Statement of Facts

Statement of Facts (SoF) is a very important document upon which operators base their calculations for the computation of lay time. Statement of Facts (SoF) is a standard form document that is completed by the master of the ship or the port agent. It provides information and keeps track of all activities concerning the ship from the moment it has arrived at port until the completion of all cargo operations and the departure of the ship. This document includes the following information:

• The date and time of the ship’s arrival
• The time notice of readiness was tendered and accepted
• The time waiting for berth
• The time the ship berthed/shifted to another berth
• The time cargo operations commenced, the time and period of any disruptions to cargo operations, completion of cargo operations and departure
• The weather conditions and how they affected cargo operations
• Other information pertaining to or influencing the calculation of laytime

There are various standard form statement of facts forms for both dry cargo and tanker ships. One commonly used Statement of Facts (SoF) form is published by BIMCO. Statement of Facts (SoF) form is issued by the owner’s agent at the loading and discharging port and is signed by the master of the ship as well as by the other parties that have an interest in the ship and cargo in question, including the charterer’s representatives, shippers or the receivers. By signing Statement of Facts (SoF) form, parties agree and concur to its content. If there is disagreement on any particular issue, then the party that objects to the specific provision may sign “under protest,” clearly stating the objection. In addition to the statement of facts and consequent to its issue, the ship operator will produce a so-called lay time statement. The statement is based on the facts reported in the statement of facts form at the loading and discharge ports and reflects in detail the calculation of laytime used, as well as a calculation for demurrage or dispatch as the case may be. Relevant facts are the date and time that loading operations commenced or stopped, weather and other conditions affecting its progress, number of gangs employed, breakdowns, shiftings, and so on. Computer software is available for the calculation of laytime. In tanker chartering, the statement of facts includes dates and times for tendering notice of readiness, commencement and completion of cargo operations, and details of pumping times and delays, together with reasons for the delay.