A new edition of BIMCO’s Dispute Resolution Clause has been published. New wording has been added to the US law, New York arbitration option to ensure that non-maritime contracts (such as shipbuilding contracts) are not inadvertently excluded from the scope of the clause.
The amended wording is designed to avoid arguments about the application of the clause to different categories of contract under US law. A second amendment excludes the mediation provision when New York arbitration is chosen.
This is because the approach to mediation in the US differs from other jurisdictions, such as England. Parties who have agreed New York arbitration are still at liberty to mediate all or part of their dispute, but slightly different procedures to those stated in the clause will apply.
An update to the Singapore arbitration option applies a higher Small Claims Procedure cap amount of USD 150,000, which is the figure used in the latest edition of the SCMA Rules.
There are no other changes to the BIMCO Dispute Resolution Clause. The amended wording will be incorporated into all new and revised BIMCO documents to provide options to arbitrate in London, New York, Singapore or an alternative venue chosen by the parties.
The full Clause will be known as the BIMCO Dispute Resolution Clause 2016 and will supersede the 2015 edition.