Bunkers on delivery and redelivery. This “bunker clause” in a time charterparty stipulates that charterers shall accept and pay or all coal or fuel oil in the vessel’s bunkers at port of delivery and, conversely, owners shall take over and pay for all coal or fuel ail in the vessel’s bunkers at the port of redelivery at the current price at the respective ports. It is customary to agree upon a certain minimum and maximum quantity of bunkers on redelivery of the vessel (NYPE time charterparty).
Sometimes owners will arrange with the charterers to redeliver the vessel with a greater quantity of bunkers than originally agreed upon, for example, if the vessel can replenish bunkers at a port en route at an advantageous price, compared with the price at port of redelivery and the extra quantity is required in connection with the subsequent employment of the vessel. Such extra bunkers can only be taken if the vessel can accommodate same without shutting out cargo, for instance, in case the vessel’s cargo compartments are full but the ship is not “down to her marks”, so that the required deadweight is available for extra bunkers. In such a case a special arrangement should be made between the charterers and the owners concerning price. As a rule the advantage can be divided on a 50-50 basis.
A more detailed clause dealing with bunkers on delivery and redelivery is contained in cl. 4 of the ASBA’I’IME charterparty 1981 (derived from the 1946 NYPE time charter):
“3. The Charterers on delivery and the Owners on redelivery, shall take over and pay for all fuel oil and diesel oil remaining on board the vessel as hereunder. The vessel shall be delivered with .. . long/metric tons of fuel oil at the price of… per ton; .. . …… long/metric tons of diesel oil at the price of . . . per ton.”
Sometimes such a clause may stipulate merely that the bunkers on board on delivery and redelivery should be the same quantity, with perhaps a small tolerance because of difficulties for “sounding” tanks and assessing the quantity on board. This type of clause is unfavourable to shipowners because it results in the owner’s having to subsidise the charterers operations because the owner has already paid for the bunkers on board at delivery and the Charterer is using what is, in effect, the shipowner’s property or the value of the owner’s money. Later, the Charterer can simply obtain bunkers more cheaply and replace what he has used in his own service.