Owner’s Broker

There are schools of thought on what should happen next. Ideally, before any person signs a charterparty, it should be checked by all concerned so as to confirm their agreement with the contents. It is also polite to follow this course of action. However, where the parties are spread across the globe, this is impracticable and time-consuming. Of course, a fixture has been made verbally or in a series of telex messages or cables, and the charterparty’s existence or otherwise does not alter that agreement. But a charterparty’s prime function is to factually record an agreement in an easily read document, so as to avoid later misunderstandings or poor memory. Thus its early production is indeed desirable. For practicable purposes, therefore, it is best that the charterers broker promptly prepares the document and either submits same to his principal, or signs on his principal’s behalf under authority so to do, before despatching the half-signed original to the owner’s broker, retaining working copies for his own and his principal’s use. Any errors which the owner’s broker discovers upon checking the charterparty should be discussed with the charterer’s broker and, if necessary, rectified. Once content that the document before him factually represents all that has been agreed, the owner’s broker should similarly arrange for his principal to sign or should himself sign under appropriate authority. It is then a matter of courtesy – the charterer’s broker having drawn up the original document – for the owner’s broker to provide whatever copies are required by the various parties to the contract, the original charterparty usually being retained by the owner. But this procedure is by no means sacrosanct, and can be varied at the whim of the parties concerned, the above formula being suggested merely from the point of view of convenience and practicality.