time provisions in contracts

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Provisions in contracts that relate to the time within which acts are to be performed. The question often arises whether or not a time provision constitutes a condition of the contract. If it does, it is said that time is of the essence. In general, time is of the essence only if the contract says so or if an intention that it should be so is to be inferred from the nature of the transaction or the circumstances surrounding it (for example “ready to load” clauses in shipping contracts: Bunge Corporation v Tradax Export SA [1981] 1 WLR 711 (HL). Most suppliers' contracts, however, include an express term that time is not of the essence.

Subjects: Law.

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