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COVID-19 Q&A on BIMCO’s Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses

20 May 2020

The outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on business and society is unprecedented. We are learning day by day how we must adapt to these new circumstances. Ports around the world are handling the situation in different ways and it is difficult to provide a one-size-fits-all contractual solution. What one port in one country of the world is doing, restricting or prohibiting, is not necessarily the same as a port in a neighbouring country does. BIMCO urges the industry to be pragmatic and work together to find solutions. Not every answer will be found in the contract and parties should do their best to communicate openly about the issues they face and identify compromise solutions to find a way through these difficult times. This Q&A is a list of commonly asked questions together with our answers. We will update this Q&A on a regular basis to share the guidance we provide on BIMCO’s Infectious or Contagious Diseases (IOCD) Clauses.

Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clause for Time Charter Parties 2015

06 October 2016

The outbreak from time to time of virulent diseases can have significant implications for ship owners and operators. This might include quarantine of a vessel and crew in an area where the disease is prevalent as well as the imposition of restrictions, possibly weeks or months later, in ports remote from the infected region as a precaution against the disease spreading further. The Novel Corona virus is the latest outbreak of a series of contagious disease that may impact shipping operations. In 2015 it was the Ebola virus and 10 years before that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that caused similar concern. It is likely that equally serious strains of existing, or newly identified, diseases will occur from time to time. For this reason BIMCO has chosen to develop a set of comprehensive and clearly worded generic clauses for voyage and time charter parties that can be applied not only to the Novel Corona virus outbreak but to other similar virulent diseases that may occur in the future.

Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clause for Voyage Charter Parties 2015

06 October 2016

The outbreak from time to time of virulent diseases can have significant implications for ship owners and operators. This might include quarantine of a vessel and crew in an area where the disease is prevalent as well as the imposition of restrictions, possibly weeks or months later, in ports remote from the infected region as a precaution against the disease spreading further. The Novel Corona virus is the latest outbreak of a series of contagious disease that may impact shipping operations. In 2015 it was the Ebola virus and 10 years before that the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that caused similar concern. It is likely that equally serious strains of existing, or newly identified, diseases will occur from time to time. For this reason BIMCO has chosen to develop a set of comprehensive and clearly worded generic clauses for voyage and time charter parties that can be applied not only to the Novel Corona virus outbreak but to other similar virulent diseases that may occur in the future.

Bunker Quality and Liability Clause 2011

06 October 2016

In October 2009 BIMCO initiated a project to develop a suite of standard bunker clauses for use in time charter parties. The rationale behind developing the suite is simply to address the ever increasing importance of bunker issues in time charter parties and the need to ensure that the risk of bunker disputes is minimised by clearly worded clauses that reflect legislative developments. The Suite of Clauses was adopted by BIMCO’s Documentary Committee at its meeting in Vancouver in June 2011. The Suite provides clauses covering matters relating to delivery/redelivery bunkers; bunkering operations; sampling; fuel testing programmes; and ECA trading, all of which are matters that are frequently absent from or insufficient in many standard time charter parties. Many older time charter forms contain bunker clauses covering the fundamental principles under the charter, but simply do not contemplate today’s situation where vessels are required to carry and use several grades of fuel and where sampling and testing regimes are an integral part of the process.