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Despatch money. Despatch money (or simply "Despatch") is the compensation paid to charterers provided the charterparty contains a stipulation to this effect if the loading or discharging operations are completed within the laytime allowed by the charterparty, that is, before the agreed laytime has expired. In other words, despatch money is the opposite of demurrage. The reason for the compensation is to reimburse charterers, shippers or consignees for any expenses they may have incurred in order to save time to the vessel. Despatch is not payable if the charterparty does not contain a clause providing for its payment.

Disponent owner: This term refers to a person or company, which "displaces" or takes the place of the legal, registered owner. In chartering many examples can occur.

Delivery and redelivery clauses. A time charter commences with the "delivery" of the vessel to the (control of the) charterer and comes o an end with the “redelivery" of the vessel to the owner's control.

Despatch-All working time saved (WTS).This description of the time means the time saved to the owner from the completion of the loading and/or discharging until the expiry of the allowed laytime and excluding periods that are exceptions to laytime.

DOP (Dropping Outward Pilot). This expression is used to identify the point at which a time-chartered ship is "delivered" to the Charterer or "redelivered" to the shipowner. The place of delivery and redelivery are the places where the time charter commences or comes to an end.

Deviation clause. The word "deviation" can have a geographical meaning, where the vessel departs from its usual or customary route and then returns to it, or a purely legal, contractual meaning, where the contract is performed in a manner that is not originally contemplated, and this would be a departure from the manner agreed in the contract or implied by law. As an example of the latter form of "deviation", cargo may be carried on deck when deck carriage is neither authorised nor acceptable, depending on the nature of the goods. For example, in The Chanda, the vessel carried delicate, sophisticated and expensive computer equipment on top of Number 1 hatch, close to tile forward part of the Vessel. Heavy weather damaged the cargo severely. This was a deviation from the contract of carriage and because of this the carrier was permitted to rely on the terms of the contract to limit his liability for loss or damage. The owner had breached the contract of carriage.

DWAT (Deadweight All Told). This is the total deadweight capacity of the ship comprising cargo, fuel, ballast water, fresh water, crew and their personal effects, stores and equipment, spare parts for the ship and any other item not being part of the ship's original construction.


Demurrage (a). In every contract, each party to the contract has certain agreed obligations. In a voyage charter one of the charterer's obligations is to load and/or discharge the vessel in an agreed period of time, the "laytime", without any payment additional to the agreed freight.

Deck cargo. When goods are carried on deck ("deck carriage"), they are exposed to the weather conditions; sea spray and seawater shipped on board the vessel.

Deviation and bills of lading. Under a contract of carriage if a party intentionally moves away from the agreed method of performance of the contract such departure is known as a "deviation". Hence, in the United States, a serious breach of contract is called a "deviation". However, this word is generally used for a ‘departure from’ and ‘return to’ a customary, geographical route during a sea passage. This departure is considered to be "geographical deviation" and the use of "deviation" in the context of a general breach of contract may be confusing. In the U.S., a serious breach of the contract may also be termed "quasi-deviation". In Continental countries, a, serious breach is called a "rupture of the contract".

Damages for detention. "Damages" is the legal word for compensation or indemnity for loss suffered for a breach of contract. (It is also payable for breach of "tort", another branch of law, but this does not concern us here.) The amount of damages is, generally, the amount of loss actually suffered by one party by the failure of the other party to perform the contract. The contract is the charter. Damages can be "liquidated", that is, agreed by the parties as compensation.

Demise clause. This is commonly found in bills of lading issued by a charterer who enters into a contract of carriage of goods by sea with a shipper. A specimen clause is:

Due diligence. Article III of the Hague Visby Rules and Hague Rules require the carrier to exercise "due diligence" before and at the beginning of the voyage to make the vessel seaworthy. "Seaworthy" means that the vessel must be physically sound, she must have proper equipment and supplies and efficient and sufficient manpower. The vessel must also be "cargoworthy", that is completely fit and safe to receive, carry and protect the cargo. Before the advent of the Rules, the common law obligation on the carrier was very strict and heavy. "Due diligence" was insufficient.

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