AFRA (Average Freight Rate Assessment). This is a freight billing system which is composed of the weighted average of independently owned tanker tonnage.
The London Tanker Brokers’ Panel determines rates for various size categories, for example: 1 5,000124,999—25,000/44,999—45,000/69,999 applicable for six months commencing each January and July. AFRA allows an assessment of a freight scale for various size tankers.
AFRA can also be relevant to such matters as the calculation of demurrage for tankers. For example, in Fina Supply Ltd v. Shell UK Ltd. (1991) the Poitou was nominated to load an oil cargo at Sullom Voe in February 1989. Under the demurrage provisions in the charterparty, the appropriate rate of demurrage was to be determined by applying the AFRA appropriate to the size of vessel actually used and to the date of presentation of the Notice of Readiness. The vessel’s size fell into a range of AFRA which provided a figure of 101.8 per cent as a multiplier to be applied to the appropriate demurrage rate in the Worldscale demurrage table. The case was decided on a number of issues but is given here to show that AFPA does have relevance to commercial and legal matters such as demurrage.