Stakeholders introduce anti-corruption clause for shipping contracts
The association explained that the new clause will give owners and charterers a contractual platform for cooperative action to resist demands for illegal payments from port officials and others.
BIMCO Secretary General, Angus Frew, was quoted by Shipping News as saying: “BIMCO recognises the importance of a united approach by the shipping industry towards stamping out corruption in the ports and places where the world’s merchant fleet trades.”
Angus added: “Use of the clause is entirely voluntary – it has been developed for owners and charterers who want to combat corrupt practices in ports by using a clearly worded framework in their charter parties..”
BIMCO said that the clause can be used in any jurisdiction because it concerns the anti-corruption laws applicable to all the parties and the local law of the ship’s location.
It also includes a mechanism for owners to issue a note of protest if an illegal demand is made and not withdrawn, calling for a co-operative response by charterers and owners to the demand.
A safeguard for the owners if they issue a protest to resist a demand and the ship is delayed is that charterers cannot place the ship off-hire.
Angus said: “The clause addresses owners’ and charterers’ responsibility to comply with anti-corruption legislation and helps them to work together to resist demands for illegal payments.”