BIMCO position statement on "keep shipping regulation global"


BIMCO's position has been approved by the BIMCO Board of Directors.


Around 90% of global trade by volume (more than 10 billion tonnes of cargo valued at over $20 trillion)  is transported by sea. Shipping is crucial for global trade and the wider blue economy. International maritime regulations are vital for the smooth, operation of the shipping industry, which operates globally across borders and between different regions.

International regulations govern maritime transport on aspects including safety and security, environment protection, liability and compensation as well as standards of training and watchkeeping.  Their effective application depends on swift and widespread ratification and uniform implementation by states.

The lack of regulation at international level creates a risk of unilateralism. Unilateral regulations may also occur as a result of lack of widespread ratifications. A global framework is key to avoiding regulatory uncertainty.

BIMCO complements the global regulatory regime developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) by creating standard contracts and clauses that address the commercial and practical implications of global regulations to charter parties and other shipping contracts in a fair and balanced manner.  

BIMCO’s position statement

  • BIMCO strongly supports the efforts of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to harmonise international regulations that form the bedrock of international shipping and help to retain a level playing field.
  • Once an international convention has been adopted, BIMCO encourages swift ratification and after entering into force, supports active and uniform enforcement by states. All national and regional initiatives that foster inconsistent application of international standards and regulations are opposed by BIMCO.
  • In BIMCO’s view, the regulatory framework for shipping must be transparent, proportional, internationally agreed and non-discriminatory. BIMCO supports a uniform and consistent implementation by flag and coastal states with fair and realistic notice periods to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders engaged in seaborne transportation.
  • BIMCO will work towards making regulations workable and realistic, by supporting measures such as proper impact assessments eg to determine if the necessary technology is available prior to the adoption of a new regulation.
  •  BIMCO will continue to make every effort to reduce the administrative burden in connection with proposals to develop new regulations and amendments to existing regulations.
  • BIMCO will continue to support the international regulatory regime by addressing the commercial and practical implications of such regime in its standard contracts and clauses.
  • BIMCO supports the principle of freedom of contract that enables parties to strike a commercial agreement in deciding for themselves what obligations and responsibilities they will accept in the terms of their agreement.


Christian Hoppe
in Copenhagen, DK

VPS Bunker Alerts

Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.

The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.

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