BIMCO position statement 01: Keep Shipping Regulation Global


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


Shipping is crucial for global trade and the blue economy. This is because around 90% of global trade by volume (more than 10 billion tonnes of cargo valued at over $20 trillion) is transported by sea. To ensure the smooth running of the shipping industry, which operates globally across borders and between regions, international maritime regulations are vital.

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.

Regulatory gaps at international level creates a risk of local, national or regional regulations. 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 on charter parties and other shipping contracts which allocate obligations, responsibilities and liabilities fairly.  

BIMCO’s position statement

  • BIMCO strongly supports a global regulatory framework and especially the efforts of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to harmonise international regulations that form the bedrock of international shipping and facilitate an efficient operation of the world fleet.
  • Once an international convention has been adopted, BIMCO encourages swift and wide ratification. After entry into force, BIMCO supports uniform, practical and cost-effective implementation by flag and coastal states with fair and realistic notice periods to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders engaged in maritime transport.
  • In BIMCO’s view, the regulatory framework for shipping must be transparent, proportional, internationally agreed and non-discriminatory. All national and regional initiatives that foster inconsistency of international standards and regulation are opposed by BIMCO.
  • Retroactive application of new ship construction standards to existing ships are generally opposed for reasons of predictability for investments in ships.
  • BIMCO will work towards making regulations practical, cost-effective 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 supports development of new MARPOL measures to regulate discharge of grey water. Introduction of such new regulatory measures should be developed taking into consideration of any unintended consequences such as increased greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 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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