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With sanctions imposed on Russian interests by the EU, UK, US and others, it is crucial that shipowners and operators check their counterparts and contracts immediately. The situation is currently changing rapidly, and more sanctions announcements could be on the way.
This short guide highlights some of the key issues that may affect the obligations and rights of contracting parties following developments in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, with a focus on BIMCO clauses. In all circumstances, parties should carefully review their contractual terms for current and future fixtures and, if in any doubt, seek legal advice before acting.
The sanctions landscape has grown increasingly complex since BIMCO published its Sanctions Clause for Time Charter Parties in 2010. International sanctions regimes are constantly changing with new restrictions being added and new persons and entities being listed. A violation of sanctions restrictions can have severe consequences and in the worst cases can lead to parties being listed as sanctioned parties. Therefore, carefully worded sanctions clauses in charter parties and other contracts are vital for internationally trading companies to help them manage and mitigate their sanctions risk and to enable them to continue to do business while remaining compliant with the various sanctions regimes. This clause is intended for use in all trades except for container trades. A separate sanctions clause for the container trades is under development. This clause was published on 19 December 2019. It replaces the Sanctions Clause for Time Charter Parties 2010 and the Designated Entities Clause for Charter Parties 2013 (which have been combined to make a new single clause for ease of incorporation).