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Anchored at coalition holding area off Yemen - is the NOR valid or not?

Various kinds of C/P issues are bound to arise from the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Most recently, in London Arbitration 16/18, a dispute arose over which party should be responsible for the delay to the vessel getting into Saleef? The relevant cl. read “…NOR to be tendered...WIPON…”

Vessel arrived at Coalition Holding Area which was about 110nm from the destination port and tendered her first NOR, which was obviously invalid. Vessel then shifted to outer anchorage after receiving instructions from Coalition Forces and re-tendered the NOR. This was also rejected on the basis that vessel had not arrived at port as the outer anchorage was outside port limits. Owners contended that inner anchorage was full and vessel could therefore not proceed any further.

Tribunal found that “WIPON” provision assisted the owners. The outer anchorage was the ‘usual waiting place’ and the NOR was effective in triggering laytime. Purpose of “WIPON” after all is to enable NOR to be given at a recognised waiting place if usual waiting place is not available on arrival!

(Note: cf London Arb. 05/85 (during Iran-Iraq war) where NOR was held to be invalid even though there was a WIPON provision, as vsl was some 400nm from the destination and not in the usual waiting place)

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