U.S. Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986 Clause for Time Charter Parties 2013

BIMCO U.S. Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986 Clause for Time Charter Parties 2013

In pursuance of the provisions of the U.S. Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986, or any re-enactment thereof, the Charterers warrant to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence in preventing unmanifested narcotic drugs and marijuana to be loaded or concealed on board the Vessel.

Non-compliance with the provisions of this Clause shall amount to breach of warranty for the consequences of which the Charterers shall be liable and shall hold the Owners, the Master and the crew of the Vessel harmless and shall keep them indemnified against all claims whatsoever which may arise and be made against them individually or jointly.

Furthermore, all time lost and all expenses incurred, including fines, as a result of the Charterers' breach of the provisions of this Clause shall be for the Charterers' account and the Vessel shall remain on hire.

Should the Vessel be arrested as a result of the Charterers' non-compliance with the provisions of this Clause, the Charterers shall at their expense take all reasonable steps to secure that within a reasonable time the Vessel is released and at their expense put up bail to secure release of the Vessel.

The Owners shall remain responsible for all time lost and all expenses incurred, including fines, in the event that unmanifested narcotic drugs and marijuana are found in the possession or effects of the Vessel's personnel.

Explanatory notes

Background

The US Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986 Clause for Time Charter Parties was published by Special Circular No. 12 on 20 December 1989. As indicated by its name the Clause was developed in response to the coming into force of the US Anti-Drug Abuse Act. The Act is one of a number of important statutes passed by the US in its “war on drugs”. The purpose of the Act is, inter alia, to encourage foreign cooperation in combating illegal drugs; halt international drug traffic; and to enhance prohibition of illicit drug shipments.

The original wording of the Clause contained two sub-clauses the second of which required the owners and charterers to become signatories to the US Sea Carrier Initiative Agreement (SCIA). SCIA was a voluntary scheme under which owners of ships calling at ports in the US agreed to apply various security measures to prevent drug smuggling. The scheme was closed down in 2006 and is no longer operational.

Detailed provisions

The US Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986 Clause for Time Charter Parties 2013 allocates responsibilities and liabilities in respect of compliance with the Act in preventing the smuggling of illegal drugs. It places an obligation on the charterers to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence in preventing unmanifested drugs and marijuana to be placed on board the ship. The charterers must therefore show that they ‘left no stone unturned’ to prevent the carriage of such illegal drugs.

In the event of breach by the charterers of their obligations under the Clause they will be liable in damages to the owners for any losses and should indemnify the owners for any claims that may arise. Time lost and expenses incurred as a consequence of the charterers’ non-compliance with the Clause will be for the charterers’ account. Provision is also made for the charterers to take all reasonable steps to have the vessel released in case of an arrest due to the charterers’ failure to comply. Responsibility for illegal drugs that are found in the possession of the vessel’s personnel rests with the owners.

Originally published in BIMCO Special Circular No. 4, 2 July 2013 - Revised US Anti-Drug Abuse Act 1986 Clause for Time Charter Parties

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