IBIA to Launch Rapid Resolution Schemes

Monday, October 25, 2004
The International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) will launch two dispute resolution services at its annual convention in Buenos Aires on November 14-16. The schemes, mediation and arbitration, are designed to be quick, simple and low cost ways of resolving bunker industry disputes.

Nick Ladis, chairman of IBIA says: "IBIA's rapid dispute resolution schemes will facilitate the cheapest and most effective ways of solving disagreements over relatively small amounts. Quick, efficient, low-cost, fair and administered by a professional who knows the bunker industry - a perfect path to finding a solution."

Ian Adams, IBIA secretary general says: "A key objective of both schemes is to restore relationships and to preserve goodwill that may be at risk from the dispute. The aim is to enable all sides to move forward with minimum conflict or disruption.

"Bunkering is a global industry with remarkably few disputes. Those disputes that do arise are usually quite small and revolve around quality, quantity or timing. It is in the interests of everybody in the industry that they are resolved as quickly and cheaply as possible."

Mediation and arbitration are distinct but complementary services, aimed at bunker disagreements where the amount at issue is less than $100,000. Each scheme will keep costs to a minimum. The flat fee for each party using arbitration or mediation is set at $600.

Mediators and arbitrators will be appointed from an IBIA panel of suitably qualified bunker industry professionals. The parties involved in the dispute will have a say in who is appointed.

Mediation

Mediation is a relatively informal process where the mediator will attempt to resolve the dispute in a series of open and closed face-to-face sessions. It is well suited to situations where the parties have a continuing relationship.

Mediation allows for a half-day mediation plus preparation time. In addition to face-to-face meetings, other means such as phone, fax, email and video conferencing can be used. The mediator will endeavour to complete the mediation process within three weeks of appointment.

Arbitration

Arbitration is entirely free standing, but could follow on from an inconclusive mediation. At the end of the process, the sole arbitrator will issue a final, binding, non-appealable award. This will be within four weeks of receiving the parties' final submissions.

The arbitrator will adopt a flexible but fair approach to resolving the matter. Arbitration is paper based. For clarity, parties are limited to an initial set of submissions of no more than 12 sides of A4 paper in length and a maximum of 12 individual exhibits. There is further room for short counterclaims and final submissions.

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