威海市升安海运有限责任公司
WEIHAI SHENG AN SHIPPING CO.,LTD
船东应谨慎约定航速持续性保证条款

中国船东互保协会近期处理多起因航速持续性保证条款引起的航速索赔案件。协会提醒会员注意租约中的有关条款,不要轻易同意航速持续性保证条款。或尽可能在租约中加入除外条款,约定航速和油耗的保证不适用于船舶在热带或者温水中停留造成的航速减慢的情况。


  协会近期处理多起有关航速索赔的案件。在这些案件中,当事双方除在订租确认书中约定了航速与油耗的具体数据外,在有些租约中船东进一步承诺在整个航次保持航速与油耗,即航速持续性保证条款。例如:“The vessel shall be capable at all times of performing at the agreed speed and consumption in the weather conditions as stated and in the event that this is not the case, then the Charterers shall be compensated for slow speed or over- consumption and shall have the right to deduct this amount from hire after owners’ written approval.”


  值得注意的是,英国法院于2016年6月4日在“THE CORAL SEAS”( [2016] EWHC 1506 (Comm))一案中对相关问题做出了判决。该案的租约也约定了航速持续性保证条款:Throughout the currency of this Charter, Owners warrant that the vessel shall be capable of maintaining and shall maintain on all sea passages, from sea buoy to sea buoy, an average speed and consumption as stipulated in Clause 29(a) above, under fair weather condition not exceeding Beaufort force four and Douglas sea state three and not against adverse current.”


  船舶在热带水域中长时间停留,会产生污底而造成航速减慢,使船舶履行能力下降。在上述案件中,法官认为,租约中写明该船舶有能力并应当维持特定的航速和油耗,措辞非常清楚和广泛。船东虽然抗辩认为期租下执行承租人航行指示而造成的污底损害应当有承租人负责清理,船东应享有英国普通法赋予其的默示索赔权,但该案法官认为租约中已经约定了航速持续性保证条款,船东已经接受了此种风险,因此不享有普通法下的默示索赔权,船东应当负责污底损失带来的航速减慢损失。


  因此,协会特此提醒会员注意租约中的有关条款,不要轻易同意航速持续性保证条款。如果无法删除租约中航速持续性保证条款,请船东尽可能在租约中加入除外条款,约定航速和油耗的保证不适用于船舶在热带或者温水中停留造成的航速减慢的情况。