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Reasonable Time


Law and Sea.
Implied obligation to sail without unreasonable delay

In absence of express term a charterparty would impliedly require the shipowner to proceed to the loading or discharging port without unreasonable delay. This implication comes from an assumption adhered to by the courts in marine insurance cases, that an unreasonable delay in performing the voyage insured is an equivalent to a deviation, which makes the policy void.

Reasonable Dispatch
Last updated: 05-Jun-2015

Per Moore-Bick J. in The Kriti Rex [1996] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 171 at p.191:

In many cases that is expressed in terms such as "shall proceed with all convenient speed", but if the charter contains no express term to that effect one will ordinarily be implied: see Louis Dreyfus & Co. v Lauro, (1938) 60 Ll.L.Rep. 94…

The main difficulty in the way of [council for the owners’] submissions is that the implied obligation to proceed with reasonable despatch arises from the nature of the contract and is necessary in order to give it commercial efficacy. Its existence is by now so well established that it can be regarded as an ordinary incident of any contract of carriage by sea which exists unless the parties have expressly or by implication provided otherwise. This means that rather than it being necessary for [the charterers] to show that such a term is to be implied in accordance with the criteria established in the authorities to which [council for the owners’] refers, it is for [the owners] to show that in this case the parties agreed that such an obligation should be excluded.

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