BIMCO has together with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), updated and modernised the WORLDFOOD voyage charter party used by the UN organisation to transport food to emergency areas around the world. The aim was to create a contract that made WFP’s work easier and faster.
"The WORLDFOOD charter is an essential tool for the WFP as the majority of food that we deliver is transported by chartered ships at sea. It is crucial that we have a charter party that gives us the flexibility required when operating in volatile areas of the world. BIMCO’s input and support during this drafting process has been invaluable," said Loutphi Madani, Senior Legal Officer of the WFP.
The WFP assists 80 million people in around 80 countries each year, and is the leading humanitarian organisation fighting hunger worldwide. On any given day, WFP has 20 ships on the move, delivering food and other assistance to those in need.
The previous edition of the WORLDFOOD charter was published in 1999, and while the mandate of the UN humanitarian organisation remains to fight hunger globally, commercial practice and the law have changed since then.
The focus of the drafting team has been to bring the charter up to date to reflect current commercial practices and legal developments. The opportunity has also been taken to add clarity and remove ambiguities, which in turn will save time during negotiations.
BIMCO is the world’s largest international shipping organisation and represents almost 60% of the world’s commercial fleet. The organisation creates standard contracts for the global shipping industry, to improve efficiency and reduce legal disputes.
"We have been very pleased to work on a standard contract for the WFP that helps them complete their mission, but also to fulfil the shipowner’s requirements, so that our members can help deliver aid in the most efficient manner possible," said Anna Wollin, Manager, Contracts and Clauses at BIMCO.
Other members of the WORLDFOOD drafting
team were Jean Pierre Laffaye of LD Bulk, Torsten Klüver of Aug. Bolten, Carina Nilsson of WFP, Ottmar Schulte of WFP, Leo Fileti of Banchero Costa, and Judy Binnendijk of Britannia P&I Club.