Award 1248 – C/P Synacomex 90 – Wheat in bulk – “Ice clause” – Notice of arrival – The wait for an icebreaker – Demurrage computation – Defendant unrepresented.
On approaching the port of Rostov, the ship issued a notice of arrival in the zone of Kerch, where it is customary to notify the local authorities of one’s arrival in order to determine the need for assistance according to weather conditions. It then reached the zone where it had to wait for an icebreaker to access the loading dock. In dispute was the validity of the notice of arrival, which the charterer, unrepresented at the arbitration hearing, considered that it had not been issued in the correct form and accordingly that he could not be deemed liable for the lost time spent waiting for the icebreaker. In the absence of the defendant, the Arbitral Tribunal ruled in accordance with article 472 of the Code of Civil Procedure. It found that, even though the notice of arrival had been issued precociously, it was valid insofar as the ship had reached the area where it had to wait for an icebreaker. Accordingly, compensation for lost time should be paid at the demurrage rate stated
in the charter party, in accordance with the ice clause. The Tribunal 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.