Documentary committee meeting March 22

Significant developments at the Documentary Committee Meeting on 22 March 2024

Published: 27 March 2024

The BIMCO Documentary Committee (DC) convened on 22 March 2024 in Hamburg, under the chairmanship of Nick Fell. The meeting marked a significant step forward in BIMCO's documentary work, with the adoption of key projects and the review of ongoing developments of contracts and clauses.

The DC adopted the revised SHIPMAN, the flag ship of BIMCO's suite of ship management agreements. This milestone reflects the Committee's commitment to keeping pace with advancements in ship management and third-party management practices. The updated SHIPMAN now includes an ETS Allowances Clause, a standalone clause which was approved and published in December 2023. Readers are invited to look at the separate news piece explaining more details about the content of SHIPMAN 2024. The adoption of AUTOSHIPMAN, a pioneering ship management contract for autonomous ships, is postponed until the drafting subcommittee has discussed further.

The Committee also adopted a revision of the Russian Oil Price Cap Scheme Clause in response to recent EU/G7 adjustments on the price cap. BIMCO’s swift response to these developments underscores its commitment to providing its members with the necessary legal certainty in a rapidly evolving global context.

The DC also reviewed several ongoing projects. These included the BIMCO War Risk Clauses, which are being updated to ensure they remain aligned with current commercial needs and insurance requirements. The revision of ASBATANKVOY, a widely used charter party form, was also discussed. A final draft of the revised form, which will modernise the document to match contemporary tanker trade trends, is expected to be ready for adoption in October 2024. The meeting also saw a review on the progress of drafting ETS Clauses for Contracts of Affreightment (COAs) following the adoption of three ETS Clauses for Voyage Charter Parties in 2023. These COA-specific clauses are being tailored to the unique characteristics of such contracts while offering flexibility for parties to cater for their own needs and business models.

The meeting signalled BIMCO's continued focus on alternative fuels, with work progressing on the Methanol Annex to the existing BIMCO Bunker Terms 2018. With demand for methanol as a marine fuel projected to increase, the subcommittee aims to establish a comprehensive set of standard bunker terms for methanol. A final draft annex is expected to be ready for adoption by the end of 2024. Looking ahead, the DC underscored its focus on the FuelEU Maritime Regulation. This focus and need to assist the industry by providing contractual solutions aligns with BIMCO's commitment to support its members in achieving compliance with this complex regulatory requirement.

Looking ahead, the DC has mandated to develop an ETS clause for bareboat charter parties and to revise RECYCLECON, in addition to creating a template for transferring responsibility under the EU ETS. These initiatives demonstrate the committee's proactive approach to evolving regulations and its commitment to providing practical contractual solutions. Several other future projects were presented to potentially being added to the Committee’s future work programme.

The meeting concluded with a farewell to Søren Larsen who will retire by the end of May. Søren Larsen has already developed a strong legacy in the industry and his contributions over the past 39 years have played a pivotal role for BIMCO’s documentary work.

The decisions and discussions from this meeting reinforce BIMCO's commitment to proactive and responsive industry leadership. As we continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the maritime industry, BIMCO remains steadfast in its mission to provide clear, practical, and progressive contractual solutions for its members.


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Stinne Taiger Ivø


Stinne Taiger Ivø

Deputy Secretary General

Copenhagen, Denmark