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DXJAnswerMagic, Professional w/Adv. Degree
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Good Day,A sea going barge is hired by a UK company to ship

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Good Day,
A sea going barge is hired by a UK company to ship some minerals from Dover to Calais. The barge capacity in weight was same as given in the contract but the volumetric capacity was not enough (cargo was light) so many more trips had to be made with reduced profits. The barge owners verbally gave a volume which was much higher that actual volume and the charterers took their word for it. The charterers want to sue the barge owners. However the barge owners claim that this shipment of minerals was illegal as there is an international treaty that prevents transportation of minerals mined from the coastline of one country. However UK has not ratified this treaty.
1. Are the barge owners correct that they have a claim?
2.Are the barge owners correct about the treaty?
2. Would it be better to use ADR or Arbitration?

Thanks a lot for your time.
Imran Khan

Hi, I'm a Moderator for this topic. I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I can wait till about 5 pm London time. Then I will have to cancel it.

Thank you for your continued patience. We will continue the search for a Professional for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The country in question is the UK, not USA. Must have mistyped the country.

Hi! I might be able to help. Are you referring to the Law of the Sea Treaty?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I don't think it is the Law of the Sea treaty. This is a hypothetical scenario. If UK has not ratified a certain treaty then the English courts will not use it since an international treaty has to be incorporated into the law in a certain country.


Thanks so much for your reply!

I am not sure which law is applicable.Based on the limited information provided,I would argue the following.........

If the U.K. has not ratified the treaty, then the U.K. courts would not be obliged to consider its parameters. If France had ratified the treaty, this might be problematic, but less so. After all, France is receiving minerals mined from the coastline of another country. The dispute is not really a dispute between nations. Rather, the dispute is one pertaining to contractual agreements; i.e. the one between the barge owners and the U.K. company.

The barge owners erroneously quoted the volume required to presumably inflate the price.

The company that charted the barge feels cheated.

If this were to enter into arbitration, the decision would be binding and the decision is winner takes all. Therefore, one party has everything to lose!

On the other hand, alternate dispute resolution such as mediation might serve both these parties' needs. After all, each has a vested interest in the outcome. Each has something to lose. Provided that the transport was legal, that the U.K. company had the applicable licensure, etc., the U.K. company would theoretically gain some compensation during the mediation.

It the treaty were applicable, the case could be referred to the appropriate tribunal such as the one designated for the Law of the Sea-

This form, however, results in arbitration. Few cases have been presented to the tribunal, nineteen to be exact.

Does that help?


I'll gladly open this to other experts if you require further assistance. DXJ

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much. That was also my thinking. Just a couple of last points.
1. Do the barge charterers have any additional or alternative cause of action against the barge owners for the loss of profit on the contract?
(I guess it might lead to consequential damages). Can it be misrepresentation on part of the barge owners?

2. Sometime I feel that there might not be a case at all since all documents provide Deadweight (DWT) and that is used in everything. Volume is not a factor since that would depend on the Cargo density. The owners gave the weight that the barge could carry. In such trades, it is the weight of cargo that matters since you can only load the barge (or a ship) till a certain draught. If it fills by volume before reaching that draught then so be it.

This is the last point. Can you please advise. Then we can close this question.

Good Day!

You actually make excellent points!!!

Given the information in the scenario, it is difficult to know whether the barge owners(company) is UK based or foreign. Therefore, it is difficult to know which laws are applicable or which organizations would preside over arbitration or ADR.

1. Nevertheless, the contract itself should clarify the terms of agreement. If the barge owners actually inflated the pricing and did so in ways that violated the terms of the contract the UK company could seek compensatory damages.

2. If DWT was used in the contractual agreement and the DWT was accurate, then the UK Company might not have a case. Again, the actual contractual agreement would contain the specifications and parameters of the agreement. Of course, barges are subject to DWT limits, restrictions, etc.

3. I did peruse some charter contractual agreement claims but did not find any reflecting these conditions. Perhaps, you might review them and see if any of them is applicable.

I hope this helps! I have left this open to other experts, as well. Smile DXJ

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks. I had mentioned in the very beginning that both companies are UK based. Would that change your assessment?


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DXJAnswerMagic, Professional w/Adv. Degree
Category: Homework
Satisfied Customers: 2269
Experience: MALS, MSOM, BA with honors in 3 majors and 2 minors, assisted K-12, Undergrad and Grad students
DXJAnswerMagic and other Homework Specialists are ready to help you

Good Day!

Did you need further assistance with this? Please let me know. I'd be glad to help! DXJ

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks a lot. I think this should be it.

Great! DXJ