News 01 Dec, 2010

European Union - Update - Advance Cargo Declaration BIMCO Clauses

Previously the Club published guidance to Members concerning compliance with the requirements of the European Union Advance Cargo Declaration regime, which is due to enter into force on 1 January 2011. In the legislation and the various information sheets available on the European Customs Information Portal reference is made to the “carrier” and “ship operator” with regard to responsibility for submitting the required declarations. No distinction is made however, in the case of a chartered vessel, between the ship owner and charterer; either of whom could be classed as the carrier or ship operator and therefore required to submit the advance notifications.

In order to clarify matters BIMCO’s documentary committee has now published two charter party clauses covering time charter parties and voyage charter parties. Under the new BIMCO clauses the party deemed to be the carrier/ship operator and responsible for submitting the required declaration to the customs authority of the relevant EU Member State is specified. The clauses reflect the responsibilities in respect of the cargo under the different types of charter; therefore under a voyage charter, it is the responsibility of the ship owner to submit the required notifications, whereas under a time charter the charterer is required to submit the notifications to customs.

The new charter party clauses are available on the BIMCO website:

EU Advance Cargo Declaration Clause for Voyage and Time Charter Parties