BIMCO, INTERTANKO publish guidance on scrubber-fitted ships

BIMCO and INTERTANKO have jointly published Q&As addressing the contractual implications owners and charterers should keep in mind when chartering ships fitted with scrubbers. The Q&As highlight the key charter party clauses and concepts which should be reviewed for both time and voyage charter parties.

“We are pleased to have worked with BIMCO to provide advice and assistance for owners who have chosen this route to 2020 compliance. We will continue to develop the Q&As as experience of scrubber use develops,” said Michele White, General Counsel at INTERTANKO.

BIMCO’s Head of Contracts and Clauses, Grant Hunter, adds:

“We regularly receive questions about chartering issues relating to scrubber-fitted ships. These Q&As jointly produced with INTERTANKO will offer many useful answers as well as guidance.”

The Q&As consist of three parts. The first part deals with the implications of using scrubber-fitted ships under time charter parties, the second part deals with voyage charter parties and the third part addresses general considerations such as enforcement, fines and prohibition of open-loop scrubbers.

The main focus is on time charter parties as it is expected that this is where the use of a scrubber will have the greatest impact.

BIMCO and INTERTANKO have individually published clauses addressing the coming into force of MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14 and 18 dealing with the reduction of sulphur oxide emissions from the current 3.50% m/m to 0.5% m/m.

However, these clauses do not deal with the special operational, technical and commercial requirements of scrubbers installed on ships.

In early 2019, a BIMCO and INTERTANKO working group discussed whether there was a need for a dedicated “scrubber clause”.

The working group concluded that, for the time being, no “scrubber clause” should be published.

This is because the scrubber is, once installed, a “normal” piece of equipment and does not require any special status or special legal regime.

The existing standard clauses (such as off-hire, drydocking and maintenance) will work in a time charter context in cases when the scrubber is not working.

The Q&A document is available to download from the BIMCO and INTERTANKO websites:

BIMCO: https://www.bimco.org/BIMCO-INTERTANKO-Scrubber-QA

INTERTANKO: https://www.intertanko.com/info-centre/intertanko-guidance

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