P&I Club

Update Volume 2018/24 Continuing warranty of seaworthiness

Published on 12 november 2018

The Club has recently seen a number of cases in which the charter party contained a so-called continuing warranty of seaworthiness, i.e. the Owners guaranteed that the Vessel would be seaworthy at the commencement of the voyage and remain so throughout the duration of the voyage. The Club would urge Members to exercise caution with these continuing seaworthiness warranties as they could prejudice P&I cover for the reasons set out below.

As per Rule 17, Club cover is conditional to the Member not contracting on terms less favorable than the Hague Visy Rules (or Hamburg rules, as the case may be). The Hague Visby Rules place the Carrier (who will usually be the Shipowner) under the obligation to exercise due diligence in making their Ship seaworthy before and at the beginning of the voyage. The Carrier is therefore not obliged to give an absolute warranty of seaworthiness under Hague Visby Rules and a clause in the charter party that would place the Carrier under such an obligation is therefore a contractual liability for which there could be no P&I cover.

Members are advised to thoroughly consider the potential effects of entering into a charter party containing a continuing warranty of seaworthiness and to contact us if there are any questions or concerns.

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