The specification of lay days1 in the charterparty is equivalent to an agreement by the charterer that he will not delay the ship for a further period2. The liability to pay demurrage depends upon the detention of the ship and not upon the conduct of the charterer3. Technically any delay of the vessel beyond laytime is a breach of contract, and demurrage payments amount to liquidated damages for that breach4. Nevertheless, a demurrage clause amounts in effect to a contract on the part of the shipowner that during those days the ship is to be at the charterer's disposal
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