This chapter is intended mainly as a guide to cases decided by the English courts on this form and on other tanker time charter forms. Tanker charter cases have therefore been covered in detail even where they have already been dealt with in the earlier chapters of the book. The chapter takes the Shelltime 4 form as its framework. The Shelltime 4 form was issued in December 1984. It was revised in December 2003 so as to reside on BIMCO’s on-line document service “idea”, which hosts a variety of non-BIMCO documents as well as BIMCO’s own published forms. Shelltime 4 (2003 revision) thus now resides on “idea” as “the first ‘living’ time charterparty” (per Grant Hunter, Head of Documentary Department, BIMCO, writing in Legal Issues Relating to Time Charterparties, Informa (2008), paragraph 1.39). This apparently allows Shell to update the form from time to time. Any such updating may result in a new “version number” for the document, “depending on its significance”. It is not difficult to envisage how this could result in problems, and no doubt broking practice must take careful account of the possibility for error or confusion, although we understand that in fact Shell has not updated the form since April 2006. For complete clarity here, this chapter takes as its text Shelltime 4 (2003 revision, version 1.1 Apr 06), as published on “idea” on 1 April 2014, and that is the version reproduced at F4 in the Forms section at the end of this book.
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