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Web alert: New BIMCO Anti-Corruption Clause for Charterparties

26 November 2015

BIMCO has recently launched a new clause which aims to provide owners with a degree of protection in the event that the master of a vessel is put under such pressure to provide an unwarranted gift or payment that he has no realistic alternative to complying, notwithstanding that such gift or payment may contravene applicable laws such as the UK Bribery Act.
 
The new clause provides that:

  • the master/owners are required to notify the charterers of a demand as soon as reasonably practicable; 
  • if, despite taking reasonable steps, the demand is not withdrawn, the master/owners may issue letters of protest addressed or copied to the charterers, while hire continues to be payable or there is no interruption to laytime/demurrage;
  • any right to terminate the charterparty in the event the other party has committed a breach and such breach causes the non-breaching party to be in breach of any applicable anti-corruption legislation must be exercised without undue delay.

Where charterers insist on unbalanced terms in their charterparties, which give them rights to terminate a contract without any regard to the pressures on the owners to make a facilitation payment, owners are recommended to negotiate the use of the BIMCO clause. Compliance with the provisions of this clause would protect them if charterers failed to cooperate in attempts to resist a demand for an unlawful payment.
 

To view the BIMCO Anti-Corruption Clause click here.