NYPE Return of the Ship

The charterparty will normally require the charterer to maintain the vessel in ‘an efficient state’ during the period of hire, while the redelivery clause will expect the vessel to be returned ‘in the same good order as when delivered to the charterers (fair wear and tear excepted)’. Clearly the charterer will be liable for damage to the vessel resulting from negligence on the part of himself or his agents, but it is not clear whether accidental damage to the vessel incurred during loading and discharge is covered by the ‘fair wear and tear’ proviso. In this respect the ‘fair wear and tear’ exception conflicts with the charterer’s obligation to indemnify the shipowner for the consequences of complying with his instructions.