It is commemcement 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.

This definition replaces definitions given in The Charterparty Laytime Definitions and The Voylayrules see previous editions of this book and although those were probably wider in scope than the definition of a port at common law, this definition is even wider.

However, a charterer may be found to have accepted an otherwise invalid notice on the basis of the legal doctrines of waiver and estoppel.

Of the various notices given at the load and discharge ports, one was given at hours and the other two at hours. When it commences it can be considered that a “clock” has commenced, working backwards, as it were, and counting down the “stock” of time, which the Charterer has.

The charterer will bear the cost of waiting for an available commencemenr.

Occasionally, however, a charter specifies a particular wharf or jetty, which may have, commencemfnt, two or three berths on it, but such a charter is usually held to be of the same character as a berth charter. For many years Courts and Tribunals held that the warranty “always accessible” on arrival was effectively synonymous laytiem “reachable on arrival”.

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. Both these arguments were rejected by Greer J, who said: The commentary issued with them says this about the deletion of the requirement that the berth be within the port:.

Neither of these cases had to decide whether laytime could start at all when no valid NOR was given and if it could, when it would commence. A layhime will often contain additional clauses which vary the above position. Subject to the express terms of the charterparty, once the vessel has arrived at the agreed destination, it will be an ‘arrived ship’ for the purposes of calculating when the laytime should start to run.


For certainty, the charterparty usually expressly relates the commencement of laytime to the happening of a particular event. The contents fommencement the NOR must be statements of existing facts.


The judgement has been welcomed by many commmencement the shipping industry and is seen as a victory for common sense over legal technicality. Determining when laytime commences is essential for both owners and charterers. Owners complied with the change under protest and reserved their rights to claim additional remuneration.

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. Because when ordered to berth and load before the laydays owners were obliged to do so commencment makes no commercial sense that owners should also seek a separate express agreement to the commencement of laytime, particularly if, and if charterers construction of clause 31 was correct, such a request could be met by a refusal and threat to hold owners liable to indemnify charterers for any time lost time from not following charterers orders.

One such event is the vessel must be an “arrived ship” and another is that a “Notice of Readiness” must be given to.

Where a single berth was specified in the charterparty as being the place of loading off of discharge, the loading voyage or the carrying voyage did not end until the vessel was at that very berth. Laytime commences at that time, as if a valid Notice of Readiness had been served then. The Voylayrules 36 defined berth in the following terms:.