Award 1243 (second degree) – C/P Synacomex 90 – Disponent owner – Rice cargo – Long waiting on roads at discharging – Two fumigations ordered by the head-owner – Partial payment of fumigation costs by the voyage charterer.
A cargo of rice was loaded in South America for two West-African ports. After having discharged in the first port, the vessel waited about 7 months on roads before discharging in the second port. A first fumigation had to be carried out more than 4 months after arrival on roads, followed by a second one two months later, both ordered by the Head-Owner although more expensive than those proposed by the
voyage Charterer. The Disponent Owner claimed to the latter to be refunded of a sum he paid to the Head-Owner in settlement of the fumigations. The Charterer vindicated his refusal arguing the Disponent Owner violated the charter-party clauses related to the fumigation, so its entire cost should be borne by him.
After analyzing two provisions of the charter-party, the arbitral Tribunal considered the refusal by the Disponent Owner to authorize the intervention of the professional appointed by the Charterer was indeed a violation of the charter-party. On the other hand, as the cargo infestation resulted from the duration of the waiting on roads, the
fumigations cost should be paid normally by the Charterer. For the first fumigation, the tribunal decided its cost should be limited to the amount of a quote the Charterer had requested from an operator, but for the second one for which no objection was raised, the Charterer had to pay the invoiced price. The claim related to supervision and appended costs was rejected, mainly in consideration of the violation of the contract by the Disponent Owner.