| Archives: May 2014

Award 1215 – C/P Synacomex 90 – Social unrests, strike, curfew – Force majeure (no) – Laytime calculation. During the so-called “Arab Spring” a vessel was chartered to discharge a cargo of wheat in bulk in a Tunisian port. After remittance of her notice of readiness and while the authorities ordered a curfew from 21.00 to 05.00 hours, the vessel had to wait a few days before coming alongside and her discharging was frequently interrupted by a sit-in of the receiver’s staff. The dispute related to the laytime calculation. The arbitrators considered the charterer did not prove the curfew constituted a force majeure case which prevented discharging. The demonstrations of the staff in charge of the discharge, were aimed at protesting against the nomination of a new chief executive. This was insufficient, in French law, to qualify as strike. In addition, because the charter-party had been concluded during the Tunisian events, the charterer could not claim that he was not able to anticipate such disturbances. It was judged therefore the charterer could not take advantage of exonerating circumstances.