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Notice of Readiness (NOR)

Expected Ready to Load, Clause
Last updated: 21-Jun-2015

Maredelanto Compania Naviera SA v Bergbau-Handel GmbH (The Mihalis Angelos), [1971] 1 QB 164 per Megaw LJ:

Third, it is … clearly established by authority binding on this court that where a clause 'expected ready to load' is included in a contract for the sale of goods to be carried by sea, that clause is a condition, in the sense that any breach of it enables the buyer to reject the goods without having to show that the dishonest or unreasonable expectation of the seller has in fact been prejudicial to the buyer. The judgment of Bankes LJ, in which Warrington LJ and Atkin LJ concurred, in Finnish Government v H Ford & Co Ltd (1921) 6 LI L Rep 188 is in point. The clause there was ‘steamers expected ready to load February and/or March 1920’. Bankes LJ said, at p. 189:

“I come to the conclusion … that this clause is one containing a contract. It is a contract which is in its nature a condition….”

That authority is not only binding on this court, but is, I think, completely and desirably in conformity with the line of cases which have decided - and the law in that respect is now accepted as being beyond dispute - that a statement in a contract of sale as to the loading period is a condition in the sense which I have indicated. If the contract says 'loading to be during July', the buyer can reject the goods if the loading was not complete until midday on August 1. He is not limited to claiming damages; he is not obliged to show that he has suffered any damage.

And per Edmund-Davies LJ at p.197:

…These words mean that, in the light of the facts known to the owner at the time of making the contract, he honestly expected the vessel would be ready as stated and, further, that such expectation was based on reasonable grounds.

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