The Skud P&I Club has recently seen an increase in shortage liquid claims in Pakistan, notably at Port Qasim. This is a long running problem at this port and suits are filed based on shore measurements which are nearly always less than the ullages on arrival.
The individual claims are usually low in value, but given the high number of bills of ladings for a single voyage and that shortage claims could arise for each single bill of lading, the total amount for one voyage could be significant, the Club said.
Some of the reasons provided for this are:
- Distortion in the tanks
- Inaccurate calibration
- Difference in density
- Leakage from the shore lines
- Tank transfer with potentially leaking valves.
In light of this situation, the Skuld P&I Club recommends the following for reducing the risk:
- Have a precautionary discharge survey carried out on arrival. Should you decide to defend a claim, a discharge survey will be the only evidence available. In addition, all stakeholders will know that a discharge survey has been carried out and to some extent will act as a deterrent.
- Attempt to include protective clauses in the CP whereby owners’ right of recourse is maintained against charterers. If you are the time charterer of a vessel, we recommend remaining on back to back terms with your sub-charterer. Skuld can assist with reviewing potential CP clauses.
- If you will not be the party issuing bills of lading, ensure that the bills of lading do not have your name on them so that you are not named on the claim documentation/summons.