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Arbitration – partial award made – arbitrators’ refusal to entertain remainder of claim held to be irregular

The Facts

The vessel was chartered on the Gencon form for a voyage from Abidjan, Ivory Coast to Morocco. En route the vessel lost her rudder and was towed to Nador, Morocco.

Discharge was completed after a considerable delay. Complaints were raised concerning the condition of the cargo.

The charterparty contained a time bar of six months.

Immediately after discharge, owners appointed Alan Oakley. Charterers appointed David Barnett.

Owners submitted a document titled “Claim submissions for an interim award on demurrage”.

Owners stated in paragraph 11 of the claim submissions:

The claimants seek an interim award at this stage, for the claim for demurrage. The Tribunal’s jurisdiction is to be reserved for any and all claims against the respondents, relating to any claim for damage to cargo, that may be brought against the owners by the cargo receivers under the bill of lading and/or in respect of any and all damage suffered by the vessel, by reason of the extended stay of the vessel at the port of Nador and/or the extended services of the salvors under the LOF (due to the charterers breach of the charterpary) and in respect of which the claimants will seek an indemnity from the respondents at the appropriate time.

Charterers responded by requesting a final award in the following terms:

… primarily and as a final award: all claims denied, costs for account of owners… alternatively as final award … demurrage in favour of owners US$13,312… other claims denied. Costs for account of owners.

On written submissions alone the Tribunal then decided as follows (after allowing the claim for demurrage):

30.        Given the length of time since the cargo was discharged and that the owners provided no evidence that the cargo receivers/interests had or indeed intended to bring a claim against them under the bill of lading, we refuse the application.

  1. In the event that the cargo receivers/interests do make a claim, doubtless the owners will consider whether it is possible to start new arbitration proceedings against the charterers. It follows that this award is not made on an interim basis, but is final in respect of the issues decided herein.

Insofar as the effect of the award was final, owners applied under section 68 of the Arbitration Act for an order declaring the award irregular and for remission to the Tribunal.


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