366. VTC v PVC [2012] EWHC 1100 (Comm)

Amended shelltime 4 form – reference to “all cargo tanks” not including slop tanks.

The Facts

The vessel, let on a 10 year time charter, was sub-chartered to load gasoline in Rotterdam for carriage to a range of ports in Mexico, USA and the Caribbean with a laycan extending over 2 days.

The vessel sailed from Boston for Falmouth en-route to Rotterdam.  Before reaching Falmouth, a crack in the port side slop tank was discovered.  This could not be repaired before the cancelling date and sub-charterers cancelled.

The vessel was repaired in Rotterdam and then ordered to the UK West Coast to load an alternative cargo.

Charterers deducted a sum from hire alleging breach of clause 64 of the charter which read as follows:

Tanks, lines and pumps suitability

Owners warrant that vessel will arrive at each load port with all cargo tanks, pumps and lines suitable to load the intended cargo as per charterers’ representative and/or independent surveyor’s satisfaction which always is subject to tank cleaning / squeeging clause 102.  All damages, time lost and costs incurred due to non-compliance will be for owners’ account and deducted from monthly hire”

Findings

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