Can a charterer obtain a 50/50 apportionment for cargo liability under the New York Produce Exchange Agreement?

The English High Court in the case of Agile Holdings Corporation (Claimant) v Essar Shipping Ltd (Defendant) decided, on appeal from an arbitration award, that for charterers to obtain a 50/50 apportionment for cargo liability between themselves and the owners on grounds of the first proviso to clause 8(b) of the Inter- Club New York Produce Exchange Agreement 1996 (the Inter-Club Agreement or ICA), the charterparty must contain a provision which is clearly intended to pass complete responsibility for cargo handling to the shipowners.
A partial transfer of responsibility, or responsibility for a particular aspect of cargo handling (such as stowage), will not be sufficient to engage the ICA 8(b) proviso. As reported by DMC

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