BIMCO position statement 18: Anti-corruption


BIMCO's position has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


Corruption is addressed in the OECD 1997 Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the 2003 United Nations Convention against Corruption. A number of national laws also deal with corruption, including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act 2010, which is based on a zero-tolerance policy regarding facilitation payments. Guidelines on anti-corruption have been developed by the IMO Facilitation Committee (FAL).

Corrupt practices include demands for payment in cash or kind from port officials. Such practices add financial burdens to the shipping industry and hamper international trade.

A distinction must be drawn between facilitation payments and bribery, such as making a payment to obtain a contract. Facilitation payments are those made to officials and others, who would otherwise refuse to complete a statutory or contractual task that they are properly required to undertake without payment in cash or kind. Refusal to make facilitation payments often results in intimidation and delays on pre-fabricated charges and/or false claims of regulatory breaches.

BIMCO’s position

  • Bribery is never acceptable and BIMCO supports the aims of all measures including those of the Maritime Anti Corruption Network (MACN) to fight every form of bribery and corruption globally in the shipping industry.
  • Whilst BIMCO supports the eradication of facilitation payments, BIMCO also recognises that this is difficult in countries where corruption is deeply rooted.
  • Port states must assume the responsibility of establishing and implementing effective anti-corruption control mechanisms and procedures.
  • BIMCO strongly recommends the use of a BIMCO Anti-Corruption Clause, which encourages a collaborative approach to dealing with demands for facilitation payments and provides a fair allocation of risks and responsibilities between the contractual parties.
Christian Hoppe
in Copenhagen, DK

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Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

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