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Frustration – outbreak of First World War resulting in detention of vessel – time charter for “one Baltic round” held to be frustrated despite mutual exception of restraint of princes.

The Facts                               

The vessel was let on a time charter for one Baltic round.

In the event of Great Britain or other European power being involved in war affecting the working of the steam vessel, charterers had the option of cancelling.

The act of enemies and restraint of princes were mutually excepted.

The charter contained a cesser of hire clause providing that in the event of loss of time for deficiency of men, payment of hire would cease.

The vessel was sub–let and wood was loaded at 3 Finnish Ports.

While the vessel lay at Hurppu, partially laden, war was declared between Russia and Germany and between Germany and Great Britain.

Russian authorities prohibited the export of wood from Finland and issued an order forbidding vessels from leaving the Wiborg district in which Hurppu was situated.

Owners repatriated the crew, leaving only the Master and Engineer on board.

Charterers cancelled, reserving their right to claim damages.

Owners disputed the right to cancel and claimed hire.


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Charter Party Casebook