The High Court recently handed down judgment in Hyundai Merchant Marine Co Ltd v Trafigura Beheer BV (The Gaz Energy No.2) [2012] EWHC 1686 (Comm). This decision will be of importance to both Owners and Charterers of time-chartered vessels where the word “about” is used in the charterparty in respect of the vessel’s consumption. The High Court has reaffirmed that, when calculating consumption, the upper limit of the “about” range is to be used when determining over-consumption. For the purposes of set-off and under-consumption, the vessel’s consumption should be calculated by reference to the lower limit of that range.

The case establishes a precedent on a practical time charter issue which has been missing from the relevant case law to date, and displaces the decision of London Arbitration 20/07 (where the mean figure was used for the calculations in question).

For more information, please see the recent Reed Smith Client Alert by Richard Gunn and Konstantinos Bachxevanis.