Shipping association the Baltic and International Maritime Council has adopted new standard Bunker Terms that are expected to boost harmonisation across the shipping industry.
The revised contract aims to “reduce the large number of supplier's terms and conditions” and speed up the contractual process for new bunkering developments.
“A lot of work has gone into developing a contract that strikes the right balance between the needs of the bunker suppliers and the buyers, and I believe we've been successful," says Francis Sarre, Chairman of the BIMCO Documentary Committee.
The new version was approved by BIMCO's Documentary Committee and includes detailed delivery bunker delivery provisions, for vessels ready to receive fuel within the agreed window and for situations with delays.
A default credit period of 30 days is also included as well as comprehensive provisions regarding claims management for quantity, quality and delay claims and a default limit of invoice value or US$500,000, whichever is higher.
LNG fuelling standards mature
The improvements are designed to streamline the process for shippers seeking to build on the ISO 20519 LNG bunker standard issued by the International Standards Agency (ISO) last year.
The standard was introduced to provide guidelines for operators to select vessel fuel providers and meet defined safety and fuel quality standards and included a wide range of requirements not covered by the IGC Code, the prevailing international code for the safe carriage by sea of liquefied gases in bulk.
LNG bunkering guidelines are encapsulated by in five broad themes, that cover hardware for liquid and vapour transfer systems, operational procedures, requirements for LNG providers to deliver an LNG bunker delivery note, requirements to train personnel and requirements
“There was an urgent need for an International Standard to ensure LNG bunkering operations could be conducted safely…The requirements of ISO 20519 can be incorporated as a management objective into existing management programmes and provide verifiable compliance. This is important because the requirement to comply with ISO standards is often incorporated into business contracts and may also be referenced by local regulations,” Steve O’Malley, chairman of the Ships and Marine Technology committee and the Intermodal and Short Sea Shipping subcommittee SC 11, said.
BIMCO is the largest international shipping association in the world and its members represent around 65 percent of the world’s tonnage.