Standard Bunker Contract Review Begins

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 10, 2016

Photo: A/S Dan-Bunkering Ltd

Photo: A/S Dan-Bunkering Ltd

 Three of the world’s largest bunker suppliers, including World Fuel Supplies and Dan Bunkering, have joined a team of industry experts to review BIMCO’s standard bunker contract – BIMCO Terms 2015. 

 
Shipowners will be represented by Denmark-based J Lauritzen and Norden. Legal and P&I input comes from Clyde & Co and the North of England P&I Club. The initiative is supported by the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) who will have a representative on the team.
 
BIMCO Terms 2015 are increasingly accepted by suppliers and traders around the world as a fair and balanced set of terms and conditions for purchasing and delivering marine fuels. The OW Bunker collapse has created contractual uncertainty in the bunker sector with some players believing that the use of one-sided and highly protective contracts is the solution. 
 
BIMCO believes that what the bunker industry needs at this time is greater transparency in its contractual arrangements through the widespread adoption of a standard bunker contract that addresses the needs and concerns of buyers and suppliers. 
 
This can only be achieved in the long term by all the key stakeholders working together to find a solution, rather than individual companies barricading themselves behind “contractual walls”.
 
The BIMCO standard bunker contract revision team is headed by Claus Kesting of J Lauritzen who also worked on the 2015 edition. According to Kesting: “The recent collapse of a major bunker supplier has sharply focused the industry’s mind on how essential it is to have a solid contract in place”.
 
“Encouraging the industry to support and use uniform terms and conditions for bunker sales is the best way to reduce the contractual uncertainty that we currently have”.
 
“With the backing of major physical suppliers and traders, we can work together to find a global contractual solution acceptable to sellers, suppliers and purchasers, while allowing the market to compete freely”.
 
BIMCO’s Chief Officer for Legal and Contractual Affairs, Grant Hunter, said: “We have been monitoring the fallout from the OW Bunker collapse and talking to industry players about possible commercial solutions to the various issues”.
 
“What’s important is that we involve all key stakeholders in this process, which is why we are very pleased that three of the top physical suppliers and traders have agreed to participate in this project”.
 
The review team will begin their task over the summer and consult with the industry once they have developed a revised draft contract. Their preliminary findings will be presented to BIMCO’s Documentary Committee in November.
 
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