Charterparties: English and Chinese Law

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Since the academic year of 2011, I have been delivering a course on 'Law and Practice of Charter Parties', for undergraduate students with majors in shipping management and in logistics engineering at Dalian Maritime University (DMU) in Dalian, China. I insisted on giving the course largely in English and prepared a syllabus in English which was the first draft of a monograph now transformed into this book. I am gratified that students for whom the book is intended have shown exemplary tolerance for the imperfections in both the syllabus and the course itself. Their interest and feedback eventually encouraged me to produce this book, the publication of which has been funded by DMU.

Editor's Recommendation
This book is aimed at providing an introduction to the basic understanding of charterparties. It expounds partly on the English law because most charterparties internationally are governed by English law at the choice of the parties. The text reviews and elaborates on the Chinese law and judicial practice and provides a comparative analysis engaging Chinese and English law wherever it is warranted. The book consists of three chapters, the first of which is introductory in scope embracing features common to all charterparties. The second and third chapters illustrate the specific legal issues relating to voyage and time charter partiesincluding disputes arising therefrom. Due to limitationson the number of words, chapter four on bareboat charter parties and the Appendix containing reproductions of different standard form charter parties which were included in the original draft had to be deleted before publication.
Table of Contents
Chapter One Introduction of Chartering Shipping
Section 1 Types & Characteristics of Charters
1 Distinction between chartering and other ways of operating ships
1.1 Liner shipping
1.2 Tramp shipping
2 Comparison of types of charterparties
2.1 Voyage charter
2.2 Time charter
2.3 Demise charter
2.4 Other charters
Section 2 Shipbrokers & Charter Market
1 Function of shipbroker
2 Types of shipbroker
3 To be a competent broker
4 Rights and obligations
4.1 Right to commission
4.2 Main legal duties
4.3 Broker's status under Chinese law
5 Charter market
5.1 Main charter markets
5.2 Market indices
5.3 Market report
Section 3 Chartering Practice
1 Inquiry
2 Offer
3 Counter-offer
4 Firm offer
5 Acceptance
Recap versus charterparty
6.1 Recap with 'subject to' clause
6.2 Where there is conflict between recap & charterparty
6.3 Where there is no formal document but only negotiations
Section 4 Laws Governing Charterparties
1 Characteristic of the legal regime governing charterparties
1.1 Compulsory legal regime versus autonomy of parties
1.2 Special requirements under Chinese law
2 Conclusion of charterparties
2.1 Form of contract
2.2 Parties to the contract
3 Valictity of charterparties
3.1 English law
3.2 Chinese law
4 Termination of charterparty
4.1 By execution
4.2 By mutual agreement
4.3 By breach
4.4 By frustration or force majeure
Chapter Two Voyage Charterparty
Section 1 Introductory Clauses
1 Discription of the vessel
1.1 Vessel's name
1.2 Vessel' s tonnage
1.3 Vessel's class
1.4 Flag and nationality
1.5 Year of built
1.6 Condition of the vessel and its gear
The voyage
2.1 Present position of ship
2.2 ETA
2.3 Relationship between ETA & LAYCAN
Ports of loading and discharging
3.1 The charterer' s obligation to nominate ports or places
3.2 Warranties of safety
3.3 Owner' s right to require a valid nomination
3.4 'Or so near thereto as she may safely get'
4 Preliminary voyage
4.1 To proceed to the loading port with reasonable despatch
4.2 Interpellation clause
Section 2 Cargo & Freight Clauses
1 Cargo clauses
1.1 Description of cargo
1.2 Amount of cargo
2 Freight clauses
2.1 Freight rate versus lump sum freight
2.2 Dead freight and damages
2.3 Conditions to pay the freight
2.4 Does freight include the cost of loading and discharging?
2.5 Freight claim versus cargo claim
Section 3 Loading and Discharging Clauses
1 Cost of loading and discharging
1.1 Who shall bear the cost of loading and discharging?
1.2 Distinction between cost and risk
2 Laytime
2.1 Calculation of laytime
2.2 Commencement of laytime
2.3 Suspension of laytime
2.4 Completion of laytime
Demurrage and despatch money
3.1 Demurrage
3.2 Despatch money
Section 4 Other Clauses
1 Cesser and lien clause
1.1 Purpose
1.2 Co-extensive rule
2 Bill of Lading clause
3 Incorporation clause
3.1 Elements to determine whether charterparty terms are incorporated
into a bill of lading
3.2 Standard charterparty clauses in conflict with the Chinese law
4 Law and arbitration clause
4.1 Arbitration versus litigation
4.2 Validity of an arbitration agreement
4.3 Validity of the arbitration clause incorporated into a bill of lading
5 Strike Clause
5.1 What is a strike?
5.2 Options available
5.3 Extension of the coverage to after-strike delay
6 Tanker voyage charterparties
6.1 Description of vessel
6.2 Warranty
6.3 Freight
Chapter Three Time Charterparty
Section 1 Description of Vessel
1 Cargo capacity, speed and fuel consumption
2 'About'/ 'on average'/ 'in good weather condition'
3 An undertaking applicable at the date of delivery
4 Seaworthiness
5 Remedies and defences
5.1 Remedies
5.2 Measure of damages
5.3 Defcnces
Section 2 Hire Clauses
1 Period of hire
1.1 The precision of the time limit
1.2 Delivery
1.3 Redelivery
2 Payment of hire
2.1 Payment in cash
2.2 Payment without deduction
2.3 Remedies of owners
3 Off-hire clause
3.1 What is off-hire clause?
3.2 Elements triggering off-hire
3.3 Off-hire cancellation provision
3.4 Suspension of hire versus off-hire rate
Section 3 Other Clauses
1 Identification of carrier
2 Employment and indemnity clause
2.1 Shipowner' s implied right of indemnity
2.2 Causation
2.3 Orders regarding employment or navigation
3 Inter-club agreement
4 Safe port
5 Trading limits
6 Charterer' s liability for oil pollution damage
6.1 Charterer' s direct liability
6.2 Charterer' s liability by way of recourse
Charterparties: English and Chinese Law