Disagreements between owners and charterers over the cost of repairing damage to redelivered unmanned barges have prompted a review of BARGEHIRE 2008 to help reduce the risk of disputes.
An owner recently contacted BIMCO with concerns related to such an issue. Following this, BIMCO asked other users of the BARGEHIRE contract if they had experienced similar problems. Based on this feedback BIMCO has begun a revision of BARGEHIRE 2008. A consultation draft will be available for review and comments by owners and operators towards the end of this year.
Some owners have found themselves in the unfortunate position of being out of pocket because the marine surveyor’s assessment of the time and cost for repairs, which is contractually binding, falls short of the actual amount required. As with all BIMCO standard contracts, BARGEHIRE is designed to be fair to both parties. Although the cause of these discrepancies is not contractual, BIMCO wants to investigate possible contractual solutions to avoid this kind of problem.
BIMCO is fortunate to have some major players in the unmanned barge market involved in the revision of BARGEHIRE. The drafting team began their work in January at the BIMCO House and hope to complete the project by November 2020. The team will review the entire contract based on feedback on the use of BARGEHIRE over the past 12 years.
The team is led by Dirk Kwantes of LKL Oceantrade, who is also leading the project to revise BIMCO’s ocean towage agreements, TOWCON 2008 and TOWHIRE 2008. The other members of the BARGEHIRE team are Jonathan Bawden of Cashman Equipment Corporation, Tommy Christensen of Ugland, Merlijn Hijzen of Heerema, Guillaume Vassout of Subsea 7 and Alexander McCooke of the Shipowners’ Club.