Armed guards missing

The operations department of a London broker received a message from an owner in relation to a voyage with offshore discharge in an area with a high risk of piracy. Attached to the message was a freight invoice and another one for the cost of armed guards. This cost was payable by the charterer under the terms of the charterparty.

The operations department realised that the freight invoice had been incorrectly addressed and requested a revised one. In the meantime they did not pass on the owner’s message.

In time they received a revised invoice from the owner which they passed on, failing to notice that the new message did not have the invoice for armed guards attached to it.

Sometime later the owner’s accounts department enquired about the unpaid armed guards invoice which was for US$ 80,000. The operations department realised their error. They sent the invoice to the charterers who rejected the claim because it had not been submitted within the period permitted under the charterparty.

The owner claimed against the broker who had to settle the invoice and were reimbursed by ITIC.

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