News 06 Feb, 2015

New Clause For Voyage & Time Charter Parties To Address Infectious Disease Issues

The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has focussed attention on the possible implications that trading to ports where an infectious or contagious disease is prevalent can have on the operation of a vessel, both while in the affected area, and later when visiting other countries far removed from the epidemic.

In order to protect shipowners’ and time charterers’ interests, BIMCO has drafted and published, with the assistance of various BIMCO members including the West of England, a new clause for voyage and time charter parties to address this particular issue. Further details including the text of the clause can be found in BIMCO’s Special Circular.

The new BIMCO clause covers infectious or contagious diseases in general, and whilst Members may wish to refer to the Club’s suggested Ebola clause for the current Ebola outbreak, it is suggested that Members consider incorporating the BIMCO clause as a standard clause into their voyage and time charter parties in future.

If Members are considering a deviation pursuant to this clause they should be aware that Club cover issues may arise and they should consult with the Managers, accordingly.