Changes to Gencon 1976 are shown by underlining.
1. It is agreed between the party mentioned in Box 3 as the Owners of the Vessel named in Box 5 of the GT/NT 1 indicated in Box 6 and carrying about the number of metric tons of deadweight capacity all told on summer loadline stated in Box 7, now in position as stated in Box 8 and expected ready to load under this Charter Party about the date indicated in Box 9, and the party mentioned as the Charterers in Box 4 that:
The said Vessel shall, as soon as her prior commitments have been completed, proceed to the loading port(s) or place(s) stated in Box 10 or so near thereto as she may safely get and lie always afloat, and there load a full and complete cargo (if shipment of deck cargo agreed same to be at the Charterers’ risk and responsibility) as stated in Box 12, which the Charterers bind themselves to ship, and being so loaded the Vessel shall proceed to the discharging port(s) or place(s) stated in Box 11 as ordered on signing Bills of Lading, or so near hereto as she may safely get and lie always afloat, and there deliver the cargo.
Where a charter contains an “expected ready to load” date and an express obligation to proceed to the loading port, there is an implied obligation on the owner to ensure that the vessel embarks on her approach voyage at such a time as it is reasonably certain that she can arrive at the loading port by the expected ready to load date. 2 Accordingly, the owner is at risk if an intermediate voyage is not completed in time and it is irrelevant that the charter may refer to the intermediate engagement unless the charter also makes it clear that the obligation to proceed to the loading port punctually is subject to the timely completion of the previous voyage. 3 The new words in clause 1, as soon as her prior commitments have been completed , make the owner’s obligation to proceed to the load port expressly subject to the completion of the previous commitment. It is unclear whether the owner’s protection is limited to prior commitments existing at the time the charter is made or includes any engagement entered into before the time at which the owners should proceed to the load port. The words “prior commitments” and the use of the past tense suggest that the commitments must already exist at the time the charter is concluded. Although protection is provided to the owner in the event of a late departure on the approach voyage, the charterer still has the benefit of the cancelling clause. Further, nothing in the amendment affects the obligation on the owner, when giving a date of expected readiness to load, that he is “undertaking that (they) honestly and on reasonable grounds believe(s) at the time of the contract that the date named is the date when the vessel will be ready to load”. 4
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