Incorrect description of ship's fuel requirements


  • Date: 01/02/1996

A broker for the time charterer fixed a ship on the NYPE form for one time charter trip from Rio de Janeiro to the Arabian Gulf/ Pakistan/ India/ Indonesia  range.

During fixture negotiations the owner's broker sent the ship's particulars to the time charterer's broker. These did not include the ship's fuel requirements. The broker representing the time charterer, having fixed similar ships in the past, assumed that it would burn IFO 180 cst.

This information was sent to the charterer and included in the re-cap.  The owner telephoned to object to the fuel description but this was overlooked by the broker. The charterer lifted subjects and confirmed the fixture.  The owner objected again by telex on receipt of the faxed copy of the charterparty.  He advised that the ship burned IFO 120 cst API 18 and not IFO 180 cst.  The former is more expensive and not always available.

The ship required bunkers in Rio de Janeiro and Durban.  IFO 120 was available in the former port and the price difference was minimal.  However, in Durban the only fuel available which had the correct viscosity was IFO 60.  The price for IFO 180 at that time was USD 82 per tonne and the price for IFO 60 was USD 114.  The ship required 800 tonnes and there was therefore a price difference of USD 25,600.

The charterer held the broker fully responsible for the additional cost of the fuel and deducted it from the broker's commission.  The broker was reimbursed in full by the Club.

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