BIMCO announced it has published two sulphur content related bunker clauses in a bid to ease the industry’s compliance with the upcoming IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap regulation.
The two clauses are:
- BIMCO 2020 Marine Sulphur Content Clause for Time Charter Parties
- BIMCO 2020 Fuel Transition Clause for Time Charter Parties.
Firstly, the 2020 Marine Fuel Sulphur Content Clause substitutes the BIMCO Fuel Sulphur Content Clause 2005 and can be incorporated into time charter parties from now on. The new clause forms an integral part of BIMCO’s Suite of Standard Bunker Clauses for Time Charter Parties.
According to Peter Eckhardt, chairperson of the drafting committee and Head of Chartering and Operations at Reederei F. Laeisz, the subcommittee aims to create clauses that are plain and easy to put in practise.
In the meantime, Grant Hunter, BIMCO head of Contracts & Clauses, highlighted that by embodying the 2020 Marine Fuel Sulphur Content Clause into the Suite of Standard Bunker Clauses, the subcommittee managed to keep the clause short and simple. He, then, quoted that:
It is written as a straightforward compliance provision with the sulphur content requirements of MARPOL Annex VI
Any matters related to the specifications, grades and quality/suitability of the fuel supplied by time charterers are managed by existing bunker clauses in time charters, in order not to be solved in relation to sulphur content alone.
Secondly, the 2020 Fuel Transition Clause is not part of the Suite of Bunker Clauses because it focuses on altering from 3.50% sulphur content fuel to 0.50%. The switch off on sulphur content fuel is a move that has to begin before January 1, 2020. The switch off is the key feature of the 2020 sulphur cap, and the owners ought to work in peace with charterers to make sure of a smooth transition.
The clause is designed to provide a fair allocation of responsibilities and liabilities between the owners and charterers in managing remaining stocks of fuel that will become non-compliant under MARPOL from 1 January 2020.
The clause is specifically designed to begin from 1 January 2020.