BIMCO's Documentary Committee discuss maritime issues, adopts pooling agreement, new standard clauses for EU advanced cargo declarations
BIMCO’s Documentary Committee, chaired by Mr Karel Stes, gathered in Singapore for its spring meeting on 23 April. The Committee’s contract experts reviewed a number of new contracts and clauses dealing with a wide variety of topical subjects ranging from wind farms to solid bulk cargoes that can liquefy.
A new standard pooling agreement was adopted following two and half years of development work. Also adopted by the Committee were three new standard clauses covering EU advanced cargo declaration requirements under voyage charter parties; slow steaming under a voyage charter; and a clause addressing the very topical issue of solid bulk cargoes that liquefy.
The Committee also discussed a number of on-going going projects as well as adding several new tasks to its busy work programme. There were two clauses considered by the Committee which were returned to their respective drafting groups for further work because consensus could not be reached on their adoption. The clauses deal with hull fouling and compliance with OFAC.
As far as hull fouling goes, the Committee members felt that further consideration needed to be given to the duration of idling as a result of charterers’ orders following which the owners’ performance warranty would be suspended pending inspection and/or cleaning of the hull by the charterers. The proposed OFAC Clause provides a mutual obligation on owners and charterers to warrant that they are not on the OFAC SDN list and that the ship is not a Blocked Vessel. However, the reporting requirements proposed in the clause were felt by the Committee members to go beyond what is normally expected in a commercial agreement.
The Committee also reviewed a first draft of the WINDTIME time charter party being developed for the offshore wind farm industry.
Virtual Arrival was another issue discussed at the meeting. It had originally been planned to draft a slow steaming clause for voyage charter parties that incorporated a virtual arrival provision. However, the drafting group quickly concluded that this would result in an overly complex clause and that the issue of slow steaming under a voyage charter and virtual arrival should be dealt with in two separate clauses.