Always accessible berth(s)

Always accessible berth(s). The berth must be capable of being approached in the sense of having an unobstructed way or means of approach. 

This expression describes the berth only and not the ship and means only that the berth is capable of being approached. It is relevant to the ship’s being an “Arrived ship”. In The Kyzikos, 1989, when it went before the first judge before it reached the House of Lords, the phrase “always accessible berths” had to be decided. The vessel was chartered to carry cargo to one or two “. . . always accessible berths . . . “. In the dispute about demurrage, the judge held that the shipowners would be entitled to succeed in their claim for demurrage if they could show that the charterers were in breach of their obligation to provide a berth that was always accessible. The judge stated that the word “accessible” meant simply that the berth was capable of being approached. This required it to be unobstructed by a physical obstruction. In the case, the vessel was prevented from reaching the berth because of fog. This was not a physical obstruction end therefore the berth was always accessible.


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