BIMCO Approves Five New Charter Parties

Thursday, December 06, 2001
On Friday 16 November 2001, the Baltic and International Maritime Council's (BIMCO) Documentary Committee met in Copenhagen, Denmark, and approved the following five new charter parties: Barecon 2001 In the twelve years since "Barecon 89" was introduced it has become the standard form used in the bareboat chartering sector, enjoying widespread use throughout the industry. In recent years BIMCO felt that "Barecon 89" would benefit from an update to reflect changes in modern bareboat chartering practice. The Documentary Committee approved "Barecon 2001" Standard Bareboat Charter which is the result of two year's work by a specialized sub-committee. The amended form introduces a number of welcome new provisions covering areas such as termination and repossession. Many of the existing clauses have been revised to improve their clarity and to remove any potential ambiguity. Particular attention has been paid to the detailed provisions relating to inspection, maintenance, operation, insurance and repairs. "Barecon 2001" will also be among the first BIMCO standard forms to incorporate a mediation provision. The new "Barecon" will be published in the early part of 2002.

"Baltime 1939" The "Baltime 1939" form is probably among BIMCO's best-known charter parties. Its provisions have undergone little change in recent years other than the introduction of a box layout in 1974. Earlier this year the Documentary Committee decided to carry out a minor technical update of the form to introduce the latest versions of standard clauses such as those relating to war risks and law and arbitration. Some of the more archaic terminology used in "Baltime" has also been revised or removed.

"Demolishcon 2001" The Documentary Committee approved the revision of "Salescrap 87" code named "Demolishcon 2001" Standard Contract for the Sale of Vessels for Demolition. The revision has been politically expedient following the launch of the Industry Code of Practice on Recycling earlier this year as a means of providing self-regulation in an industry that is subject to increasing scrutiny by governments and environmentalists. The "Salescrap 87" has been substantially revised taking into account current business practices in the highly specialised demolition trade. It is expected that a final print of the "Demolishcon 2001" will be ready for use early next year.

BIMCO Standard Bunker Contract The Documentary Committee also approved the BIMCO Standard Bunker Contract, which is a revision of the earlier "Fuelcon" Standard Marine Fuels Purchasing Contract. The revision has been developed with the assistance of the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA). The new contract which parts with the "Fuelcon" box layout undertakes a balanced approach to a number of key issues in respect of the purchasing of marine fuels such as sampling, claims and risk and title. A final print of the document is expected to be ready for use early next year. FONASBA Standard Liner and General Agency Agreement Another document passing approval was the FONASBA Standard Liner and General Agency Agreement. The revision, which is largely a technical update, amalgamates the 1993 editions of the General Agency Agreement (for Liner Services) and the Standard Liner Agency Agreement both adopted by BIMCO. The new Standard Liner and General Agency Agreement will be ready for use shortly.

Standard Mediation Clause In response to the increasing use of mediation in the shipping industry, BIMCO has developed a standard mediation clause for use in charter parties and other agreements. The Standard Mediation Clause is designed to form a new final part of the BIMCO Standard Law and Arbitration Clause 1998. Its provisions are incorporated into the chosen arbitration procedure to ensure that its use, if unsuccessful, does not cause any delay. The Mediation Clause is worded to reflect the consensual nature of the mediation process while empowering the arbitrator to take the actions of a recalcitrant party into account when awarding costs, should the arbitrator feel that one party has acted unreasonably in declining to even attempt mediation. The London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, New York (SMA) and the Chambre Arbitrale Maritime de Paris (CAMP) have endorsed the BIMCO Standard Mediation Clause for use. The Clause will be published in early December.

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