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Merchant shipping

Trump shipping, and with it the institute of chartering ships, originated in the Mediterranean basin during the early Middle Ages. In those days, charter agreements were concluded in the form of so-called charter parties (lat. Charta partita – paper divided into parts).

The skipper (carrier) and the merchant (shipper) made a charter party on one sheet of paper, which was then torn into two parts, one for each of the parties to the contract.If necessary, the identity of the charter party was verified by matching the edges of the torn document. Thus, the charter party (charter, charter agreement) is one of the oldest types of agreements not only in merchant shipping, but also in the entire transport sector.

Today, the term “chartering” in the law of the sea means an agreement on the hiring of a vessel (part thereof) either for a specific voyage (flights), or for a certain period of time. Accordingly, researchers distinguish two main types of chartering: scheduled charter and time charter. If a vessel is chartered for one or several voyages upon conclusion of a voyage charter agreement, then upon conclusion of a time charter the vessel shall be freighted for a specified time regardless of the number of voyages that will be carried out at this time.

Legislative regulation of chartering in Ukraine

It should be noted that in the Code of Merchant Shipping of Ukraine, the scheduled charter and time charter are regulated by various standards. Moreover, the voyage charter is governed by those rules that govern maritime transport agreements, and not chartering agreements.

Based on this, we can say that the legislator considers the scheduled charter one of the types of contracts for sea transportation, and not chartering. Indeed, the contract of sea transportation and the contract of voyage charter (especially if not the entire vessel, but part of it is hired for the carriage of cargo) has much in common.

In fact, in both cases, the purpose of concluding an agreement is to deliver cargo to a specific port. But at the same time, in our opinion, a legally scheduled charter is still a type of chartering, not sea transportation.
In support of this position, the fact that the subject of the voyage charter agreement (as well as the time charter) is not the carriage of cargo, but the hiring of the vessel or part thereof confirms this position. Therefore, we consider it more appropriate to combine the norms that govern the scheduled charter and time charter in one chapter of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine.

1) Time charter.

In accordance with Art. 203 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine under a ship charter (charter) agreement for a specified time, the shipowner agrees to provide the vessel with the charterer for the carriage of passengers, goods and for other merchant shipping for a specified time for a specified fee (freight). That is, chapter 1 of section 6 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine regulates the time charter.

A charter (charter) contract for a specified time is concluded in writing. The mandatory details of the time charter (its essential conditions) in accordance with Art. 205 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine are:

the name of the vessel, its technical and operational characteristics (carrying capacity, cargo capacity, speed, etc.);

swimming area;

charter purpose;

contract time;

place of reception and delivery of the vessel.

The shipowner is obliged to transfer the vessel to the charterer in a seaworthy condition. The seaworthiness of a ship is considered to be a condition suitable for its use for the purpose provided for by the charter contract for a certain time.

Also, the shipowner is obliged to maintain the vessel in seaworthy condition for the entire duration of the charter contract for a certain time, to pay insurance and, if, under the terms of the contract, the ship must be manned, crew maintenance.

The crew is subject to the instructions of the charterer regarding the operation of the vessel, with the exception of orders regarding the management of the vessel, the internal routine on the vessel and the crew. The charterer is obliged to operate the vessel in accordance with the terms of the charter contract for a specific time.

The charterer may, within the limits of the rights granted to him under the charter (charter) of the ship for a certain time, conclude on his own behalf a separate charter (charter) of the ship with a third party, that is, transfer the ship to sublease.

2) Flight charter.

The voyage charter is regulated by chapter 2 of section 5 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine, which governs shipping relations. In accordance with Art. 133 of the Merchant Shipping Code of Ukraine under a contract for the carriage of goods by sea, the carrier or charterer agrees to transport the goods entrusted to him by the sender from the port of departure to the port of destination and to deliver it to the person (consignee) authorized for receiving the goods, and the sender or charterer agrees to pay the established fee (freight) for transportation .

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