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TBOOK (To The Best Of Owner’s Knowledge)

Voyage Charterparties

Law and Sea.

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Without Guarantee
Last updated: 17-Feb-2015

Per Scrutton LJ in Japy Frères and Co. v Sutherland & Co., (1921) 6 Ll.L.Rep. 381:

I can only read the statement that she could carry 600 tons "without guarantee" as being a refusal to contract that she shall actually carry 600 tons and that there shall be a right to claim damages if she does not… It is not necessary to decide it, but I myself should have been disposed to think that this was a representation the untruth of which would enable the other party to rescind the contract on discovering the untruth… If it is attempted to treat it as a term of the contract the breach of which gives a right to damages then I think the words "without guarantee" preclude any claim…

Per Longmore J in The Lendoudis Evangelos [1997] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 404 at pp.405-6:

…in a case not dissimilar to the present and about this very ship, Benship International Inc. v Deemand Shipping Co. S.A., (unreported, Mar. 14, 1988), Mr. Justice Leggatt had to construe the words:

…One Timecharter trip … about 40/120 days duration without guarantee.

The vessel was redelivered after the first cargo had been partly loaded and, due to difficulties at the loading port, then discharged. Owners argued that there was an obligation on the charterers to keep the ship at least about 40/120 days and that the words "without guarantee" changed that obligation from a condition of the contract to a warranty, permitting only a claim to damages. Mr. Justice Leggatt held that the clause was not even a warranty and only -

…a representation placing the charterer under an obligation to make in good faith their estimate of the duration of the trip.

Again there is no sign that any argument was addressed to the Judge that the words "without guarantee" reduced the absolute nature of the obligation to an obligation not negligently to calculate the duration of the trip. Nevertheless there is a clear statement from that learned Judge that, whatever the obligation is, it is no more than to make an estimate in good faith.

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