Failure to obtain free pratique proves costly

A ship arrived in port and due to previously agreed arrangements, began discharging cargo prior to obtaining free pratique. This is known as a “quick start”.

However, due to Covid-19 the port had changed their policy on quick starts without free pratique. The owner was unaware of this change when they arranged the cranes directly with the port, as the local agent had not advised them. Meanwhile, the agent had been delayed in respect of this ship because they were dealing with another ship which belonged to the same owner.

The owner tried to recover the crane charges whilst awaiting free pratique. These costs were US$ 30,000. As the owner had instructed them directly without the
agent’s knowledge, but as the agent had failed to inform the owner in advance of the change regarding quick starts it was agreed to split the costs on a 50/50 basis. The agent’s share was indemnified by ITIC.

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