BIMCO Solid Bulk Cargoes that can Liquefy Clause for Charter Parties

The safety implications of loading bulk cargoes that may be subject to liquefaction but are, nevertheless, not categorised as such under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code 2009, are known to the maritime industry.  Carriage of iron ore fines and nickel ore has been a matter of particular concern. In many cases, and sometimes under extreme pressure or intimidation, shipowners and their representatives have been denied the opportunity to sample cargoes for moisture content prior to loading.

In order to respond to this unsatisfactory situation, the International Group of P&I Clubs initiated a proposal for BIMCO to produce a charter party provision to address the issues. BIMCO and the International Group subsequently worked together and have developed an industry standard clause. BIMCO recommends the incorporation of the standard clause into time charter parties that allow for the carriage of solid bulk cargoes that may liquefy and in voyage charter parties fixed for such cargoes.

The key issue is that if solid bulk cargoes prone to liquefaction are to be loaded then, in accordance with the IMSBC Code and sufficiently in advance of loading, charterers must provide owners with shippers’ written evidence that the moisture content does not exceed the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML). The clause further provides a regime for owners to take and test samples prior to loading and gives the Master rights to require cargo to be made safe, offloaded and replaced or refuse to sail if he considers it to be hazardous to the vessel and crew. Charterers are responsible for all costs and claims arising out of their failure to comply with their obligations.

BIMCO’s clause on Solid Bulk Cargoes that can Liquefy can be found HERE.

An interesting publication from the Standard P&I regarding bulk cargo liquefaction can be found HERE. Further reading on Solid Bulk Cargoes that can Liquefy can be found in Gard’s publication “Dangerous solid cargoes in bulk DRI, nickel and iron ores”

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