The drafting committee that will carry out the first revision of the ASBATANKVOY form in 44 years has kicked off the major task to improve and update the widely used tanker charter party form.
At an online meeting on 22 and 24 June, a joint ASBA/BIMCO committee met for the first time to start the revision of ASBATANKVOY, the well-known tanker voyage charter party which was last revised in 1977.
“ASBATANKVOY is a key form in the tanker market and the revision is a major undertaking. It is a privilege to be working with so many experts in the field,” says Stephen Harper, Head of Legal, Shipping at BW Group, who will be BIMCO’s co-chair on the committee together with ASBA’s co-chair Søren Wolmar, shipbroker at Quincannon Associates and chair of ASBA’s Documentary Committee.
They will be joined in the work by Li Xuhua (COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co.), Heather Johnson (Chevron), Claire Garza (UNIPEC), Patrick Brennan (Poten & Partners), Chris Young (Dietze & Associates), Richard J. Reisert (Clark, Atcheson & Reisert), Magne Andersen (Nordisk Defence Club), Molly McCafferty (American Club) and Michele White (INTERTANKO).
In advance of the committee’s first meeting, a preliminary fact-finding exercise had been carried out. The purpose was to guide the committee on the direction of the revision by shedding light on what a selected group of users would expect to see maintained and changed in a new ASBATANKVOY. The exercise clearly indicated that users would like to see the revised ASBATANKVOY kept as simple and brief as possible.
At the same time, proposals were made for certain clauses, which are usually not subject to heavy negotiations, to be included in the main body of the form because they are so commonly added as rider clauses. Other questions concerned the possible inclusion of an interpellation provision, similar to the one included in the standard gas tanker charter party, ASBAGASVOY, and whether the revised ASBATANKVOY should continue to incorporate a standard bill of lading form. These matters will be considered at future drafting meetings.
“It is our top priority to develop a form that best matches the users’ needs. The challenge is to ensure that we strike the right balance between maintaining the familiarity of the widely used form and implement changes that reflect relevant developments of the trade over the past decades,” says Søren Wolmar.
Drafting work will continue after the summer and the committee is planning to carry out a wide consultation on the new ASBATANKVOY when drafting is at a more advanced stage. If you are interested in having a say, please contact the BIMCO secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org