shipping association BIMCO has published two sulphur content-related bunker
clauses dealing with general compliance and the transitional period for the
International Maritime Organization’s 2020 global sulphur limit in marine fuel.
clauses are BIMCO 2020 Marine Sulphur Content Clause for Time Charter
Parties and BIMCO 2020 Fuel Transition Clause for Time Charter
Parties. Both are now available on the BIMCO website and on SmartCon, BIMCO’s contract editing
subcommittee’s objective has been to create clauses that are simple and
practical, and I’m confident we’ve achieved that objective,” says Peter
Eckhardt, chairperson of the drafting committee and Head of Chartering and
Operations at Reederei F. Laeisz.
Marine Fuel Sulphur Content Clause replaces the BIMCO Fuel Sulphur Content
Clause 2005 and can be incorporated into time charter parties as of now. The
new clause forms an integral part of BIMCO’s Suite of Standard Bunker Clauses
for Time Charter Parties.
the 2020 Marine Fuel Sulphur Content Clause part of the Suite of Standard
Bunker Clauses, it means that we have been able to keep the revised clause
short and simple. It is written as a straightforward compliance provision with
the sulphur content requirements of MARPOL Annex VI,” says Grant Hunter, BIMCO
head of Contracts & Clauses.
relating to the specifications, grades and quality/suitability of the fuel
supplied by time charterers are covered by existing standard bunker clauses in
time charters, so these should not need to be amended in relation to sulphur
Fuel Transition Clause is not part of the Suite of Bunker Clauses as it deals
with the one-off event of switching from 3.50% sulphur content fuel to 0.50%
sulphur content. The switch is a process that will need to be started before 1
January 2020 and so requires the owners and charterers to cooperate to ensure 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
has been specifically designed for time charter parties that will span 1
“We would also recommend incorporating the clause into time
charter parties with redelivery very close to 1 January 2020 where delays or
extensions might result in the ship redelivering after the date the change
comes into force,” Hunter says.
In addition to its other duties, BIMCO is leading provider of
maritime clauses and contracts covering the full lifecycle of ship-related
operation and activity.
The 2020 Bunker Clauses have been developed by a team comprised
of owners, charterers, bunker suppliers, P&I clubs and legal experts.