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)

AA AA. Always afloat, always accessible.

Always afloat. In order to prevent a vessel from being ordered to proceed to a berth where she cannot load or discharge without touching the ground or which can only be reached safely after discharging part of the cargo into lighters or which can only be reached with spring tide, the so-called "always safely afloat clause" is inserted in the charterparty. 

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.

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)

 

"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. 

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.

 

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.

 

AH range. A range of ports between Antwerp and Hamburg in Europe. If the owner agrees with this range of ports he accepts that Antwerp and Hamburg are warranted by the Charterer as being "safe" but he may have to dispute the "safety" of any other port nominated within the range. This description of a range of ports is sometimes abbreviated to "AH.R".

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.

AWRI Additional War Risk Insurance. This is an extra amount paid to the owner of a time-chartered vessel if the ship is ordered to a port or an area in which war or hostilities are taking place and the shipowner's insurers require an additional insurance premium for the vessel to be considered to be covered against risks in that place. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Abandonment. Where there is a constructive total loss (see also Marine loss), the assured may either treat the loss as a partial loss or abandon the vessel to the insurer and treat the loss as-if it were an actual total loss. 

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:

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