Ship Off-Hire

Ship hire is payable throughout the charter period irrespective of whether the charterer has any use for the ship. Usually, provision is stipulated in an off-hire clause that no hire shall be payable during periods when the full use of the ship is not available to the charterer because of some break-down, accident or deficiency which falls within the shipowner’s area of responsibility. Ship off-hire clause stipulates the incidences on which the ship will go off-hire and is normally initiated by the insignificant occurrence of the event, regardless of any fault on the part of the shipowner. With off-hire clause, charterer will be entitled to an adjustment of the hire to remunerate for the time lost. Generally, off-hire clauses include express provision intended to enable the charterer to deduct the suitable amount from the next installment of hire. Even in the absence of such an express clause, the courts are apparently prepared to imply a right to deduct, provided that such deductions are made in good faith and on reasonable grounds.