Free from incumbrances. Sale contracts of ships usually contain the proviso “free from incumbrances” which implies that the vessel is free from any mortgage or other debt.
Firm For Reply or Firm for Immediate Reply. During chartering negotiations, telexes and similar messages are transmitted by one parry's brokers to brokers for the other party using introductoryterminology such as these terms. In chartering practice, such terminology has become common and acceptable to most, if not all, shipping professionals.
Freight insurance. Under the terms of a freight policy, coveting as a rule a sum not exceeding 15 per cent of the value of the hull and machinery, the shipowners are also covered according to Institute Time Clauses (Freight) for loss of freight directly caused by the perils in the Institute Time Clauses (Hulls) 1983 with the exception of “damage”. Other clauses are similar to Institute Time Clauses (Hulls) 1983. In the Institute Time Clauses (Freight) an additional clause for “Freight - Collision” is similar to the 3/4ths Collision Liability Clause in the Institute Time Clauses (Hulls) 1983 except that freight liability is covered.
Flat rate. A vessel may be chartered for shipment of various kinds of cargo, the specific nature of which is not known at the time of the fixture, or it may have to load for several ports within a certain range, out of which one port will be selected as the final port of discharge. In such cases the agreed freight rate is a "flat rate". An example of reported fixture on a "flat rate" could read:
Fake bills of lading. Some fraudsters are capable of forging bills of lading using high quality colour photocopiers that can reproduce even the printed logo of the earner. These fake bills of lading are usually used in persuading buyers or banks to pay for non-existent cargo. This practice can be prevented if the innocent parties check the name and movements of the vessel named on the bill of lading.