Translation troubles

Notice of readiness was tendered by a ship on arriving at a port in the Middle East. The local port agent then submitted all the relevant cargo declarations, which included a document which the agent had translated into Arabic and English, which described the cargo and the names of the consignees.

The ship arrived on 21st October and the only berth at which the ship could discharge was occupied until 31st October. A mistake in the translation was noticed on 27th October and the ship was not able to berth until the errors had been corrected and the documents resubmitted. This delayed the ship from 27th to 31st October – the last three days of the overall delay.

The owners claimed against the port agent for the full ten day period stating that due to the documentary error the ship had not legally been able to berth. The owners could not pursue the charterers for the demurrage relating to the first part of the delay.

ITIC assisted the Member in negotiating a settlement based on 50% of the overall delay of USD 110,000, which was paid by ITIC.

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