After the CIF sale contract between the parties had been performed, the dispute emerged with respect to demurrage due from the buyer to the seller, accrued due to a delay in discharging operations.
The crux of the dispute was the weather at the port of discharge. Under fundamental rules of the laytime calculation, time does not count for the period of bad weather (rain, snow, storm, etc.). The position of the buyer was that most of the relevant time at the port of discharge there had been raining, that prevented conduct of discharging operations. Accordingly, the final demurrage amount was rather insignificant. At the same time, the sellers’ position was the opposite. They alleged that there had been almost no rain during the relevant time period, so that all this time should be counted as laytime, increasing the amount of demurrage.
In support of their positions both parties provided various pieces of evidence, including, from witness statements of the port workers, meteorological reports, statements of facts regarding other vessels in the relevant period of time and weather expert reports.
After a long-lasting exchange of written submissions between the parties, the tribunal dismissed the seller’s claim in its entirety, confirming the calculations submitted by the buyer. As a result, the buyer had to pay only one-seventh of the sum initially requested by the seller.