BIMCO has previously conducted a survey , in cooperation with Fairplay and ABS Advanced Solutions, based on cyber security incidents which indicated the need of improving cyber awareness and training. Although cyber security can be managed; still poses great risks to the maritime industry.

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BIMCO cyber security clause demands the parties elaborating to have plans and procedures present in order to protect its computer systems and data. Also, it requires the partners to respond directly and efficiently to cyber attacks, Mads Wacher Kjaergaard from BIMCO in Copenhagen informed.

Moreover, when a party is a victim of a cyber attack, it is obliged to notify the rest of the partners as quickly as possible, in order to receive the measures needed, since eliminating the effects of cyber security is the most important aim.

The clause is also made for use in a broad range of contracts. To this result, the clause can cover arrangements with third-party service providers, such as brokers and agents.

The trustworthiness of the parties to each other for claims is limited to an amount that was agreed during negotiations. A sum of USD 100,000 will apply if no other amount is inserted.

In particular, the clause is aspired to maintain two major functions:

  • Raising awareness of cyber risks among owners, charterers and brokers,
  • Providing a mechanism for making sure that the parties to the contract have plans in place, in order to help eliminate the risk of an incident occurring in the first place and, if it does occur, to mitigate the effects of such an incident.

It was also under discussion the idea of address payment fraud. As a result, it was decided that any company should tighten up its internal payment and verify any changes concerning payment details.

Global law firm HFW has helped BIMCO on this work and is the only law firm on BIMCO's drafting committee for this clause.

As the shipping industry wrestles with how to respond to the cyber threat, this clause aims to lay down a benchmark for cyber security measures and explicitly address the question of liability for a cyber security incident. We are pleased to have been able to support BIMCO, the other members of the drafting sub-committee and the shipping community generally on this important and topical point, and look forward to seeing how it is taken up and implemented by the industry,

...said William MacLachlan, senior associate, HFW.