BIMCO CLAUSE ALLOCATES SECURITY COSTS BETWEEN SHIPOWNER AND CHARTERER
Following the introduction of new U.S. security regulations and measures, the Baltic and International Maritime Council has produced standard clauses for incorporation into voyage and time charter parties concerning security-related costs and related issues.
“The U.S. has been imposing on the shipping industry new security regulations and measures which have caused increased expenses and delays to vessels calling in the U.S.,” the international association of shipping companies said.
To protect owners and charterers against the consequences of these new security measures, BIMCO has drafted two standard “U.S. Security Clauses” (one for voyage chartering and one for time chartering). They establish between the parties the liability for time lost and expenses incurred associated with the new U.S. requirements, such as consequences of new reporting procedures and the posting of security guards on board vessels calling U.S. ports.
“Although under a voyage charter party it is usually for the owners to comply with and pay for port related requirements and costs, the clause focuses on items that nevertheless ought to be for the charterers’ account because they are cargo related,” BIMCO said.
Such items would include time lost in obtaining entry and exit clearances, which is not attributable to the vessel, counting as laytime or time on demurrage and any expenses or additional fees relating to the cargo, even if levied against the vessel, being for the charterers’ account. The clause also stipulates that notice of readiness may be tendered even when the vessel has not been cleared for entry by the authorities. This provision is designed to attempt to protect the owners against any arguments that the vessel is not legally ready although she is ready for all other purposes.
The time charter party security clause proposes that all costs and expenses arising out of security regulations or measures will be for the charterers’ account, as the employment of the vessel is solely the charterers’ prerogative.
BIMCO also drafter a “U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) Clause.” It is designed for situations where the charterer has voluntarily enrolled in the C-TPAT program, but the shipowner has not. Owners who wish to help the charterers comply with their obligations under the C-TPAT agreement may use the clause, BIMCO said.