E-mail error

A commercial manager of a fleet of tankers was very aware of the perils of failing to make sure that demurrage claims were presented in time. They had a detailed diary and spreadsheet system in their office recording the relevant time bars. Despite all their precautions a demurrage claim of almost USD 300,000, sent to charterers by email did not arrive.

Unfortunately, the commercial managers had used an incorrect email address. Part of their system included a database of all the email addresses which they used regularly, however on this occasion the email address was not on the system and was typed in manually, with an “l” being substituted for an “i”. Chasers were sent to the charterers, but still using the incorrect email address.

On a routine review of outstanding demurrage claims the mistake was realised, this was unfortunately only after expiry of the time bar of 90 days in the governing charterparty.

There was no defence to a claim for the correct amount of the demurrage which was paid by ITIC.

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