Bliss for owners of voyage-chartered ships?

August 3, 2022
LCI Law Shipping News

In 2020, the High Court of England & Wales groundbreakingly decided in The Eternal Bliss the owner of a ship delayed in discharging cargo could claim from the voyage charterer not just demurrage for the delay at the agreed USD daily rate but also damages for the resultant cargo deterioration/loss. In doing so, the judge said you do not need a separate breach to claim such a separate loss – the one breach in failing to load/discharge within the required time (laytime) suffices.

In 2021, the Court of Appeal overruled that, deciding you do need a separate breach to claim such a separate loss – demurrage is the sole remedy for failing to load/discharge within the laytime.

The Supreme Court has just granted permission to hear the owner’s appeal, and its decision will be awaited by the shipping and legal community with bated breath. The question arises often – we have handled several disputes raising the question the Supreme Court will answer.

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