449. Nea Agrex SA v Baltic Shipping Co Ltd (the “Aghios Lazaros”) [1976] QB 933

Voyage charter – reference to “Paramount Clause” held to refer to Hague rules rather than Hague Visby rules   

The Facts

Oranges were shipped from Preveza, Greece to Rotterdam and Hamburg under bills of lading containing the following clause

“31.  New Jason clause, both to blame collision clause, P&I bunkering clause and Chamber of Shipping War Risks clauses numbers 1 and 2 and also Paramount clause are deemed to be incorporated in this charterparty”   

On outturn, the oranges were found to have become spoiled due to lack of ventilation in the holds. 

The charterers made a claim against the shipowners for the loss. 

Arbitration may have, depending on the interpretation of correspondence, commenced more than one year after the damage occurred. 

One of charterers’ arguments was that the reference to the paramount clause was void for uncertainty.  The Hague rules and the one year time limit did therefore not apply. 

Findings

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