Laytime Clauses 装卸时间条款

  Laytime expressed as a total daily rate basis—a specified number of available workable hatches


  2.193 This type of laytime provision has been in common use in governmental charters to the Indian sub-continent for a number of years. A typical provision provides:

  Cargo to be discharged . . . at the average rate of 1000 metric tonnes basis 5 or more available workable hatches, pro rata, if less number of hatches per weather working day.

  2.193 很多年来,这种类型装卸时间条款在往印度次大陆去的政府性租船合同中被普遍。其典型条款如下:


  2.194 The meaning of this type of clause fell to be considered in a series of arbitrations, which gave rise to a consolidated appeal which eventually reached the House of Lords. The case is usually known as The General Capinpin after the first named vessel.

  2.194 曾经有许多关于这类条款含义的案例被提交仲裁,后来这些案例联合上诉一直打到了上议院。这种广为人知的案例是以第一条船命名的‘The General Capinpin’案。

  2.195 Each case concerned the method of calculating laytime at the port of discharge. The precise wording of the relevant clause in each charter differed slightly but it was common ground that the differences were immaterial.


  2.196 The first and major issue was whether this provision invoked the ‘‘available workable hatch’’ approach to calculating the laytime allowed or whether it simply provided for an overall rate.

  2.196 第一个也是最主要的争议就是:这种条款是否是以所援引的‘可用作业舱口’作为允许装卸时间时间的计算方法,还是简单地规定以总的卸货速率为准。(该案是船舶有5个可用舱口,4个吊车。因承租人未雇岸吊或浮吊,始终只能卸4个舱口,剩余一个舱口是否按比例扣减,还是只考虑总的卸货速率?)

  2.197 In each arbitration, charterers argued that the effect of the clause was that the contractual rate of discharge would diminish from time to time as holds became empty, and that in consequence the time permitted for discharge was governed by the quantity of cargo in the hold into which the greatest quantity of cargo had been loaded, dividing that cargo by 200 tonnes per day for a vessel with five hatches. In all four awards that contention was rejected.


  2.198 In support of their argument, charterers relied on passages from the judgment of Bingham J in The Giannis Xilas and he in turn on the earlier cases of the Sandgate and Compania De Navigaci´ In the on Zita S A v. Louis Dreyfus & Cie (The Corfu Island). High Court the owners adopted the reasoning of the Arbitrators in the General Capinpin who in their award said:

  The passage (from The Giannis Xilas) upon which the charterers relied made it quite clear that the judge was addressing himself to the question of clauses where the cargo is to be loaded or discharged at a quantity per workable hatch per day. Where, as in this case, a figure for the entire vessel is used, it seems to us that one arrives at the total permitted laytime by dividing the total cargo tonnage by the daily rate of the vessel. The words ‘‘available workable’’ are not thereby ignored, because they are relevant for how laytime is to be adjusted if a hatch is unworkable for any reason other than merely the fact that it is empty. The difference of emphasis in the two different formulae, one based on a rate for the vessel and the other based on a rate for a hatch, seem to us to make a crucial difference.

  Commenting on this, Webster J said:

  There are, unhappily, conflicting dicta on the question whether there is any difference between a formula based on a rate for the vessel and one based on a rate for a hatch. According to two dicta of Lord Justice Scrutton (in The Sandgate ) and Mr Justice Parker (as he then was) (in The Tropwave ) there is a difference, but according to two other dicta of Lords Justices Salmon and Megaw (in The Theraios ), there is not.

  Having cited the dicta, the judge said that he preferred the views of Scrutton LJ and Parker J at least to the extent that whilst 200 tonnes per hatch per day given five hatches might be the same as 1,000 tonnes per day for the vessel, 1,000 tonnes per day might not be the same as 200 tonnes per hatch for five hatches because, for a variety of reasons, discharge might have to take place at more than 200 tonnes per day through one or more hatches to achieve the specified rate for the vessel. The judge therefore accepted that the effect of the laytime provision in this case was different to those in the cases he had previously considered. In his view the question was whether the difference gave a different meaning to the word ‘‘workable’’ and his conclusion was that it did not. On that he concluded that following the cases starting with The Sandgate, a hatch over an empty hold was not a workable hatch. He continued:

  If the answer were otherwise, and if the arbitrators and the umpire were right in their conclusion on this point, it would mean that the expression ‘‘available workable hatches’’ has one meaning for the purpose of a discharge clause expressed as an average rate for the vessel and a different meaning in a discharge clause expressed as a daily rate per hatch, . . . for the reasons I have given, I see no reason for making any such differentiation.

  He therefore held in favour of charterers on that point.

  2.198. 为了支持他们自己的论点,承租人依据Bingham法官对The Giannis Xilas案的判决中部分章节和他在该案之前依次审理过Sandgate案和Compania de Navegacion Zita SA v. Louis Dreyfus & Cie(The Corfu Island)案中部分判词。在髙等法院,船东采纳的理由是仲裁员在General Capinpin案的裁决书中所说的:

  承租人所依据的词句(引自The Giannis Xilas)已非常明显表示法官所涉及的是按照每天每作业舱口的装/卸货量进行货物作业的条款问题。比如,像本案这种情况,整条船舶仅使用一个装卸率,好像对我们来说,用总货量吨数除以船舶日装卸率,就可以得出总的允许装卸时间。在此,不能忽视‘可用作业的’这些词语,因为它和装卸时间将如何调整有关,如果某舱口是除了卸空以外因任何别的原因而不能作业的话。两个不同计算公式中的主要差别是:一个是基于船舶的速率,而另一个是基于舱口的速率,这对于我们来说似乎是一关键性的差别。


  对于一个公式是基于船舶的速率或基于舱口的速率二者之间是否存有任何区别的问题上,不幸产生了法律意见的冲突。根据Scrutton大法官 (在The Sandgate案中)和Parker法官(在以后的The Tropwave案中)二人的意见,他均认为二者之间有区别,但另外两位大法官Salmon和Megaw(在The Therabs案中)却认为其中并没有什么区别。




  海运圈聚焦专栏作者 魏长庚船长(微信号CaptWei)



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