| Archives: December 2010

Award N° 1179 – Contract of affreightment – Hardship situation (No) – Partial execution of contracts – Force majeure (No). To be validated, the notification of a situation of hardship has to be : (1) Unambiguous. (2) Given during the period of execution of the contract. (3) Followed by the meeting between the parties as planned by the clause. For only one of the three contracts partially executed due to the crisis in the steel industry, the notification fulfilled these requirements but the conditions of the situation of hardship were not fulfilled nor those of force majeure because the main obstacle to the execution of the Charterer’s commitments had been the freight rate of the contract, what exactly the clause of hardship ruled out of its application. The Charterer was condemned to indemnify the Shipowner for his loss of earnings on the basis of the difference between the contracts performance and that of the market at the time of the planned shipments execution under deduction of a percentage of 25% taking into account imponderable factors.