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Time charter – estoppel – inter-club agreement

The facts

NYK was the time charterer of the vessel. The time charter contained a USA clause paramount, incorporating the provisions of the United States Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1936.

The time charter also incorporated the New York Inter-Club Agreement for cargo claims.

The USA COGSA contains a one year time bar for cargo claims.

After an event giving rise to certain claims, correspondence was entered into between the time charterer’s P & I Club and the owner’s P & I Club in which it was agreed that claims would be governed by the provisions of the Inter-Club Agreement.

After the expiry of one year, the owner’s P & I Club addressed a letter to the charterer’s P & I Club acknowledging in terms that its members would abide by the terms and conditions of the Inter-Club Agreement.

The time charterer argued that the P & I Club letter founded a promissory estoppel.


Mr Justice Mocatta agreed with the charterer.

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Charter Party Casebook