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Web Alert: Always Accessible

11 April 2018

On 26 March 2018 Mr Justice Knowles determined that the berth warranty 'always accessible' must mean the vessel must be able to enter and leave the berth.

The decision by Mr Justice Knowles on an arbitration appeal involved the mv Aconcagua Bay which had been unable to leave its berth for 14 days due to a broken lock resuting in the vessel owners claiming detention from charterers, relying on the 'always accessible' warranty in the charterparty.

The finding now provides a distinct difference between a warranty by charterers that a berth will be 'reachable on arrival' (only refers to arrival') and a warranty that the berth will be 'always accessible' (refers to arrival and departure).

The decision now affirms the BIMCO and Baltic laytime defintion for 'always accessible'.

Alex Davey and Tom Hodges of Birketts LLP acted for owners and instructed Nevil Phillips and Ben Gardner of Quadrant Chambers.

The copy of the judgement can be found here and here