(a) For the purpose of this Clause, the words:
(i) "Owners" shall include the shipowners, bareboat charterers, disponent owners, managers or other operators who are charged with the management of the Vessel, and the Master; and
(ii) "War Risks" shall include any actual, threatened or reported:
War, act of war, civil war or hostilities; revolution; rebellion; civil commotion; warlike operations; laying of mines; acts of piracy and/or violent robbery and/or capture/seizure (hereinafter “Piracy”); acts of terrorists; acts of hostility or malicious damage; blockades (whether imposed against all vessels or imposed selectively against vessels of certain flags or ownership, or against certain cargoes or crews or otherwise howsoever), by any person, body, terrorist or political group, or the government of any state or territory whether recognised or not, which, in the reasonable judgement of the Master and/or the Owners, may be dangerous or may become dangerous to the Vessel, cargo, crew or other persons on board the Vessel.
(b) If at any time before the Vessel commences loading, it appears that, in the reasonable judgement of the Master and/or the Owners, performance of the Contract of Carriage, or any part of it, may expose the Vessel, cargo, crew or other persons on board the Vessel to War Risks, the Owners may give notice to the Charterers cancelling this Contract of Carriage, or may refuse to perform such part of it as may expose the Vessel, cargo, crew or other persons on board the Vessel to War Risks; provided always that if this Contract of Carriage provides that loading or discharging is to take place within a range of ports, and at the port or ports nominated by the Charterers the Vessel, cargo, crew, or other persons on board the Vessel may be exposed to War Risks, the Owners shall first require the Charterers to nominate any other safe port which lies within the range for loading or discharging, and may only cancel this Contract of Carriage if the Charterers shall not have nominated such safe port or ports within 48 hours of receipt of notice of such requirement.
(c) The Owners shall not be required to continue to load cargo for any voyage, or to sign bills of lading, waybills or other documents evidencing contracts of carriage for any port or place, or to proceed or continue on any voyage, or on any part thereof, or to proceed through any canal or waterway, or to proceed to or remain at any port or place whatsoever, where it appears, either after the loading of the cargo commences, or at any stage of the voyage thereafter before the discharge of the cargo is completed, that, in the reasonable judgement of the Master and/or the Owners, the Vessel, cargo, crew or other persons on board the Vessel may be exposed to War Risks. If it should so appear, the Owners may by notice request the Charterers to nominate a safe port for the discharge of the cargo or any part thereof, and if within 48 hours of the receipt of such notice, the Charterers shall not have nominated such a port, the Owners may discharge the cargo at any safe port of their choice (including the port of loading) in complete fulfilment of the Contract of Carriage. The Owners shall be entitled to recover from the Charterers the extra expenses of such discharge and, if the discharge takes place at any port other than the loading port, to receive the full freight as though the cargo had been carried to the discharging port and if the extra distance exceeds 100 miles, to additional freight which shall be the same percentage of the freight contracted for as the percentage which the extra distance represents to the distance of the normal and customary route, the Owners having a lien on the cargo for such expenses and freight.
(d) If at any stage of the voyage after the loading of the cargo commences, it appears that, in the reasonable judgement of the Master and/or the Owners, the Vessel, cargo, crew or other persons on board the Vessel may be exposed to War Risks on any part of the route (including any canal or waterway) which is normally and customarily used in a voyage of the nature contracted for, and there is another longer route to the discharging port, the Owners shall give notice to the Charterers that this route will be taken. In this event the Owners shall be entitled, if the total extra distance exceeds 100 miles, to additional freight which shall be the same percentage of the freight contracted for as the percentage which the extra distance represents to the distance of the normal and customary route.
(e) (i) The Owners may effect War Risks insurance in respect of the Vessel and any additional insurances that Owners reasonably require in connection with War Risks and the premiums therefor shall be for their account.
(ii) If, pursuant to the Charterers' orders, or in order to fulfil the Owners’ obligation under this Charter Party, the Vessel proceeds to or through any area or areas exposed to War Risks, the Charterers shall reimburse to the Owners any additional premiums required by the Owners’ insurers. If the Vessel discharges all of her cargo within an area subject to additional premiums as herein set forth, the Charterers shall further reimburse the Owners for the actual additional premiums paid from completion of discharge until the Vessel leaves such area or areas. The Owners shall leave the area or areas as soon as possible after completion of discharge.
(iii) All payments arising under this Sub-clause (e) shall be settled within fifteen (15) days of receipt of Owners’ supported invoices.
