ASBA

Some dry-cargo charterparties in use today are around eighty years old and, although many during that period have grown unsuitable for the trade for which they were originally intended and/or the trade itself has become obsolete, leading to the discontinuation of use of those charterparties, some of these older forms have still a valid role to play and have been updated when and where necessary to keep step with market developments. Even so, new dry-cargo charterparty forms are published from time to time and older ones revised and updated, and active in this field are two bodies that you will encounter in particular – The Baltic International Maritime Council (BIMCO), and The Association of Shipbrokers and Agents (USA) Inc (ASBA). BIMCO, based in Copenhagen, has an international membership and originated as a shipowners’ lobby group before expanding its broker and charterer membership in recent years. ASBA is an American organisation, based in New York and, as its name implies, is an association of shipbrokers and agents. In general all these parties coordinate their activities with one another and in particular through the Documentary Committee of BIMCO. We have selected two forms which contain an illustrative structure in their printed versions, and which are thus of value for our purposes in this Course. The two selected are the MULTIFORM of FONASBA (The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents), as our voyage charterparty, and the ASBATIME of ASBA for our timecharter, supported by the AMWELSH and the New York Produce, both of ASBA.