NOR

In The Linardos (1994), discussion took place on the question of the ‘black and white effect’ (to use the presiding judge’s own words) of the general principle that a valid notice of readiness cannot be given unless and until the vessel is in truth ready to load. The relevant charter party contained, in addition to the usual stipulations for presenting a notice of readiness, a provision that any time subsequently lost through requirements for load readiness being unfulfilled, including a marine surveyor’s certificate, should not count… It also contained a separate clause incorporating load port (Richards Bay) regulations providing, amongst other things, that a notice of readiness would only be accepted after the receipt of certificate by an independent marine surveyor certifying that the holds were clean and dry. It also required that a the ‘black and white’ effect of the basic principle could be varied by express provisions in the charter party. In giving the NOR the master had to be acting in good faith. The charter party wording providing as it did for presentation of NOR whether in berth or not (i.e. contemplating a possible port congestion on arrival) also provided very sensibly for the possibility that the holds might need a final cleaning prior to the mandatory passing as fit by an independent local surveyor. The vessel on the other hand might have had to wait weeks for a berth due to the congestion whereas the hold cleaning might have occupied only a few hours, as indeed it did. It would be commercially unreasonable to force an owner to lose all the benefits of wasted waiting time for the sake of merely a few hours hold cleaning. Thus the Court held that it is possible to contract out of the ‘black and white’ effect of the general principle upon which the tendering of a notice of readiness is founded.