| Archives: February 2011

Award N° 1180 – 2nd degree Synacomex – Amended Centrocon Strike Clause (ACSC) – Blockade of roads outside the harbour affecting the loading – Neut ral izat ion of layt ime and exemption of demurrage – Limit: “Once on demurrage, always on demurrage” – Rule B (Yes). A small bulk carrier was chartered under a SYNACOMEX 90 C/P to load in Argentina a full and complete cargo of soya bean meal and corn, bound for Ivory Coast. The C/P contains a classic clause of “force majeure”, as well as the Amended Centrocon Strike Clause (ACSC). Because of road blockades outside the harbour by the Argentinian farmers, the ship had to wait 4 weeks before berthing for the loading of the corn shipment that had not arrived at the loading terminal. During these 4 weeks, the periods of blockade followed each other intermittently. Further to the request for demurrage presented by the Shipowner, the clause of “force majeure” was not applicable because of road blockade which were existing when chartering was under negotiation: the Charterer cannot therefore call upon the unpredictability. The ACSC is to be applied, during the first periods of blockade, neutralizing the lay time for about 20 days. However, once the ship is in demurrage, the ACSC cannot be applied during new periods of blockade due to the rule: “once on demurrage, always on demurrage”. The arbitration Tribunal have considered that demurrage is to be applied for about ten days only.