The standard gas tanker voyage charter party codenamed ASBAGASVOY is ready for a first industry consultation as well as review by the Documentary Committee of BIMCO and the Board of the Association of Ship Brokers & Agents (U.S.A.), Inc. (ASBA).
The joint BIMCO/ASBA subcommittee in charge of developing the new charter party met on 4 November in London, and the draft will now be sent to selected owners, charterers and brokers in the gas tanker industry for feedback in an initial round of industry consultation.
“I am particularly pleased that we managed to agree on a presentation clause in the draft form. Presentation is a key element in the gas tanker industry, and we want to assist users as much as possible,” said Søren Wolmar, Chairman of ASBA’s Documentary Committee and ASBA Co-Chair of the subcommittee, adding:
“Mindful of the differences between transportation of LPG, anhydrous ammonia and chemical gases, it is difficult to draft a “one size fits all” clause. Rather than developing two separate forms, we have agreed on a clause that sets out three options: One mainly for LPG, one for pressurised gases and one named “Other”, where the parties can include their own presentation clause.”
The overall aim of the project is to develop a standard form dedicated to the chartering of tankers for LPG, anhydrous ammonia and chemical gases based on the widely used tanker charter party, ASBATANKVOY. The subcommittee in charge of the work also includes Stephen Harper (BW Group), Elwin Taylor (Petredec), Tommy Baggio (Clarksons), Magne Andersen (Nordisk Legal Services) and Sumit Madhu (Thomas Miller P&I (Europe) Ltd.).
Focus of the consultation will be on the fundamental features of the draft, including its familiarity with ASBATANKVOY and whether users agree this should be maintained. Views will also be sought on whether additional clauses, which are often added when ASBATANKVOY is adapted and used for gas tankers, should be included in the printed form, and on the suggested presentation clause.
“We want to make sure work is heading in the right direction before we carry out wider industry consultation,” said Stephen Harper, Head of Legal, Shipping at BW Group and BIMCO co-chair of the subcommittee, adding:
“ASBAGASVOY has the potential to become the preferred charter party in the gas tanker industry. But it all depends on the users, and I look forward to getting their views, so that we can make sure we develop a charter party that meets their needs.”
Drafting will continue in early 2020 based on the input from the industry consultation, BIMCO’s Documentary Committee and ASBA’s Board.
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