International shipping association BIMCO has launched an anti-corruption clause for shipping contracts worldwide.
According to the association, the new clause will give owners and charterers a contractual platform for cooperative action to resist demands for illegal payments from port officials and others.
“BIMCO recognises the importance of a united approach by the shipping industry towards stamping out corruption in the ports and places where the world’s merchant fleet trades,” BIMCO Secretary General, Angus Frew, said.
“Use of the clause is entirely voluntary – it has been developed for owners and charterers who want to combat corrupt practices in ports by using a clearly worded framework in their charter parties,” he added.
BIMCO said that the clause can be used in any jurisdiction because it concerns the anti-corruption laws applicable to all the parties and the local law of the ship’s location.
It also includes a mechanism for owners to issue a note of protest if an illegal demand is made and not withdrawn, calling for a co-operative response by charterers and owners to the demand.
A safeguard for the owners if they issue a protest to resist a demand and the ship is delayed is that charterers cannot place the ship off-hire.
“The clause addresses owners’ and charterers’ responsibility to comply with anti-corruption legislation and helps them to work together to resist demands for illegal payments,” said Inga Froysa, part of BIMCO’s Documentary Committee.
Image: World Shipping Council