At a meeting in London on 20 September, the drafting team who developed BIMCO’s Slow Steaming Clauses for Voyage and Time Charter Parties completed the third and final clause in the series – this time a provision dealing with virtual arrival. Building on the provisions set out in the Slow Steaming Clauses the group has developed a clause which permits a charterer to request an owner to adjust the speed of a voyage chartered vessel to arrival at a loading or discharging port at an agreed date and time. Like the Slow Steaming Clauses, any reduction in the vessel’s speed with the charterers’ agreement will not be considered a breach of the owners’ due despatch obligations.
The Clause, which is designed to be used in the tanker, dry cargo and container sectors, provides for any extra time used in the voyage as a result of the charterers’ request to adjust the arrival time to be compensated to the owners at an agreed percentage of the charter party demurrage rate. The parties must agree the extra time used and if they cannot agree then the Clause provides for the use of expert determination to reach a binding agreement.
The new Clause will be reviewed by BIMCO’s Documentary Committee at their next meeting in November in Copenhagen. If the Committee is satisfied with the work the Virtual Arrival Clause will be published later in November.