News 04 Jun, 2010

USA - Deepwater Horizon - BIMCO Oil Spill Clause for Voyage Charter Parties

Further to the Managers’ previous advice on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon event in the United States; Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Information and Background on BP Liability for Deepwater Horizon Claims and Advice on the Decontamination of Hulls, BIMCO’s Documentary Committee has recently published an oil spill clause for vessels on voyage charter proceeding to any port or place that is affected by the resulting oil spill. The following text may be incorporated into voyage charter parties in order to protect Members’ interests if their vessels are delayed, or if they incur additional costs due to operational requirements arising from the oil spill;

BIMCO Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Clause for Voyage Charter Parties

(a) Without prejudice to the terms of this Charter Party, if the Charterers order the Vessel to proceed to any port or place named in the Charter Party/nominated by the Charterers that is affected by the oil spill from the “Deepwater Horizon” incident, or if the Vessel will have to pass through an area which is affected by the said oil spill in order to reach or depart from the named or nominated port or place, the following terms shall apply:

(b) If the Vessel 's passage or operations are delayed or if the Owners incur extra costs as a result of the oil spill or passing through an area referred to in Sub-clause (a), any additional time and/or expense including, but not limited to, additional bunkers, hull cleaning and/or USCG/Port authorities mandated transit restrictions, shall be for the Charterers’ account.

(c) Any requirement of USCG/Port authorities for the Vessel’s hull to be assessed for pollution contamination and, if required, for the hull to be decontaminated, shall not prejudice the Master’s/Owners’ right to tender Notice of Readiness on arrival at or off the named or nominated port or place. Time used complying with such operational requirements shall count as laytime or, if the Vessel is on demurrage, as demurrage.

(d) Any additional time incurred shall be paid by the Charterers to the Owners at a rate equivalent to the Charter Party demurrage rate.

(e) The Charterers shall indemnify the Owners against any and all claims whatsoever brought by the owners of the cargo and/or the holders of bills of lading against the Owners by reason of such delay.