Compania Naviera Maropan S/A v Bowater’s Pulp and Paper Mills Limited (The Stork): CA 1954

Where, in breach of charterparty, charterers order a vessel to proceed to an unsafe port, the conduct of the vessel’s master in obeying the order (placed as he well may be, on the horns of a dilemma) will be judged sympathetically, in context and will not lightly be treated as unreasonable.
Devlin J said: ‘There must . . be an obligation to nominate at least one loading place, and there must be implicit in that some condition about safety to prevent the making of a derisory nomination.’ and ‘There is a difference between a contractor who does not discharge his obligation at all and one who does so imperfectly. In the latter case, the contract gives the other party the right to elect to treat the imperfect performance as if it were a fulfilment of the contract (even if he knows that in fact it is not), and to claim damages if any result from the imperfection. This is a right which is, I think, common to every class of contract. The general principle is that the other party is entitled to proceed just as he would have done if the contract had been properly fulfilled, and the risk of any damage that flows from that must be borne by the wrongdoer.’


Devlin J, Morris LJ


[1955] 2 QB 68, [1954] 2 Lloyds Rep 397, [1955] 2 All ER 241, ; [1955] 2 WLR 998


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedBorealis Ab v Geogas Trading Sa ComC 9-Nov-2010
The parties had contracted for sale and purchase of butane for processing. It was said to have been contaminated. The parties now disputed the effect on damages for breach including on causation, remoteness, mitigation and quantum.
Held: The . .
CitedLeeds Shipping Co Ltd v Societe Francaise Bunge (The Eastern City) CA 1958
Non-performance, in the context of the clause, would be the refusal or failure of the ship to enter upon the charterparty’s obligations at all or the refusal or failure of the charterers to take any step to fulfil the contract into which they had . .
CitedGard Marine and Energy Ltd and Another v China National Chartering Company Ltd and Another SC 10-May-2017
The dispute followed the grounding of a tanker the Ocean Victory. The ship was working outside of a safe port requirement in the charterparty agreement. The contract required the purchase of insurance against maritime war and protection and . .
CitedKodros Shipping Corporation of Monrovia v Empresa Cubana De Fletes (The Evia (No 2)) HL 1982
Lord Diplock regarded the nature of the contractual promise by the charterer in what he called the safe port clause as having been well settled for a quarter of a century at the very least: ‘It was correctly and concisely stated by Sellers L.J. in . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Transport

Updated: 05 August 2022; Ref: scu.425890