pen over a contract about to be signed

We want your opinion on the new edition of BARGEHIRE

Published: 07 January 2021

BIMCO has been busy updating BARGEHIRE 2008 and the project is close to completion. But before we finalise and publish the new edition in March, we would like to hear the views of barge owners, operators and charterers. Your comments and views received by 13 January 2021 will help shape a successful new BARGEHIRE. You can get a copy of the consultation draft from this news piece or by contacting 


One of the key drivers behind the revision of BARGEHIRE 2008 has been operational and commercial issues concerning repairs and the condition of the barge at redelivery – often a source of dispute. 

“We believe that we have done a good job clarifying the position in relation to the on- and off-hire surveys, repairs and redelivery to prevent users of the form running into disagreements with each other. We have also modernised the form and aligned some of the provisions with those of BARECON 2017 where it has made sense,” says Dirk Kwantes of LKL Oceantrade, who heads the drafting team.

Dirk is also leading the project to revise BIMCO’s ocean towage agreements, TOWCON 2008 and TOWHIRE 2008, which are also due for release in March.

“Before moving ahead and asking for approval from the BIMCO Documentary Committee we want to ensure that the industry agrees that we have done a good job in improving BARGEHIRE,” he says.

The other members of the BARGEHIRE revision team are: Jonathan Bawden of Cashman Equipment Corporation, Tommy Christensen of Ugland, Merlijn Hijzen of Heerema, Guillaume Vassout of Subsea 7 and Alexander McCooke of the Shipowners’ Club.

New key features

In addition to clarifying certain provisions, the drafting team has also improved and modernised other areas of the form. Due to the relative short-term nature of barge hires, it is common for owners to provide insurance and to maintain the barge’s class. However, as there is no direct link between providing insurance and the obligation to maintain class, the new BARGEHIRE has been amended to separate the obligations so that the parties can agree to different permutations of who insures and who maintains class.

The old form includes a slightly adapted version of the BIMCO’s war risks clause for time charter parties, CONWARTIME 2013. While this clause could well belong in the contract for the tug, the drafting team has concluded that this is not ideal under a form of bareboat contract for a barge. The clause has been replaced by wording stating that the charterers cannot bring the barge to Listed Areas without the consent of the owners. If the owners consent, charterers will have to pay any additional insurance premium.

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Mads Wacher Kjaergaard

Manager, Standards, Innovation and Research

Copenhagen, Denmark