Port Disbursements

Deductions from Hire: hire is subject to deductions for: Address commission and/or brokerage. However, hire is also subject to other deductions: Port disbursements. Quite often the owners of a time chartered vessel will avoid appointing a port agent to attend on their behalf, relying instead on the time charterers’ port agent and reimbursing any expenses the time charterer and/or the port agent may incur, (e.g. cash to vessel’s master, chandlery bills, crew leaving or joining etc.) by means of a routine deduction from hire. Most time charterparties give charterers a ‘reward’ for carrying out this service by payment of a percentage based on the amount involved. In the ASBATIME lines 128/132, this ‘reward’ amounts to 2.50% commission on any such advances. A particular port disbursement that causes some disputes is waste disposal charges. Few owners object when they actually dispose of ship’s waste but some ports levy the charge regardless and in such cases the dispute is over whether this is an expense that should be paid for by the owner or the charterer. Domestic bunkers. Bearing in mind that ASBATIME although intended and marketed as a replacement of the NEW YORK PRODUCE EXCHANGE TIME CHARTER 1946, is rarely used, and is used here only for ease of illustrating the elements of a timecharter and particular clauses, it is important to draw students’ attention to an omission in regard to domestic bunkers. Reference to the NYPE 46 form, Clause 20, will reveal that ‘fuel used… for cooking, condensing water, or for grates and stoves to be agreed as for quantity, and the cost of replacement same, to be allowed by owners’. No mention of this ‘domestic fuel arrangement’ is contained in the ASBATIME or NYPE 93. Nevertheless, and despite the old-fashioned language introduced originally when steam-powered vessels were the norm, it has been legally upheld under English Law during the 1980’s that the spirit of this clause applies in principle also to modern diesel-engined ships. Consequently, providing agreement can be reached as to quantity (usually by a pre-calculation during fixing negotiations) and no matter what charterparty form is being used, charterers can negotiate entitlement to an allowance for a vessel’s domestic fuel consumption for heating, lighting, cooking, etc. and this is usually deducted in the form of a lumpsum payment from hire.