Η διακοπή του ενοικίου στη χρονοναύλωση (Off-Hire) - Συγκριτική ανάλυση με βάση το αγγλικό δίκαιο και τη σχετική νομολογία
KeywordsΕνοίκιο ; Μίσθωμα ; Διακοπή ενοικίου ; Διακοπή μισθώματος ; Χρονοναυλώσεις ; Hire ; Off-Hire ; Time Charter
In a time charter, the shipowner lets his ship to the charterer in consideration of hire payment. The payment is done in advance and usually every fortnight. The charterer's primary obligation is the payment of hire and it is an absolute one. Lord Porter states in Tankexpress v. Compagnie Financiere Beige des Petroles, that "..apart from some special circumstances that are justified, the non-payment (of hire) is a breach of contract..". The only exception to this absolute obligation is the Off-Hire Clause. Off-Hire clauses exist in almost all the standard time charterparties. Although there is a detailed description of the events which trigger the Off-Hire clause and the term is quite explanatory, there are still interpretative problems that are refered to arbitrators and/ or judges to solve. The decisions and explanations produced from the cases that have been refered to the English Courts clear the picture a bit. Some of the important cases, which are detailed below, are the The Mareva AS, Hogarth v. Miller (West/alia), The Doric Pride, The Nafri and others. Nevertheless, some elements still confuse shipowners and charterers and lead to conflicts. Depending on the time charterparty used and the exact wording of the Off-Hire clause, its function can change. Therefore, the perusal and understanding of the Off-Hire clause is of utmost importance for both parties.