QCR Winter 2020: K Line Pte Ltd v Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd (The “Eternal Bliss”) [2020] EWHC 2373 (Comm)

Are damages claimable in addition to demurrage following a delay in discharging?  Is a separate breach required?

K Line Pte Ltd v Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd (The “Eternal Bliss”) [2020] EWHC 2373 (Comm)

The “Eternal Bliss” case arose from the carriage of a cargo of soybeans from Brazil to China under a voyage charterparty. There was a 31 day delay in discharging as a result of congestion, and a lack of storage space for the cargo. Upon inspection after discharge, the owner faced a cargo claim from the receivers in respect of alleged damage to the cargo. The owner settled the claim for in excess of US$1m, and then claimed this cost from the charterer. The breach that the owner alleged against the charterer was the failure to discharge the cargo within the laytime allowed under the charter. Consequently, the charterer said that the claim should be dismissed, on the basis that the demurrage regime provided an agreed, fixed monetary remedy for breach of this obligation. The question of law raised by the rival arguments was referred, on assumed facts, to the High Court in London.

For the full summary of this case, Members are directed to the UK Defence Club’s Soundings dated October 2020.

UK Club Staff

Date30/12/2020

Source UK P&I