Cancellation of a charter in maritime law and shipping law

Repudiation of the contract, most often by the voyage charterer or time
charterer when the ship misses her cancelling date, or by the time charterer
when the ship is off hire for longer than the period stipulated in the
charter- party.
Every charter has a date by which the shipowner must tender notice of
readiness to the charterer that the ship has arrived at the port of loading and
is ready to load. This date is known as the cancelling date. The charterer
may have the option of cancelling the charter if the ship arrives after this date.

It may be the second of two dates which comprise the laydays cancelling,
for example, laydays 25 March cancelling 2 April or, when abbreviated to
laycan, laycan 25 March/2 April. The charterer is not obliged to commence
loading until the first of these dates if the ship arrives earlier.
If a ship is likely to be delayed in reaching the load port (in the case of a
voyage charter) or the place of delivery (in the case of a time charter), the
shipowner may ask the charterer to extend the cancelling date. If the charterer
agrees, the contract is amended accordingly. If not, the charterer may have
the option to cancel the charter either before the cancelling date by mutual
agreement or after the cancelling date within a time specified in the charterparty.
Alternatively, the shipowner may be obliged to present his ship at the
load port, however late.
The cancelling date may be contained in a cancellation clause or cancelling
clause. Alternatively, it may be shown separately, such as in a box on the
face of the charter- party. In this case, the cancelling clause merely contains
the definition.
BIMCO has published a cancelling clause called BIMCO Cancelling
Clause 2002 (Code Name: CANCELCON 2002) which reads as follows:
“(a) Should the Vessel not be ready to load (whether in berth or not) on the agreed cancelling
date, the Charterers shall have the option of cancelling this Charter Party.
(b) Should the Owners anticipate that, despite the exercise of due diligence, the Vessel will not be
ready to load by the cancelling date, they shall notify the Charterers thereof without delay stating
the expected date of the Vessel’s readiness to load and asking whether the Charterers will exercise
their option of cancelling the Charter Party, or agree to a new cancelling date.
Such option must be declared by the Charterers within 48 running hours after the receipt of the
Owners’ notice. If the Charterers do not exercise their option of cancelling, then this Charter
Party shall be deemed to be amended such that the seventh day after the new readiness date
stated in the Owners’ notification to the Charterers shall be the new cancelling date.
The provisions of sub- clause (b) of this Clause shall operate only once, and in case of the Vessel’s
further delay, the Charterers shall have the option of cancelling the Charter Party as per subclause
(a) of this Clause.”