BIMCO is the world’s largest direct-membership organisation for shipowners, charterers, shipbrokers and agents. In total, around 60% of the world’s merchant fleet is a BIMCO member, measured by tonnage (weight of the unloaded ships).
The organisation has NGO status and is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with offices in Athens, Singapore and Shanghai.
With around 1900 member companies across 120 countries – from the largest shipowners in the world to small local port agents and law firms, BIMCO represents a wide range of maritime companies and organisations.
BIMCO’s goal is to secure a level playing field for the global shipping industry. BIMCO therefore works to promote and secure global standards and regulations for the maritime sector. The organisation’s century long effort into creating standard contracts and clauses is an expression of that aim.
Furthermore, BIMCO wants workable and realistic regulations that – among other things – drive the industry towards the target of reducing CO2 emission by 50% by 2050. Ultimately, the goal is a zero-emissions industry in this century.
To achieve its goals, BIMCO organises and funds committees to discuss and deliver new or revised standard contracts and clauses. The documents are used within the entire shipping industry, including containers, dry bulk, tankers, financing, offshore and shipbuilding. Through working groups, BIMCO also develops suggestions for new regulation or industry standards – such as the international standard for underwater hull cleaning.
Our aim is to produce flexible commercial agreements that are fair to both parties. We work with industry experts to produce modern contracts tailored to specific trades and activities. BIMCO’s contracts are recognised around the world and widely used.
On a political level, BIMCO participates as an NGO at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), where BIMCO advises the member-states - on behalf of the industry - on the consequences of proposed regulation and suggests solutions to making regulation effective and practicable. The direction is set by BIMCO’s Board of Directors.
As a BIMCO member, you become part of an organisation that brings shipping people together to work for shared goals. Members receive news and access to exclusive hands-on guides and a helpdesk for contractual issues. The BIMCO website contains a broad range of information dealing with the day-to-day operation of a shipping company, such as contracts and contractual issues, port information, a cargo database, maritime security updates and much more.
Members furthermore receive discounts on several BIMCO products including:
The organisation’s foundation stretches back to 1905, where BIMCO began as a grain shipping cartel under the name “The Baltic and White Sea Conference”. Within a couple of years, the cartel was scrapped, but the collaboration on standard contracts remained. Since then, BIMCO has become more involved in the regulatory side of shipping and is now a leading voice in shipping.