Holiday. When cargo operations are suspended on a day that is usually used for public rest and/or recreation the charterparty clause normally makes it clear whether laytime is to count or not.

Usually the clause dealing with exceptions to laytime excludes holidays, unless there are qualifications such as “unless used”. Exceptions to laytime generally benefit the charterer (unless the vessel is already on demurrage). Holidays are considered to occur only in the port where cargo operations will occur. Holidays given to the crew will not necessarily be an exception to laytime.

For laytime purposes “Holidays” include parts of a week on which cargo operations would normally occur but are suspended because the local’ law or custom or usual practice in the port treats that part of a week as a “holiday”, just like Sundays are normally treated. Some countries may not consider Sundays as holidays and also may not consider other days, such as religious festivals and feast days, for example, Christmas day and New Year’s Day, as holidays although these are treated as holidays in many western countries. Custom is as important in this respect as is the law.

The holiday can be on a national scale or on a local scale, differing in ports in a particular country. Holidays can be general, local, and also “official”. Another type of holiday may be described as a “non-holiday” for it to be a “non-working holiday” so that it can be excepted from laytime. A “holiday” is a day which may be considered to be a public holiday but on which work may be dear without any real addition to the ordinary pay of the workers. This would make the day a “working day” and not excepted from laytime. If large amounts of extra payments are required to cause work to be done on certain days then these would be “non-working” holidays and could be excepted from laytime.

While the holiday affects laytime it can also affect the giving of a Notice of Readiness. The clause may state that the notice must be given in working hours. A holiday occurring after the vessel arrives may prevent the master’s giving a valid Notice of Readiness.


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