Voyage Charters. Standard sets of clauses Last updated 26-May-2015

The reflex reaction to every new problem arising seems to be to produce an additional clause to cover the new requirement, often without regard to the existence of a perfectly adequate general ‘eligibility provision’ or, rather, vessel description clause.
H. Williams, Tanker Charters 3rd ed.

Standard sets of clauses in voyage charterparty contracts

Nowadays standard voyage charterparty form at least consist of such clauses as below:

An introductory clauses. These clauses (Condition of vessel, Cleanliness of tanks, Voyage, Safe port in Shellvoy6) identify the contracting parties, the vessel, and the agreed voyage. Cargo capacity is usually expressed in terms of deadweight tonnage which, when translated, means the weight of cargo the vessel is capable of carrying when loaded down at its maximum permitted draught. Statements refer to the maximum weight that the vessel can carry.

Cargo clauses. Clauses, with the description of the type and quantity of cargo is likely to be specific including stipulations for the charterer’s liability for deadfreight. Such clauses are usually trade-specific, such for example as Cargo Retention, Heating of Cargo, Crude Oil Washing and Pumping Clauses clauses in tanker charters. Read more here: Cargo Retention clause, Deadfreight

Freight clauses specifying the agreed rate of freight, the unit of measurement of cargo to which it applies, and the time and place of payment. It may be required that part of the freight to be paid in advance and the balance on delivery of the cargo. Additional clauses provide for the currency in which the payment is to be made. Read more here: Freight

ETA and NOR clauses and Demurrage/Laytime provisions specify whether charterparty is a berth or a port charter and requirements as to validity and effectiveness of NOR as well as amount of time allowed for loading and unloading the cargo. With regard to ETA it can be said that generally the vessel must set out on the approach voyage to the first load port in time to reach it by the given date, but this obligation does not apply to ETAs given in course of charter performance, which vessel gives at certain given intervals, e.g. 96,72,48,24 and 12 hours. Obligation to give ETAs has to be performed in good faith and upon reasonable grounds. Read more here: Laycan, NOR, Laytime and Demurrage.

Bills of Lading/Employment and Indemnity Clauses. These clauses specifies how Bills of Lading shall be presented and signed by the Master and also specify Charterers’ obligation to indemnify the Owners against all consequences or liabilities that may arise from the signing of bills of lading as presented. Read more here: Cesser Clause, Bill of Lading.

Eligibility clauses. These are provisions which stipulate regime of compliance with international, local and trade specific regulations and requirements such as US Coast Guard Certificate of Compliance, Major Approval Clauses, Law and Arbitration, Paramount Clause, ITWF (International Transport Workers Federation), Oil response pollution and insurance. Read more here: Legal Readiness.

Additional clauses. At the end of bargaining process probably any standard charterparty form apart from various and numerous amendments becomes also supplemented with sets of additional clauses, such as: ISPS Clause, Ethical Policy Clause, Anti-Corruption Clause, ISM Clause, H2S, Piracy Clause and/or some other depending on trade. Read more here: H2S, Letters of Protest

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