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Damages suffered by owners caused by arrest of vessel at behest of receivers – charterers not liable

The facts

Carriage of maize to Tripoli. Discharge delayed beyond laytime by congestion. Receivers claimed wet-damage to cargo and refused to take delivery. They proceeded to arrest the vessel. Shortly thereafter a ban on the landing of maize was imposed. The cargo was eventually discharged at Singapore. In addition to demurrage, the owners claimed damages for the costs incurred in settling the receivers’ claims and obtaining release of the vessel.


An umpire found that the receivers’ refusal to take delivery was unjustified. He found also that the subsequent ban on the discharge of maize by the authorities frustrated the contract.

His finding that the charterers were not liable for damages was upheld by Evans J.


Evans J seems to have accepted that the charterers would liable for the unjustified refusal to take delivery by the receivers but he was unwilling to disturb the umpire’s finding of fact that the damages were caused by the ban for which the charterers could not be liable.

Rokison QC appeared for owners while Hamblen appeared for charterers as junior counsel.


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