Shipping Association Launches Major New Agreement
BIMCO, the world's largest international shipowners' association, and FONASBA, the worldwide organisation representing shipbrokers and ship agents, have inked a new general agency agreement that seeks to set out clear and equitable terms.
The new standard contract, drawn up by the group responsible for drafting the Agency Appointment Agreement released in January 2017, will benefit of both sides by covering more obligations for payment, insurance, liabilities and providing greater flexibility.
Other areas of the agreement also cover the parties' termination, confidentiality and dispute resolution.
Fulvio Carlini, Chairman of FONASBA's Chartering & Documentary Committee said: "Managing ships has become much more complex, with many more parties involved, and as a result knowing who your exact counterpart is, can be difficult.
“This creates more room for disagreements or simple mistakes.
“But the new standard contract creates a solid agreement, allowing agents and operators to focus on core activities, build stronger relations and not worry about potential disputes or legal issues.”
Both companies have said that the contract is easy to use and can readily be adapted for single use or a long-term contract.
Parties can select their requirements from a list of functions such as sales and marketing, port or general agency and husbandry and can agree other services to suit their needs.
BIMCO has reported an increase in calls from its agent members in recent years as agreements and the number of parties involved has become more complicated and disputes more common.
Francis Sarre, Chairman of BIMCO's Documentary Committee, said: "Disputes cost time and money, and we hope this new agency representation contract will facilitate smoother working practices and help to prevent disagreements between operators and agents across the industry,"
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