Award 1239 – C/P Synacomex – Wheat flour in bags – Wet damage – Letter of undertaking by P&I Club to receivers – Claim for restitution – Owner’s liability (yes) – Demurrage account adjustment.
When discharging in Guinea a cargo of wheat flour in bags loaded in Morocco, a sudden shower caused a water intake into the vessel’s holds and wet damage to some bags. A letter of undertaking was delivered to Receivers. The Owners required the letter of undertaking restitution in arguing, in view of the FIO clause, on their lack of liability which they imputed to the Charterer and to whom they claimed some additional demurrage. The Receivers requested the indemnification by Owners of the cargo damages ascertained in their warehouses when the Charterer claimed from Owners the refund of a demurrage over-payment.
The arbitral Tribunal declared firstly not to be competent on the claim for the restitution of the letter of undertaking which provided that only a civil court was competent and decided that the Owners liability was involved for the damages ascertained by several surveys during the discharging but not for those found later on in the warehouses. On the demurrage, the Tribunal judged justified the Charterer’s claim; therefore the Owners had to refund the over-payment.