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In Yemgas FZCO & Ors v Superior Pescadores SA [2016] EWCA Civ 101, the Court of Appeal considered whether the standard ‘Paramount Clause’ wording in the Congenbill incorporates the Hague Rules 1924 (the “HR”) or the Hague/Visby Rules (the “HVR”).

The ‘Paramount Clause’ set out on the reverse side of the bills of ladings in the present case provided that “The Hague Rules contained in the International Convention for Unification of certain rules relating to Bills of Lading, dated Brussels the 25th August 1924 as enacted in the country of shipment shall apply to this contract…

The wording, with one immaterial change, was therefore identical to the wording included in the Congenbill.

Machinery and equipment, intended for use in the construction of a liquid natural gas facility in Yemen, was loaded on board the vessel “SUPERIOR PESCADORES” in Belgium. Owners issued six bills of lading in the Conline form for carriage from Antwerp, Belgium to Balhaf, Yemen.

Continue Reading Congenbill ‘Paramount Clause’ – Hague or Hague / Visby Rules?

Mr Justice Knowles CBE’s judgment in Glencore International AG v (1) PT Tera Logistic Indonesia (2) PT Arpeni Pra [2016] EWHC 82 (Comm) considered whether the wording of a notice of appointment of an arbitrator was sufficient to stop the running of time under section 14(4) Arbitration Act 1996 (“the Act”) in respect of the respondent’s counterclaim.

Section 14(4) of the Act provides that “Where the arbitrator or arbitrators are to be appointed by the parties, arbitral proceedings are commenced in respect of a matter when one party serves on the other party or parties notice in writing requiring him or them to appoint an arbitrator or to agree to the appointment of an arbitrator in respect of that matter.”

In this instance there were four contracts providing that demurrage was payable by either the Charterers (“FC Detention”) or by the Owners (“MV Demurrage”), depending on the cause of the delay.

Continue Reading Appointing an arbitrator to protect time for counterclaims