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



"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. 

Before breaking bulk (BBB). Freight is normally payable on delivery of the cargo. In the usually volatile tanker market with many traders coming in as charterers, many may be unknown to shipowners.

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.

Block coefficient. The block coefficient of a vessel is obtained by dividing the underwater volume of displacement of a ship by the volume of a block of the same length and breadth, and of height equal to the draught of the ship. The block coefficient depends upon the “lines” of the ship. Passenger vessels with fine lines have a lower block coefficient than cargo ships with full lines. The abbreviation for Block Coefficient is generally given as Cb.


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.


At and from. This expression in a voyage policy implies that where a ship or cargo is insured “at and from” a particular port and she arrives in the port safely with the intention of proceeding on the insured voyage when the contract is concluded, the risk attaches immediately.

Ballast bonus (BB). It may occur that charterers, in order to attract tonnage agree to pay a certain ballast bonus. The ballast bonus serves as a compensation and incentive for the ballast (empty) trip from the ship's last port of discharge to the port where the charter will commence, for example, the first place of loading under a voyage charter or the point of delivery under a time charter. It is more common under time charters, especially in a good market when charterers are unable to obtain ships easily or at a low rate of hire.

Additional premium.This may be payable by charterers or shippers to the cargo insurers because of the ship's age, class or flag. The charterparty can provide that this extra premium is deductible from freight or from hire. The owner should attempt to qualify a clause with such a provision by limiting the amount of deduction and also by requiring the charterer to provide proper documentation as proof of the extra insurance before the deduction.


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

Backdated bill of lading (Fraud and bills of lading.)A modern case may help to introduce the problems that can arise and identify some of the important issues. A sale contract requires the cargo to be loaded and bills of lading to be dated no later than 15 July.

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.


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)

Both to Blame collision clause. This is a clause found in both voyage and time charterparties and also in bills of lading. It is a protective clause, to give protection to one side. For example, a typical clause in a charterparty can state: