CHAPTER 3 第3章
Commencement of laytime 装卸时间的起算
The Gencon form of charter 金康格式的租船合同范本
3.264 The 1994 version of the charter provides in relation to when laytime commences at clause 6(c) of Part II:
Laytime for loading and discharging shall commence at 13.00 hours, if notice of readiness is given up to and including 12.00 hours, and at 06.00 hours next working day if notice given during ofﬁce hours after 12.00 hours....
The 1976 version of the charter is in similar terms, but does not use a 24-hour clock. Thus, if notice is given after noon but within ofﬁce hours that day, laytime commences at 06 00 on the next working day. Some points to note are ﬁrst the reference to ofﬁce hours, rather than working hours, and secondly the reference to ofﬁce hours must presumably mean ofﬁce hours on a working day if time is to start at 06 00 on the next working day. If notice is given outside ofﬁce hours, because by then it is past working hours in the port ofﬁces, or it is not a working day, or indeed, at any time up to 12 00 the next day, whatever the status of that day, time starts at 13 00. However, if the day on which notice commences is not a working day, it will be immediately suspended until when laytime resumes, usually 06 00 on the next working day. There is no overriding provision that notice can only be given in ofﬁce hours on a working day and there is no need to imply such a term to make the clause workable. The default position is therefore that laytime will normally commence at 13 00 but, as an exception if it is given in ofﬁce hours the previous day and that day is a working day, it will start at 06 00 on the day after it has been given.
Notice given before commencement date for laytime
3.265 It is usual for a charter to specify two dates, the period between sometimes being called the laycan spread. The effect of these is that it is agreed that laytime cannot commence before the earlier date and, if the ship is not ready by the later date, the charterers have the option to cancel the charterparty. However, the date when laytime can commence and when notice can be given are totally different things. As was said in one London Arbitration:
It was often thought that a notice of readiness could not be given before the commencement of lay days under a charter, but that was incorrect unless there was an express provision to that effect. In the absence of such a provision, a valid notice might be given at any time, but the laytime could not commence before the date given in the charter.
This was conﬁrmed by Rix LJ in The Front Commander. But this does not mean that any provision in the charter, such as notice to be given in ofﬁce hours, can be ignored—it must still be complied with. If the charter provides for laytime to commence at a speciﬁed time, it will commence at that time after the opening of the laycan spread, provided of course any other restriction, e.g. that it is a working day, has also been met.
这在The Front Commander案中，Rix大法官进一步确认。但，这并不意味着可以忽视租船合同中任何条文规定，例如关于通知书应在办公时间内递交的规定，这种规定仍然必须要遵照执行。如果租船合同中规定装卸时间从一个明确规定的时间开始起算，则它应该从受载期开始后的那个时间起算，当然，如果还有其他的限制条件，比如，这还得是工作日，也必须得满足这种条件。
3.266 In an analogous situation, in London Arbitration 9/90 the tribunal held that in a charter where the charterers were entitled to use the vessel for ﬂoating storage between loading and discharging, nevertheless the owners were entitled to present notice of readiness for discharge whilst the vessel was still performing storage services.
Correctness of notice of readiness 准备就绪通知书的正确性
3.267 Where a notice of readiness is required either at common law (at ﬁrst load port) or by the terms of the charter, then when it is given the vessel concerned must have arrived at her speciﬁed destination (or have met the requirements of any clause advancing commencement of laytime), must then be in a state of readiness to load or discharge and must have fulﬁlled any additional requirements e.g. entry at Custom House.
3.268 In relation to a laytime clause which read:
Lay days at ﬁrst loading port to commence twenty-hours, Sundays and holidays excepted, after receipt by charterers or their agents of master’s written notice during ordinary working hours, that steamer is entered at the Custom House and in all respects ready to load.
as McNair J said succinctly in Graigwen (Owners) v. Anglo-Canadian Shipping Co Ltd:
Clearly, although the clause only relates the commencement of the lay days to the giving of notice, the facts stated in the notice, namely the entry at the Custom House and readiness, must also be true at the time the notice is given.
It is also worth mentioning that the vessel must be where she purports to be and as already said, where she is required to be before notice can be given.
如McNair法官在Graigwen (Owners) v. Anglo-Canadian Shipping CoLtd一案中简要地说：
3.269 In Government of Ceylon v. Societe Franco-Tunisienne d’Armement-Tunis (The Massalia (No 2)), however, Diplock J was prepared to hold that a notice of readiness given before it was possible to discharge the cargo to which it related should take effect when the vessel was ready to discharge that cargo. Furthermore, he held that a provision in the notice clause that time should commence at a speciﬁed time need not be followed since charterers were already unloading at other hatches.
3.269在Government of Ceylon v. Societe Franco-Tunisienne d’Armement-Tunis (The Massalia(No.2))案，然而，Diplock 法官却做出判决：准备就绪通知书可以在可能进行卸货之前递交，当船舶在做好卸货准备时生效。另外，他还判定，因为承租人已在其他舱口开始提前卸货，在通知书条款中关于时间起算的条文也就没有必要再遵守了。
3.270 The facts of the case were that a vessel was chartered with a part cargo of ﬂour from Antwerp and Bordeaux to Colombo. The owners were given liberty to complete with other cargo, which they did, overstowing the ﬂour in most of the holds. The laytime commencement clause at the discharge port provided for: ‘‘Time to commence at 2 p.m. if notice of readiness to discharge is given before noon, and at 08 00 next working day if notice given during ofﬁce hours after noon.’’ At 09 00 on the day of her arrival, the Massalia gave notice. Six days later, discharge of the ﬂour and overstowed cargo began and all the ﬂour cargo was accessible three days after that. It was only then, said Diplock J, that laytime commenced since the notice referred to in the laytime commencement clause was a notice of readiness to discharge ﬂour.
3.271 Of this case, Donaldson J said in Christensen v. Hindustan Steel Ltd:
In reaching this decision that learned judge relied upon an unidentiﬁed authority which no one has been able to trace. He was also much inﬂuenced by the fact that the charterers were apparently the consignees of the overstowed cargo and so needed no notice of readiness. In my judgment, this decision turned upon very special facts and does not cast doubt upon the general rule that a notice of readiness is wholly ineffective if, subject to minimal qualiﬁcations, the vessel is not ready to discharge at the time at which it is given.
3.271针对上一个案例，Donaldson法官在 Christensen v. Hindustan Steel Ltd—案中说：