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Hold cleaning costs following carriage of a dirty cargo - claimable?

One longstanding principle of claiming damages for breach of contract, such as charterparty, is that the innocent party has to show what loss, or rather how much (in monetary terms), was suffered. Absent any evidence, the inference will likely be that none was – such as in London Arbitration 01/19

A bulker was chartered on amended NYPE 46 form for 2-3 laden voyages. As per C/P the last cargo carried cannot be a dirty cargo, and regarding cleaning of holds, the vessel was to be delivered with dirty holds against a payment of $5,000 to owners. The vessel carried coal as last cargo and the owners had to undertake extensive cleaning which lasted 9 days. The owners advanced this as a claim simply being equivalent to 9 days of hire amounting to $100,533.

Charterers agreed that last cargo was carried in breach of C/P and the owners were in principle entitled to damages provided the owners were able to show that they had incurred losses as a result of this breach (such as loss of follow-on fixture or incurring excessive cleaning costs), else there was no legal basis for this claim. Owners had not provided any evidence of losses being incurred.

The Tribunal therefore had little hesitation in denying owners’ claim.


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