| Award 1247

Award 1247 – C/P Synacomex 90 – Wheat in bulk – Belated customs clearance of the ship after loading – Demurrage computation – Defendant unrepresented.
After entering the port of loading’s ice zone and loading a cargo of wheat, the ship had to wait several days for lack of customs documents before being granted permission to go back to sea. The shipowner claimed payment of demurrage for this delay, which was refused by the charterer, who was not represented at the arbitral hearing.

In the absence of the defendant, the Arbitral Tribunal ruled in accordance with article 472 of the Code of Civil Procedure. On the basis of the documents submitted by the claimant, the Tribunal held that there was a causal connection between payment for the goods and issuance of the documents upon which customs clearance of the ship was conditional. And yet, even though according to the charter party the customs clearance procedures were the shipowner’s responsibility, it was demonstrated that the shipowner could not obtain clearance owing to the charterer’s belated payment for the goods. The Arbitral Tribunal concluded that the charterer should pay compensation for the lost time at the demurrage rate stated in the charter party. It awarded the claimant a sum under article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure and ruled that the defendant alone would bear the costs of arbitration.