BIMCO’s Documentary Committee has discussed and approved a proposal to re-write GENCON’s Clause 2, which deals with owners’ liabilities. It is part of a major overhaul of the industry’s most widely used standard voyage charter party.
“The current edition of GENCON is 25 years old. Our objective is to bring it in to line with contemporary shipping practice, as well as adding greater clarity and balance to the form. This will help to reduce the likelihood of disputes over the interpretation of clauses – something that will benefit both owners and charterers,” says Grant Hunter, head of Contracts and Clauses at BIMCO.
Involving key industry stakeholders
The GENCON revision drafting team is led by industry veteran John Weale of FEDNAV. Other representatives include Oldendorff, Cargill, Cosco, the BW group and Clarksons. Once the draft of the updated GENCON is at a more advanced stage, the team will consult key stakeholders in the industry – most importantly the end-users – and use their feedback and input on the new edition before it is finalised.
“We will be talking to the shipbroking community and P&I clubs who can help BIMCO promote the new edition. We will also talk to legal experts who can support us in interpreting the likely legal outcome of the changes we make – basically a contractual risk analysis to guide owners and charterers,” Hunter says.
The GENCON update will also examine issues such as contested Notices of Readiness, safe port/berth warranties, the role of charterers’ agents, environmental aspects of loading and discharging dry bulk cargoes and bills of lading.
BIMCO plans to conduct a series of industry consultation seminars in early 2019. The new edition of GENCON is expected to be published in November 2019.