(f) The Vessel shall have liberty:
(i) to comply with all orders, directions, recommendations or advice as to departure, arrival, routes, sailing in convoy, ports of call, stoppages, destinations, discharge of cargo, delivery, or in any other way whatsoever, which are given by the government of the nation under whose flag the Vessel sails, or other government to whose laws the Owners are subject, or any other government of any state or territory whether recognised or not, body or group whatsoever acting with the power to compel compliance with their orders or directions;
(ii) to comply with the requirements of the Owners’ insurers under the terms of the Vessel’s insurance(s);
(iii) to comply with the terms of any resolution of the Security Council of the United Nations, the effective orders of any other Supranational body which has the right to issue and give the same, and with national laws aimed at enforcing the same to which the Owners are subject, and to obey the orders and directions of those who are charged with their enforcement;
(iv) to discharge at any alternative port any cargo or part thereof which may expose the Vessel to being held liable as a contraband carrier;
(v) to call at any alternative port to change the crew or any part thereof or other persons on board the Vessel when there is reason to believe that they may be subject to internment, imprisonment, detention or similar measures;
(vi) where cargo has not been loaded or has been discharged by the Owners under any provisions of this Clause, to load other cargo for the Owners' own benefit and carry it to any other port or ports whatsoever, whether backwards or forwards or in a contrary direction to the ordinary or customary route.
(g) The Charterers shall indemnify the Owners for claims arising out of the Vessel proceeding in accordance with any of the provisions of Sub-clauses (b) to (f) which are made under any bills of lading, waybills or other documents evidencing contracts of carriage.
(h) When acting in accordance with any of the provisions of Sub-clauses (b) to (f) of this Clause anything is done or not done, such shall not be deemed to be a deviation, but shall be considered as due fulfilment of the Contract of Carriage.
The BIMCO CONWARTIME and VOYWAR War Risks Clauses, respectively for time and voyage charter parties, were last revised in 2004. However, as a result of views recently expressed by the courts, changes in trading practices during the intervening years and insurers’ response to user demands for specialist cover, a review has been undertaken to determine the basis and extent of changes required to ensure that the provisions remain in line with commercial needs. As a result, the Clauses have been updated and will be incorporated into all new and revised BIMCO charter parties and other documents.
BIMCO recommends that members using standard charter parties or other contracts with the existing 2004 edition (or earlier) of the War Risks Clauses replace these versions with the new 2013 edition.
The revision was conducted in parallel with a review of the BIMCO Piracy Clauses to ensure consistency between provisions common to both sets of Clauses.
The following is a summary of the main changes to VOYWAR.
In contrast to CONWARTIME, where a war risk may exist before or after a charter party has been concluded, VOYWAR focuses on the position before loading or after the voyage has commenced.
This approach is maintained in the updated Clause as set out at sub-clauses (b) and (d).
The test in sub-clause (a) for determining the extent of a risk has been brought into line with the time charter provision and is to be measured by reference to the level of danger. As with the time charter clause, piracy now includes “violent robbery and/or capture/seizure”. Updated provisions covering insurance, additional insurances and the allocation of party liability for payment, are set out at sub-clause (e). The standard indemnity provision for third party claims has been inserted at sub-clause (g). As this specifically refers to “bills of lading, waybills or other documents evidencing contracts of carriage”, the reference in sub-clause (c) to signing bills of lading has been brought into line with the wording in sub-clause (g).
A number of other minor and consequential amendments have been made to ensure consistency and improve the text.
The one-stop digital shop for all the standard maritime contracts and clauses you’ll ever need.
BIMCO’s Documentary Committee has adopted a standard electronic signature clause that allows parties to safely use electronic signatures in their contractual arrangements.
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.
BIMCO is to develop an electronic bill of lading standard for the dry and liquid bulk sectors as a key component of a global initiative to accelerate trade digitalisation.
Documentary Committee Chairman Francis Sarre of CMB has, after six years in the driver’s seat, passed over the reins of BIMCO’s contracts and clauses approval body to Nick Fell of BW Group. Fell takes over as Chairman at a time when the industry needs strong contractual solutions, not least due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
BIMCO’s documentary experts have begun preparing charter party clauses to assist owners and charterers comply with complex new carbon regulations due to come into force in 2023.
BIMCO's Holiday Calendar covers general holidays in over 150 countries, plus local holidays and working hours in more than 680 ports around the world.
For general guidance and information on cargo-related queries.