The time charter party for accommodation support vessels (ASVs) currently being developed by BIMCO will include a limitation of the owners’ and charterers’ liability for loss, damage, delay or expense. This is the result of an online meeting of the subcommittee held on 18 May.
The inclusion of a liability cap is inspired by BIMCO’s standard offshore wind farm personnel transfer and support vessel charter party, WINDTIME, in which the parties can include limits of liability as a percentage of the total sum of hire.
In WINDTIME, if no such sum is stated, the limit is set at 20% of the total sum of hire. The subcommittee has yet to decide on the specific elements of the cap to be included in the ASV charter party but, as with WINDTIME, the intention is that it will apply except as provided in the knock for knock and other liability clauses.
“This will be a key aspect of the new form. The subcommittee recognises that it is common in the industry to have a cap on liability and we will therefore discuss how to implement it in the new form,” says Edwin de Vries, Director at Wagenborg Projects & Logistics/Wagenborg Offshore and Chairman of the subcommittee.
Deliberating further on the charter period it was agreed to clearly state that the charterers should not instruct the vessel to commence any services unless they reasonably expect it to be completed within this period. New wording has been developed on automatic extension, according to which the charter period will be extended for the time required by the charterers to complete the voyage or the immediate tasks, which are defined as the well, wind turbine or other similar activity.
The subcommittee will be continuing discussions on 17 June and the form will be presented for adoption by the Documentary Committee on 22 September 2020.