The purpose of the BIMCO Contract Authenticity Clause is to encourage parties issuing contracts based on a BIMCO form to agree to use one obtained from an authorised source (such as SmartCon).
“Authentic BIMCO Template” means a BIMCO-approved standard contract in an editable electronic format.
The party responsible for issuing the final execution version of this contract warrants that it is an Authentic BIMCO Template procured from a properly authorised source and that all modifications to it are clearly visible.
BIMCO is grateful to its three Vice-Chairpersons – Mrs Inga Frøysa, Klaveness; Mr Ajay Hazari, Anglo Eastern; and Mr Dan Carr, Stolt-Nielsen - for their assistance in developing this Clause.
BIMCO secretariat support was provided by Grant Hunter, Head of Contracts & Clauses and Nina Stuhrmann, Manager, Contracts & Clauses. The clause was published on 21 October 2020.
BIMCO contracts are relied on throughout the shipping industry. The reliability and certainty that our standard forms provide can be undermined by fake copies that contain errors or even deliberate hidden changes to the wording. The objective is to decrease the industry’s often unknowing use of counterfeit copies of BIMCO forms by including the Contract Authenticity Clause in all new and revised BIMCO contracts. But you can also decide to incorporate the clause into your contracts now as a means of reducing your risk and saving time and effort in proof checking agreements offered by your counterparty.
The clause is straight forward and needs little explanation: Whichever party issues the final execution copy of a contract based on a BIMCO contract template warrants that it used an authentic template from an authorised source (information that we can readily provide on request). The clause also requires that any amendments to the contract are clearly shown so that it will be clear to the other party what is the original text and what is amended text. This is a standard feature in SmartCon where “track changes” cannot be switched off.
We believe that if your counterparty provides the contract template for negotiation and is reluctant to include this clause, then this should serve as a warning that the offered contract is not a genuine BIMCO standard agreement.
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The outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on business and society is unprecedented. We are learning day by day how we must adapt to these new circumstances. Ports around the world are handling the situation in different ways and it is difficult to provide a one-size-fits-all contractual solution. What one port in one country of the world is doing, restricting or prohibiting, is not necessarily the same as a port in a neighbouring country does. BIMCO urges the industry to be pragmatic and work together to find solutions. Not every answer will be found in the contract and parties should do their best to communicate openly about the issues they face and identify compromise solutions to find a way through these difficult times. This Q&A is a list of commonly asked questions together with our answers.
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