This refers to the time allocated to a charterer within which to load or discharge with regards a chartered vessel.
When a charterer is not able to complete operations on a vessel within the laydays allowed, he may be liable under the charter party agreement to pay demurrage which is a compensation for damages that might have been caused due to the delay caused the vessel. On the other hand, if the charterer is able to ensure that operations are completed before laydays elapses then he is entitled if the charter party provides to receive dispatch money from the ship owner.
Laydays and laytime would usually contain certain provisions as per the agreement like weather permitting, holidays exempted, Saturdays and Sundays exempted etc.
The commencements of laydays is dependent on;
- When vessel is at “Arrived Ship”
- When vessel is ready to load or discharge
- When “Notice Of Readiness” have been served by the ship owner
“Arrived Ship” literally means if or when the vessel or ship could be said to have arrived as per the type of voyage charter party agreement used (berth or port) . A berth charter party means that a vessel can only be classified as “Arrived Ship” if a berth is made available to the vessel and it is at berth. On the contrary if the charter party specifies “port” then a vessel is “Arrived Ship” once it is at the port this could even be at anchorage regardless of the availability of a berth.
For laydays to actually commence however, “Notice Of Readiness”(NOR) should have been served by the owner of the ship. This indicates that the vessel is ready and its holds are at the disposal of the charterer for loading and discharging to begin. It is also very important to note that a vessels’ NOR must confirm a vessels’ actual readiness to load due to liability issues that may arise if a vessel is not actually ready to load and yet still a ship owner serves a “Notice Of Readiness” .
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