ICS & WISTA highlight practical insights on NOR validity and laytime issues

                                                                                                                                                             - Prisilla Nadar

In a joint venture, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, (ICS) Hong Kong Branch and Women’s International Shipping and Trade Association (WISTA), Hong Kong have decided to conduct a series of webinars that will focus on sharing knowledge by looking at practical considerations from an industry perspective. The latest of the webinar series was held on 08th September with the title Tendering NOR validity issues and commencement of laytime.

A Notice of Readiness (NOR) is a document issued by the Captain of a ship to showcase readiness for loading or unloading goods from/into his ship. When NOR is issued, it signifies to the person or company in need of the ship to be immediately available for loading or unloading of their goods.

Miss Elizabeth Sloane, President, WISTA, Hong Kong, & Partner in Stephenson Harwood welcomed the panelists and Mr Jagmeet Makkar, Independent Arbitrator; Director, SkillsPlus & Pastiche; & Chairman, ICS Hong Kong Branch introduced the esteemed panelists.

The panelists comprised of Miss Vivian Shum, Director, Insurance and Legal, Pacific Basin Shipping Ltd; Mr Andrew Rigden Green, Head, The Greater China Marine and International trade team for Stephenson Harvard, with more than 20years of experience in maritime arbitration, the leading charter party lawyer in Hong Kong; Miss Malene Wang is an English and Hong Kong dual qualified defense lawyer; and Miss Tracy Zhang, Chinese Lawyer specializing in Maritime Law.

While, tendering NOR many disputes happen due to lack of clarity in charter parties or conflicting wordings or lack of understanding or lack of communication during the operation. “In simple words, what constitutes a valid NOR? It is all about shifting the financial risk back and forth and important to know when the risk shifts from owners to charters and from charters to owners,” said Mr Green.

Additionally, Miss Shum pointed out that technically NOR should be tended on arrival berth, but master would tender on arrival ports as there may be uncertainties when and where customs clearance is arranged and if the berth is immediately available. “Masters are sometimes not given updated information by the agents,” stated Miss Shum.

On WWW clause in the Charter party, she mentioned that whether in berth or not, whether in custom clearance or not, and whether in free pratique or not.

For a valid NOR, there are 3 criteria:

.the ship has to be an arrived ship

.ship has to be ready and in a fit condition to receive or discharge her cargo

.NOR must be given in accordance with the charter party

On Laytime, Miss Wang explained in depth where the charters makes mistake that results in contract breach. “By exceeding the permitted contractual laytime charters are in breach; and payment of demerge is liquidated damages, which is a breach,” she stated.

The experts answered the queries raised, their knowledge on the subject proved beneficial to the attendees. The session came to a conclusion by paving the way for next webinar on ‘Issues related to bills of lading and Letter of Indemnity.’


(Courtesy: Marex Media)

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