In Sea Master Shipping Inc v Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd & Yousef Freiha & Sons SA  EWHC 2030, Owners, in a situation where Charterers were in insolvent liquidation and unable to meet their obligations under a voyage charter, sought to hold receivers liable for delay at the discharge port under the bill of lading.
The decision by the arbitration tribunal that neither the financing bank nor the receivers were liable for discharge port demurrage was unappealable.
That left the Commercial Court considering the Owners’ attempt to introduce an implied term into the contract of carriage (contained in or evidenced by the bill of lading), that the bank and / or the receivers would: (i) take all necessary steps to enable the cargo to be discharged and delivered within a reasonable time; and / or (ii) discharge the cargo within a reasonable time.
In the usual way, the bill of lading included a clause incorporating the terms of the voyage charter and it was common ground that this meant that they were incorporated “insofar as they [were] appropriate and relevant for such incorporation”. Continue Reading