Work on revising the UN voyage charter party WORLDFOOD continued with a two days meeting at the World Food Programme’s headquarters in Rome earlier this month.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is a UN humanitarian organization with a mandate to fight hunger globally. It is financed by donors, mainly governments, either in kind or with money. To achieve its goal, the WFP buys food and charters ships, or airplanes, to dispatch it to where it is needed. Transport by sea is the main method used, which makes this charter party a very important tool.
Generally, the WORLDFOOD charter party is a well-functioning contract that does not generate a lot of disputes. However, 18 years have passed since its last revision and so the document is in need of an update and modernisation.
Particular to this contract is the requirement of a very high degree of flexibility to change ports at short notice because of the often volatile areas in which they operate. Although WFP is not a trader (there is no buying or selling of the food during the voyage) it requires more flexibility than the average trader. Much focus during the revision is on the laytime provisions, which are being clarified and brought in line with current commercial practice.
Apart from legal and chartering representatives from WFP, the subcommittee includes experts from LD Bulk, Aug. Bolten Wm. Miller’s Nachfolger, Banchero Costa and Britannia P&I Club.
A first draft of the revised contract will be presented for review at the DC meeting in June this year. The target date for adoption is November 2017.
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