Clerk hire and hatchmen
At some USA ports, union regulations are to the effect that it is necessary to have clerk hire and hatchmen. These services are so closely connected with cargo operations that the BIMCO Secretariat is of the opinion that, under FIO terms, charges for same should be for the account of the party arranging and paying for stevedoring. This has been confirmed in arbitration awards rendered both in London and New York. However, in order to avoid disputes, owners are well advised, under F.I.O. terms, to cover this point in chartering negotiations.
National Cargo Bureau Inc. (NCB) fees
Incorporated as a non-profit organisation in 1952, the NCB was created to render assistance to the U.S. Coast Guard in discharging its responsibilities under the Safety of Life at Sea Convention and for other purposes closely related thereto. The NCB schedule of fees covers cargo loading inspection and special survey services.
Oil spill contingency plan fees
At some US ports, fees for oil spill contingency plans are collected. In cases where such fees have no connection with the vessels' certificates, i.e. they are charged to all vessels for each port call regardless of whether the ship has a contingency plan on board, they should be considered as ordinary port costs.
Pontoon hatch covers charges
Owners with pontoon hatch covers should be aware that some elevators levy an additional fee in order to compensate for what they claim is the extra standby time owing to the amount of time required to open / close pontoon hatch covers both before and after loading operations.
According to BIMCO's files the following grain terminals levy a so-called pontoon hatch cover charge:
South Louisiana Port
Whilst the terminals levy this charge against the vessel, BIMCO is of the opinion that the charge is cargo related and, hence, should be for the account of the party arranging and paying for the stevedoring, i.e. the charterers under an "F.I.O." terms C/P. However, in order to avoid misunderstandings, owners are well advised to try to cover this point in the chartering negotiations.