You’re barred

You’re barred

Following the conclusion of two voyages, the owners sent two claims (heating and demurrage) to the brokers within the contractual time bar, with instructions for the broker to send them to charterers. However, the emails were overlooked by the broker and were not sent.

When owners asked for an update on both claims some eight months later, it became apparent to the broker that they had missed the emails and not forwarded the claims to charterers. The broker immediately forwarded the claims, but the charterers rejected them both as they were now time barred under the terms of the charter party.

Brokers worked hard to mitigate the claims with the owners and the charterers, but to no avail. They then informed ITIC. There were no defences available to the broker which meant the owner would have had a valid claim against them. Therefore, the broker settled the claims for a total of US$ 204,000. This was reimbursed by ITIC.

This is a very common mistake. It is helpful to install a diary system and/or to make sure absent colleague’s desks are covered so emails are not missed when they are away. Some companies have a general “claims” inbox which is viewed by numerous people so emails are not missed.

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