Notice of Readiness at ”Customary Anchorage” – Asbatankvoy


Published: 8 September 2006

Commenting on a recent arbitration regarding tendering of NOR at “customary anchorage”.

In a recent London arbitration (2006) 698 LMLN 1 reported in LMLN No. 698 of 16 August 2006, “customary anchorage” in connection with tendering of NOR under an Asbatankvoy C/P was considered.

Clause 6 of the Asbatankvoy charter’s standard provisions read inter alia:

”Upon arrival at customary anchorage at each port of loading or discharge, the Master or his agent shall give the Charterer or his agent notice by letter …”.

In this matter, the vessel tendered Notice of Readiness at the entry buoy at Ras Tanura. This was, however, at a substantial distance from either of the two anchorages at which the ship might have been (and was in fact) ordered to wait. The charterers then argued that the Notice of Readiness was not valid as it was not tendered at the “customary anchorage”.

In the arbitration the tribunal found that “customary anchorage” had to be read fairly broadly and should take into account the features of the relevant port. In the tribunal’s view, the charter had been drafted on an assumption that – generally speaking – there would be an anchorage (which could in some situations merely be a temporary one) on the usual way into ports where it would be normal for a ship to find out whether she was to berth without delay or to wait.

Taking that approach, the tribunal then concluded that in this matter the entry buoy was the relevant place and had to be taken as the customary anchorage for those purposes with the effect that the Notice of Readiness tendered at the entry buoy was then considered valid.