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CHARTERING - AN OVERVIEW, PART 2

It is not necessary for charters to be in writing to be enforceable in Law. Given their relatively complex nature it is advisable for such agreements to be in writing. This avoids misunderstandings and provides clear evidence of the terms of the contract (C/P). To assist commercial people negotiate charters, various standard forms of agreement are available which parties can use. These can then be modified as necessary to suit particular arrangements. However it is important to remember that the terms of any such written agreement can subsequently be varied by the conduct of the parties. The Parties or their Authorized Agents may expressly agree to a variation or such a variation may be implied from their behaviour. This is an area which can easily lead to Arbitration or even the Civil Courts so it is best to be very clear about it.
The Master of a vessel has the Owner's authority to vary charters. This is done by agreeing to or acquiescing without protest, to the Charterer's requirements. It occurs when such requirements are not within the written terms of the agreement (C/P).
It should be noted that any failure to perform any part of any promise contained in a C/P gives the injured party claim in Law for compensation. There are some promises in a C/P which are viewed as being so fundamental to the performance of the agreement as a whole that if they are broken the injured party can refute the whole agreement as well as claiming damages. An example would be in yacht chartering the failure to provide the yacht contracted for by the time specified in the contract (C/P).

INFORMATIONAL ONLY NOT LEGAL ADVICE

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