(b) The Vessel shall not be required to enter or remain in any icebound port or area, nor any port or area where lights, lightships, markers or buoys have been or are about to be withdrawn by reason of ice, nor where on account of ice there is, in the Master’s sole discretion, a risk that, in the ordinary course of events, the Vessel will not be able safely to enter and remain at the port or area or to depart after completion of loading or discharging. If, on account of ice, the Master in his sole discretion considers it unsafe to proceed to, enter or remain at the place of loading or discharging for fear of the Vessel being frozen in and/or damaged, he shall be at liberty to sail to the nearest ice-free and safe place and there await the Charterers’ instructions.
(c) Any delay or deviation caused by or resulting from ice shall be for the Charterers’ account and the Vessel shall remain on-hire.
(d) Any additional premiums and/or calls required by the Vessel's underwriters due to the Vessel entering or remaining in any icebound port or area, shall be for the Charterers' account.
BIMCO has recently revised its suite of stand-alone ice clauses and has distilled them into two standard clauses: the BIMCO Ice Clause for Voyage Charter Parties and the BIMCO Ice Clause for Time Charter Parties.
The amendments were made because the existing ice clauses were felt to be deficient in a number of ways, particularly because they were silent on the issues of forcing ice and following ice breakers. It was also felt that provisions were needed to protect the owners against the risk of ice being experienced on the approach voyage. Consequently a set of revised Ice Clauses has been drafted to take the above concerns into consideration. A provision common to both Clauses has been included that makes it clear that the vessel should not be obliged to force ice, but may reasonably be expected to follow ice breakers where other vessels of the same size, class and construction are doing so.
The BIMCO Ice Clause for Time Charter Parties is based on recent equivalent clauses contained in BIMCO time charter parties and takes into account that it is “in the master’s sole discretion” to assess whether in the ordinary course of events the vessel will not be able to safely enter or remain in an ice bound port or area.
Furthermore, the Clause provides that in the event there is a risk that the vessel may be frozen in, the master shall be at liberty to sail to the nearest “ice-free place”.
Finally, the Clause stipulates that any delay or deviation caused by ice does not place the vessel off-hire. After all, under a time charter party it is the charterers who make the commercial decisions regarding the employment of the vessel and it is they, therefore, that must assume the associated risks.
Originally published in BIMCO Special Circular No. 1, 24 February 2005 - BIMCO Ice Clauses
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