Maritime Law: Clarification required on BIMCO Supply Time


#1

I’ve been trying to get my head around BIMCO supply time. Clause 14(f) reads: “Notwithstanding any other provision of this Charter Party to the contrary, the Charterers shall always be responsible for any losses, damages or liabilities suffered by the Owners’ Group, by the Charterers, or by third parties, with respect to the Vessel or other property, personal injury or death, pollution or otherwise, which losses, damages or liabilities are caused, directly or indirectly, as a result of the Vessel’s carriage of any hazardous or noxious substances in whatever form as ordered by the Charterers, and the Charterers shall defend, indemnify the Owners and hold the Owners harmless for any expense, loss or liability whatsoever or howsoever arising with respect to the carriage of hazardous or noxious substances”.

Furthermore, 15(a) says: “Except as otherwise stated provided for in Clause 18©(iii), the Owner shall be liable for, and agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Charterers against all claims, costs, expenses, actions, proceedings, suits, demands and liabilities whatsoever arising out of actual or threatened pollution damage and the cost of cleanup or control thereof arising from acts of omissions of the Owners or their personnel which cause or allow discharge, spills or leaks from the Vessel, except as may emanate from Cargo therein or thereon”.

I’m seeing a fundamental conflict here. Imagine a case where a vessel meets an accident and spills bunker (diesel) and causes pollution damage. Now, does that fact that Diesel is a hazardous substance indemnify the Owner (as per 14(f) ) from the damages as Diesel was required onboard in the first place as a result of the Charterer’s task requirement? Or does the Owner still hold responsibility as per Clause 15(a) ?


#2

15a is only related to claims “Arising from acts or omissions of the Owners or their personnel . . .” I read those circumstance as an exception to 14f where its the owner that is at fault. That kind of makes sense.

However the “notwithstanding any other provision . . .” Language suggests that 14f controls in the event of any conflict.

There are books that explain exactly what, and why, is intended by BIMCO documents. All sophisticated parties know what this means. That’s the point in using industry standard documents.


#3

My guess is that 14 refers to cargo as it uses the word carriage, the charterer is responsible. 15 seems to be referring to spills from the vessel except cargo which would include bunkers which would be on the owners.


#4

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;159698]My guess is that 14 refers to cargo as it uses the word carriage, the charterer is responsible. 15 seems to be referring to spills from the vessel except cargo which would include bunkers which would be on the owners.[/QUOTE]

Thank you Kennebec Captain and Tugsailor. That was exactly my question - all vessels carry bunker, my contention was whether Oil, which is a hazardous material, carried as bunker, if involved in a pollution causing incident, would invoke 14(f), but I guess as you’ve pointed out “carriage” would refer to hazardous materials carried as cargo. I’m a naval architect moving into technical contract management role in a few months. From my first few reads of BIMCO, it seems like that BIMCO puts the responsibility of ensuring non-occurrence of pollution damage or footing the bills in case of pollution damage more on the side of the Charterer. For example 15(b) reads as follows: “The Charterers shall be liable for and agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Owners from all claims, costs, expenses, actions, proceedings, suits, demands, liabilities, loss or damage whatsoever arising out of or arising from any other actual threatened pollution damage, even where caused wholly or partially by the act, neglect or default of the Owners, their Employees, contractors or sub-contractors or by the unseaworthiness of the Vessel.”


#5

This stuff is really over my head. Some of it I’ve run into but I usually don’t get too deep into the weeds… Any non-routine communications etc between the ship and the charterers goes through the owners.