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BIMCO and INTERTANKO publish scrubber Q&As for contracts

24 May 2019

Shipping associations BIMCO and INTERTANKO on Thursday (23 May) jointly published Q&As addressing the contractual implications owners and charterers should keep in mind when chartering ships fitted with scrubbers.

The Q&As, which consist of three parts, highlight the key charter party clauses and concepts which should be reviewed for both time and voyage charter parties.

The first part deals with the implications of using scrubber-fitted ships under time charter parties, the second part deals with voyage charter parties and the third part addresses general considerations such as enforcement, fines and prohibition of open-loop scrubbers.

The main focus is on time charter parties as it is expected that this is where the use of a scrubber will have the greatest impact.

“We are pleased to have worked with BIMCO to provide advice and assistance for owners who have chosen this route to 2020 compliance. We will continue to develop the Q&As as experience of scrubber use develops,” said Michele White, General Counsel at INTERTANKO.

“We regularly receive questions about chartering issues relating to scrubber-fitted ships. These Q&As jointly produced with INTERTANKO will offer many useful answers as well as guidance,” adds BIMCO’s Head of Contracts and Clauses, Grant Hunter.

BIMCO and INTERTANKO have meanwhile individually published clauses addressing the coming into force of MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 and 18 dealing with the reduction of sulphur oxide emissions from the current 3.50% m/m to 0.5% m/m. However, these clauses do not deal with the special operational, technical and commercial requirements of scrubbers installed on ships.

In early 2019, a BIMCO and INTERTANKO working group discussed whether there was a need for a dedicated “scrubber clause”. The working group concluded that, for the time being, no “scrubber clause” should be published.

This is because the scrubber is, once installed, a “normal” piece of equipment and does not require any special status or special legal regime. The existing standard clauses (such as off-hire, drydocking and maintenance) will work in a time charter context in cases when the scrubber is not working.

The Q&A document is available to download from the BIMCO and INTERTANKO websites:
BIMCO: https://www.bimco.org/BIMCO-INTERTANKO-Scrubber-QA
INTERTANKO: https://www.intertanko.com/info-centre/intertanko-guidance

Photo credit: BIMCO
Published: 24 May, 2019

 

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