Unless used. This phrase refers to the counting of laytime against a charterer and the exceptions to laytime such as Sundays and holidays.
During the periods excepted from laytime, if there is no qualification of the exception, the charterer may carry out loading and/or discharging without losing any laytime. In order to protect the owner, a qualification may be inserted into the voyage charter whereby certain specified periods are not counted against the charterer while the vessel is in port but if those periods are used for cargo operations they are counted as “laytime used”. (Note that the exceptions do not apply if the vessel is already on demurrage.) While the “unless used” (u.u.) provision is entirely for the benefit of the owner, the “even if used” (e.i.u.) provision is completely to the charterer’s advantage. An equitable compromise can sometimes be negotiated where a provision provides for only some proportion of the time used to be counted as laytime against the charterer. For example, a clause could state:
“The cargo shall be loaded and stowed/trimmed at the average rate of . . . tonnes and discharged at the average rate of . . . tonnes both per working day of 24 consecutive hours, weather permitting, Sundays (or their local equivalent) and Holidays excepted unless used when only half time actually used shall count.”
Therefore, if work is carried out during the excepted days, only half the actual hours of work count as laytime.
The phrase “ . . . means that if work is carried out during the excepted days the actual hours of work only count against laytime”.