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Voyage charter

A charter agreement which applies to a particular voyage. The charter may be of the ship or of space in it, but ceases on completion of the voyage. There are various obligations imposed on both ship-owner and charterer. The owner must bring the ship to the agreed port at the agreed time and the charterer must deliver the goods at the specified port at the specified time. The ship-owner warrants that the ship will be seaworthy at the commencement of the voyage though not necessarily during the continuation of the voyage. Where the ship calls at a number of ports, it must be seaworthy on leaving each port. The ship must also be properly equipped and must be ready to proceed with due dispatch. It must not deviate from its course (for exceptions see marine insurance).

The charterer must load or unload within the specified lay days. The ship-owner does not usually accept liability for losses such as arrest and restraint of princes, rulers and people, fire, barratry, gales, stranding, Other damages of navigation (i.e. those most applicable to voyage by sea), or acts of God or the Queen’s enemies. The liability of the ship-owner is, apart from this, that of a common carrier.

Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.