February is the shortest month
Ship broker fixed a vessel for an initial period of 3 months with subsequent optional periods of 3 months. The optional periods were declarable 30 days prior to expiry of the preceding period. The charterer was a regular client of the broker and the broker kept track of such options for them. Unfortunately when counting back to calculate when the notice was due the broker overlooked the effect of February only having 28 days. The notice was given late.
The owner had the right to reject the option and either ask the charterer to pay more or fix the vessel elsewhere. On this occasion the owners however waived their rights and continued the fixture at the existing rate.
ITIC sees many claims which involve time – whether it be calculating time, or missing time bars. You should ensure that you have systems in place to avoid being involved in these types of dispute.