Office: +44 203 968 0500
24/7 Emergency Response: +44 7887 710 950
Select Page

Tendering NOR – does “wireless” include email?

Tendering NOR does wirelessinclude email | BDM Blog | BDM Law

In a recent arbitration under the LMAA Small Claims Procedure (1) the Tribunal had to determine the validity of a Notice of Readiness (“NOR”) which had been tendered by email.

The NOR is one of the most important documents for ship owners because it acts as a trigger to start laytime or the free time available to the charterer to load or discharge. We see many cases where the validity of the NOR is contested. In some cases, the party tendering the NOR (usually the ship owner) makes mistakes and the charterer thus gets more free time.

In this case, the ship owners claimed demurrage. The charterers argued that the NOR tendered at the discharge port was invalid such that time did not start to run until discharge actually commenced.

Clause 6 of the charterparty (which was based on an amended Asbatankvoy form) provided that the master was to tender the NOR “by letter, telegraph, wireless or telephone”. The master tendered his NOR by email.

Charterers argued (with some force) that “wireless” in clause 6 referred to VHF/radio transmissions and that the Asbatankvoy form predated the use of email. The owners contended that the email by which the master tendered the NOR was transmitted wirelessly via the vessel’s wireless communication system. They also denied that email did not exist in 1977 when the Asbatankvoy form was originally published.

The Tribunal accepted the owners’ submissions and held that tendering the NOR by email was permissible under clause 6. The owners’ claim therefore succeeded.

This decision serves as a helpful reminder to owners that they must tender the NOR strictly in accordance with the terms of the charterparty, which includes tendering via one of the methods stipulated in the charterparty. As with so many of these cases, the devil is in the detail. A careful reading might have led to the owners sending the NOR by letter as a back-up so avoiding any basis for a dispute.

  1. London Arbitration 30/22
Benita Cheung - author profile
Benita Cheung
Managing Associate
BDM is a specialist shipping law firm offering high quality legal advice and representation at a reasonable price. Please follow us on social media by clicking below.

Other Recent Blogs

  • Delivery without original bills – an example of what can go wrong | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    November 7, 2022

    Delivery without original bills – an example of what can go wrong

    Readers of our blog may recall an article we released back in November 2020 in which we highlighted the risks that a ship owner is required to undertake when accepting a letter of indemnity (LOI) in exchange for releasing the cargo without the production of an original bill [...]

    Read more >
  • Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in The Polar | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    October 31, 2022

    Supreme Court gives permission to appeal in “The Polar”

    We previously reported on the High Court and Court of Appeal’s decisions in one of the last Somali ransom cases still in the Court system. The Court of Appeal held that a war risks provision in a charterparty did not constitute an agreement that the owners would not claim [...]

    Read more >
  • Follow up on subjects | BDM Blog | BDM Law
    October 31, 2022

    Follow up on “subjects”

    In October 2020, we commented on a decision of Foxton J in the Commercial Court (1) on the subject of … subjects! In that case a “subject” was held to be a condition precedent to the formation of a contract rather than a performance condition in the contract (i.e. some[...]

    Read more >
+44 203 968 0500
+44 7887 710 950