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Two interesting disputes - margin for 'about'; and claiming for FO consumption

Two interesting Arbitration awards were handed last week, the first in relation to what margin should be allowed for “ABT” in regards to FO upon vessel redelivery, and the second in relation to whether owners are entitled to claim for MDO consumption as mentioned in vessel’s description without proving actual consumption.

In London Arbitration 17/19, the redelivery clause stated that charterers are to redeliver the vessel with ‘FO abt same qty as on delivery’. The dispute related to what margin should be followed for ABT – 2% or 5%? Tribunal held that it is 5% as per the rule of thumb. The rule however can be departed from if conditions warrant but no special circumstances existed in this case. Interestingly, market prices at redelivery port were taken for purposes of measuring owners' damages even though no bunkers had been stemmed, giving the owners a windfall.

In London Arb. 18/19, a vessel was described as consuming 0.3mt MDO each day. The owners’ hire statements debited charterers with precisely 0.3 mt MDO for each day, saying that at all times two out of three AEs were running. No evidence was provided to show actual cons. The tribunal decided for charterers. Owners cannot automatically charge charterers with warranted quantities.

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