Anticorrosive paint. This is a special type of rust-preventing primer on a bituminous base. It is used as a primer for vessel’s bottom paints in dry-dock. It has two functions: to prevent corrosion and to bind old anti-fouling that has become porous because the antitoxins or poisons have escaped.


All told. In some charterparties the deadweight capacity of the vessel is shown with the addition "all told" (DWAT), which means the capacity mentioned in the charterparty represents the total deadweight capacity including bunkers, water, provisions, dunnage, stores, spare parts, crew, passengers and their effects. In order to arrive at the deadweight capacity for cargo (DWCC) deductions have to be made for bunkers, water, etc.


API gravity. In the oil industry influenced by the United States the “American Petroleum Institute” scale of mass/volume is used.

Authority to sign B/Ls-General. The bill of lading (B/L) is signed by only one party representing the carrier. The person signing could be the shipowner if the owner is the carrier, but it is more likely that other persons will sign on his behalf, as the shipowner's agents.

Aground. The bottom of the ship may touch the ground in a loading or discharging port because of tidal changes in the water level. If a charter allows the Charterer to send the ship to a port where it can safely touch the ground it will contain a clause describing the ship as being ". . . not always afloat but safely aground . . ." (NAABSA)

AG (Arabian Gulf). This suggests a range of ports in the Arabian Gulf (Iranian or Persian Gulf) where a ship can load or discharge cargo.


Apparel. The cargo capacity may be defined in a charterparty as follows:

“... tons, not exceeding what she can reasonably stow and carry in addition to her tackle, apparel, provisions, bunkers and furniture.”

The word “apparel” relates to the equipment of the vessel such as anchors, chains, lifeboats, etc.


ASBA. The Association of Shipbrokers and Agents (U.S.A.) Incorporated, New York.


Articles of Agreement. This was the name given to the document in which the terms of the crew employment agreement was contained. Under some flags, the Crew Agreement is still called the “Articles”. The name came from the different paragraphs in the document, each one numbered as “Article 1”, “Article 2”, and so on. The Agreement was also sometimes called “ship’s articles” or “shipping articles” and indicated that the contract was between the seaman and the master. 


Affreightment. This term is a somewhat old form of describing a contract to carry goods by sea, that is a "contract of carriage". 


"Act of God".When some events take place preventing one party from fully carrying out his obligations under a charterparty and that event occurs without any human intervention, this person is relieved from any liability to compensate the other party to the contract. 

Averaging. "To 'average' means that separate calculations are to be made for loading and discharging and any time saved in one operation is to be set against any excess time used in the other." (Charterparty Laytime Definitions 1980)

Arrest or seizure under legal process. A ship may be arrested for a maritime claim against it through legal action, as a guarantee for payment for damages. Before a ship can be arrested, a court must approve such action. The procedures for ship arrest vary between countries.

Arbitration agreement. This is an agreement by the parties to a contract (for example a charter )to submit all or some disputes between them in any legal relationship they may have. The "Model Law" adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in 1985 describes an "arbitration agreement" as follows: