Lay Time

Time lost in waiting for a berth: The charter party may state that time lost in waiting for a berth is to count as laytime. Such a clause is of value to the shipowner under a berth charter and under a port charter when the ship waits outside the port limits. The exceptions (e.g., holidays, weather working days) that apply under the charter party to the laytime will apply to the time so lost. Notice of readiness: A notice of readiness is given by the master of the ship and indicates that the ship has arrived at the port or berth, as the case may be, and is ready to load or discharge. The notice of readiness clause contains explicit provisions as to its service and stipulates how soon after its acceptance the lay time commences. The notice of readiness can be given even though there are some further preliminaries to be done or routine matters to be carried out or formalities observed. If those things are not such as to suppose that they will cause delay, and if it is apparent that the ship will be ready when the appropriate time arrives, then notice of readiness may be given. (per Lord Denning, M. R., The Tres Flores, 1978). These preliminaries may expressly be provided for in the charter by, for example, WIFPON (whether in free pratique or not), WICCON (whether customs cleared or not), and WIBON (whether in berth or not). However, they must be ready to commence loading or discharging operations at the time when the notice of readiness is tendered. Lay Time: This is the time allowed under the terms of the charter party for load- ing and discharging operations to be completed. There are many dif- ferent ways of expressing lay time. A charter party may require that the ship load or discharge as fast as she can, according to the custom of the port. This allows greater flexibility and may be subject to different interpretations under different circumstances. Normally, provisions for laytime are more specific, such as the express allowance of C number of days (or hours) for the loading and discharge of the cargo, or the equal- ly calculable basis that the ship shall load or discharge at X tons per day. Laytime is normally described as weather permitting working days
(i.e., the time will count as laytime unless the ship is prevented from working by adverse weather conditions). The charter party may indicate that laytime will not count on Sundays and holidays (Sundays, holidays excluded-SHEX), unless used (SHEXUU), or even if used (SHEXEIU), or that Sundays and holidays are included (SHINC). Sunday may be replaced by Friday in Islamic countries, or by Saturday.