NAVALMAR UK LTD v KALE MADEN HAMMADDELER SANAYI VE TICARET AS (THE "MV ARUNDEL CASTLE")
 EWHC 116 (Comm), Queen's Bench Division, Commercial Court, Mr Justice Knowles CBE, 31 January 2017
Carriage of goods (sea) - "Within port limits" - Meaning of term in charterparty - Right to tender notice of readiness
A fixture recap for a charterparty on amended Gencon 94 terms provided that notice of readiness was to be tendered 'within port limits'. The vessel was to load a cargo at Krishnapatnam, but the port was congested and she was unable to proceed straight to berth, anchoring instead at a location directed by the port authority. The owners gave notice of readiness. A demurrage claim followed. Arbitrators held that notice of readiness tendered while the vessel was outside port limits was invalid, having identified port limits by reference to the relevant Admiralty chart. It was common ground that the vessel had anchored outside the port limits shown on that chart. However, the owners asserted that port limits included any area within which vessels were customarily asked to wait by the port authorities and over which the port authorities exercised authority or control over the movement of shipping. The question before the judge was: "On a proper interpretation of the fixture recap entered into between the parties dated 27 October 2014, if the owners had no right to tender notice of readiness outside port limits, what is the meaning of port limits?"
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