The United Nations World Food Programme Voyage Charter Party, WORLDFOOD 99, is a BIMCO approved document to which the World Food Programme holds the copyright. The contract is used for shipments of food to emergency areas to save the lives of victims of war, civil conflict and natural disasters. The WORLDFOODWAYBILL and the WORLDFOODRECEIPT are its accompanying contracts of carriage.
The latest edition of this contract is WORLDFOOD 2017.
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The revised WORLDFOOD Voyage Charter Party, code named WORLDFOOD 99, consists of three parts: Part I (Box Layout); Schedule A (Vessel Description); and Part II (Main Clauses). The standard clauses found in Part II should, preferably, be left unamended as they are the result of carefully balancing the interests of the Owners and the Charterers.
Any amendments to these clauses are likely to distort the overall balance of the Charter Party.
The most important change to Clause 1 from the original WORLDFOOD is that the reference to the responsibilities and immunities of the Hague/Hague-Visby Rules has now been removed. The WORLDFOOD 99 Charter Party is governed by a General Clause Paramount (which is discussed under Clause 28 of these Notes).
Other than the above, the only amendment of note to this clause is that reference is made to the vessel’s insurance and class details as contained in Schedule A.
For this reason, it is important to ensure that the actual number of days within which the Charterers are to declare the port or ports are stated in Boxes 6 and/or 7, as appropriate.
However, if part cargo is agreed, attention is drawn to the provisions found in sub-clause 3(c) referring to the nature of any additional cargo carried by the Vessel. It should also be noted that Box 8 in Part I should clearly indicate “Part Cargo” under such circumstances.
This clause is unchanged from the original Charter and is self-explanatory.
If the Charterers elect to cancel the agreement, then the Owners may save considerable costs in not bringing the Vessel to the loading port and may be able to fix the Vessel on another charter. However, to ensure that the right to interpellate does not induce some Owners to take advantage of a more lucrative fixture, rather than doing their utmost to reach the loading port within the laycan, the interpellation provision applies only once. As per sub-clause 5(c), in the event of the Vessel being further delayed, the Charterers are entitled to cancel the agreement in accordance with the provisions of sub-clause 5(a).
It should also be noted that sub-clauses 6(a) and 7(a) now contain a penalty provision that should the Owners fail to give 24 hours notice of the Vessel’s arrival at the first load port, laytime will not commence until 48 hours after the Vessel’s arrival.
Attention is drawn to the amendment made to sub-clause 9(e) which now provides that the Charterers should appoint and pay for an independent surveyor to inspect the Vessel’s holds as soon as possible after arrival. In practical terms the provisions of this sub-clause with respect to time counting have not changed - only actual time lost between the Vessel being found not to be ready to load/discharge until the Vessel is again ready to load/discharge is not to count as laytime (or demurrage if the Vessel is already on demurrage). The provisions relating to the appointment of a surveyor have been agreed as a protective measure for the Charterers to minimise the risk of a Vessel arriving at the berth and it then transpiring that she is not clean, despite the Master having tendered NOR at an earlier date.
Sub-clause 9(h) has been restructured and reworded to clarify excepted periods in Islamic and non-Islamic countries.
Special attention is drawn to the provisions in sub-clause 10(d) “Cargo Handling”. As the majority of cargoes carried for the WFP are grain products for human consumption, careful supervision of the cargo during loading and discharging operations is required. Owners are recommended to instruct the Master to strictly comply with the provisions of sub-clause 10 (d) to ensure proper cargo handling in order to avoid claims for damage to cargo and also in order not to prejudice the Owners’ rights under Clause 18 (Stevedore Damage). It should be noted, however, that although the cargo is loaded, stowed and discharged under the Master’s supervision, the actual responsibility for such cargo operations remains firmly with the Charterers.
Under the amended provisions all reference to cargo battens has been removed.
The provisions of the Charter Party now permit only natural separation of the cargo should parcels of different qualities or for different receivers be shipped.
WORLDFOOD 99 now firmly establishes the principle of the stevedores being the servants of the Charterers.
It should be noted that the Stevedore Damage provisions of WORLDFOOD 99 require the Owners to notify the Charterers of any damage latest on sailing from the final discharge port, failing which the Charterers’ responsibility ceases.
Recognising the often limited repair facilities available at some of the ports used by WFP, Clause 19 contains a mechanism whereby the parties can mutually agree on an alternative place for repairs on completion of the voyage.
The special provisions formerly included in sub-clause (d) to cover the situation when a vessel is loading at Canadian and/or relevant ports in the USA have now been amended to require the Owners and the Charterers to accept standard loading terminal procedures for weighing, control/checking and tally of cargo at all loading ports.
As follows from sub-clause 22(b), 90 per cent. of the freight is due and Payable by the Charterers within 5 working days after release of signed Cargo Receipt.
Payment of demurrage now becomes due, at the Owners request, 14 days after the Vessel has gone on demurrage (Sub-clause 22(c)). This contrasts with the 28 days wait after going on demurrage under the original WORLDFOOD form.
Special attention is called to the provisions in sub-clause 22(e) from which it follows that deductions under this provision are conditional upon claims against the Owners for loss of or damage to the cargo being duly particularized and only insofar as the Owners’ P&I Club shall have failed to provide a Letter of Undertaking. Consequently, if the claim is duly particularized and a Club Letter of Undertaking is given, the Charterers cannot make deductions from the balance freight for cargo claims.
The special provisions relating to PDR Yemen, Somalia and Ethiopia found in the original form have now been removed as inapplicable.
The Liberty Clause is of the normal pattern and should be construed in a restricted manner. The exercise of liberty must be limited to deviation for reasonable purposes.
Suitable provisions are included which allow for adjustment of the freight rate in consequence of such a change of destination.
The clause takes into account that the Hague-Visby Rules shall, in most circumstances, be the recognised liability regime covering the particular contract of carriage.
This is BIMCO’s widely used Standard ISM Clause for Voyage and Time Charter Parties. The ISM Clause contains the following key elements:
The WORLDFOOD 99 Charter Party includes an up-to-date and comprehensive war clause, namely BIMCO’s Standard War Risks Clause for Voyage Chartering - VOYWAR1993. This clause is found in a number of modern charter parties published by BIMC0 during recent years and has time and again stood the test whenever a war situation has arisen, making it necessary to take a quick decision.
The wording of the clause is largely based on the BIMCO US Anti-Drug Abuse Act, 1986 Clause for Time Charters but has been amended for WORLDFOOD 99 to reflect the fact that under a voyage charter it is solely the Owners who remain responsible for the vessel’s trading pattern and can take an active role in minimising the risk of unman-ifested narcotic drugs finding their way on board. Particular attention is drawn to the important provisions of sub-clause 40(d) which entitle the Charterers to cancel the Charter Party if the Vessel is detained for more than seventy-two running hours as a result of illegal narcotic substances or unlawful merchandise being found on board prior to loading.
In such capacity, WFP would have no title to cargo since they are not the Owners of the cargo which has been given to them by someone and which they, in turn, pass over to someone else.
In the absence of a Title to Cargo Clause, they would have no legal right to claim and receive damages for any damage to or loss of cargo and, there again, without the use of the phrase “substantial and not merely nominal damages” (Lines 767-768), the only damages which WFP would be able to prove would be “nominal damages”.
Where local regulations require the crew to be removed from the Vessel during fumigation, the Charterers must meet the cost of their accommodation ashore.
The revised English law/London arbitration clause was developed in close consultation with the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) and takes into account the English Arbitration Act 1996 and the LMAA terms currently in force.
Copyright in WORLDFOOD 99 is held by the World Food Programme, Rome.
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