The dispute concerned the interpretation of the laytime and demurrage terms under a CIF contract. Suek AG v Glencore International AG (2011).
The Court had to determine whether, under a CIF contract of sale, the master had been entitled to give notice of readiness where firstly, the vessel had been unable to proceed with the discharge as the berth was occupied by another vessel when it reached the port and secondly, the weather was such that the vessel was prevented from reaching the berth in any event.
Clause 7.13 of the contract stipulated that "in case the berth was occupied on arrival, the vessel could tender notice of readiness at the usual waiting place ... whether in berth or not".
The buyer argued that the bad weather meant that Clause 7.13 could not be invoked and that only once the tidal conditions allowed for the vessel to berth could the master give notice of readiness, even if the berth was unavailable.
The Court disagreed with the buyer and asserted that it was the buyer's obligation to provide a berth when the vessel arrived at the discharge port.
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