In the event of non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI due to malfunctioning of the scrubber, the fault will lie with owners who own the scrubber and provide the fuel oil. The contractual consequences will depend on the terms of the voyage charter party but generally, unless the charter party terms state otherwise, any delays will be for owners’ account.
Other potential consequences of non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI are (1) whether the ship has met the laycan; can give a valid notice of readiness at the loadport or work cargo there, (2) whether it is obliged to deviate to take on board low sulphur fuel oil during the voyage and consequently is in breach of any obligation to proceed with utmost dispatch, (3) whether it can enter the discharge port, can give a valid Notice of Readiness there or work cargo, and (4) whether laytime or demurrage runs at the load or discharge ports.
If a ship cannot sail at the warranted full speed, owners might be in breach of their obligation to sail with ’utmost dispatch’ to the discharge port under the voyage charter party and/or any bill of lading contract. This in turn could expose owners to a claim for damages from charterers and/or third-party bill of lading holders.