Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA)

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA)


The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) was formed in 1969 from national European shipbroker and agent associations to encompass the interests of the Liner Agent, the Tramp Port Agent, and the Shipbroker engaged in the chartering of ships. Some 26 countries worldwide are now represented through their national members’ associations.

The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) may be consulted and itself speaks with authority on all relevant matters appertaining to the shipping profession insofar as shipbrokers and agents are concerned.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) consults with national and international bodies, authorities and organizations on matters of concern to the shipping profession.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) encourages fair and equitable practice of the profession of shipbrokers and agents and to that effect:

1. Supports its members when the basis and general interests of their profession are in question.
2. Co-ordinates common efforts to improve, simplify and standardize shipping contracts and documents
3. Ensures an efficient exchange of information of general or particular interest.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) aims particularly to co-operate with organizations of shipowners, merchants, and charterers on an international level believing that the special relationship between its members and cargo and owner interests will enable Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) to bring to international discussions experience and expertise co-ordinate on a world-wide basis and thus make its contribution to international trade.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA)’s Chartering and Documentary Committee has actively participated in the revision of charter parties and other shipping documents. FONASBA has, for example, issued forms of Liner and General Agency Agreements, an International Brokers’ Commission Contract, a Time Charter Interpretation Code and a Guide to Standard Port Agency Conditions as well as devising the Multiform Charter party (1982) as an alternative to the old General Voyage Charter party (GENCON). The Chartering and Documentary Committee also played a leading role in the revision of Charter parties such as NORGRAIN 89, NYPE 93 and AMWELSH 93 issued by the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (ASBA). The guiding policy in all charter revisions is to remain objective and adopt an evenhanded position between charterer and owners irrespective of the current state of the market.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) advocates terms which are equitable to both sides, that are clear, comprehensive and reflect up to date conditions.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA)’s secretariat is based in London. FONASBA has consultative status with UNCTAD
and attends the meetings in Geneva when shipping documentation is discussed and it speaks there as the voice of shipbrokers and agents internationally.

Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) now incorporates a daughter organization ECASBA (The European Community Association of Shipbrokers and Agents) which works in similar fields for the benefit of members within the European Union. Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA)’s activities can be found on its website at www.fonasba.com

What is FONASBA?

The Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) is a professional, global organization that represents the interests of shipping companies, shipbrokers, and ship agents. Established in 1969, FONASBA’s main objective is to ensure the smooth, efficient, and secure transfer of goods across the world’s seas by providing a unified voice for these maritime industries.

FONASBA maintains an active and involved membership spanning more than 60 countries, each represented by a national association. The collective knowledge and experience that these associations provide enables FONASBA to give informed and accurate advice on maritime matters to international bodies such as the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the European Union, and other relevant entities.

Some of the key areas that FONASBA is involved in include:

  1. Advocacy: FONASBA advocates for the interests of shipbrokers and ship agents on an international stage, engaging with policy makers and regulatory bodies to ensure that the needs and concerns of these industries are considered in legislative and policy decisions.
  2. Standards and Ethics: FONASBA works to maintain and improve professional standards within the shipbroking and ship agency sectors. They promote best practices, provide guidelines, and ensure the ethical conduct of their members.
  3. Education and Training: Recognizing the need for continuous learning in a rapidly evolving industry, FONASBA promotes education and training, and provides opportunities for professional development.
  4. Communication and Networking: FONASBA provides a platform for its members to share ideas, knowledge, and best practices, fostering a sense of community and collaboration among shipbrokers and ship agents worldwide.
  5. Industry Representation: FONASBA ensures that the shipping industry’s voice is heard in relevant circles. The Federation represents its members at major maritime meetings, conferences, and exhibitions, providing critical input based on its extensive knowledge and experience in shipbroking and ship agency.
  6. Policy Development: FONASBA contributes to the development of international shipping policies. Its informed perspective helps shape these policies to be beneficial and balanced, considering the interests of all stakeholders in the maritime industry.
  7. Document and Contract Template Creation: Recognizing the importance of consistency and standardization in international trade, FONASBA is involved in the creation and distribution of standardized document templates and contracts. This activity helps ensure the smooth execution of agreements between parties from different countries, reducing the potential for misunderstandings or disputes.
  8. Research and Analysis: FONASBA conducts research and analysis on current and emerging trends in the maritime industry. The findings of this research are disseminated among members and relevant stakeholders, helping them make informed decisions and prepare for future changes in the industry.
  9. Dispute Resolution: Given the complex and international nature of maritime transactions, disputes are not uncommon. FONASBA plays a role in dispute resolution, either by facilitating mediation or arbitration between parties, or by providing expert guidance to support the resolution process.
  10. Quality Standard: FONASBA has developed a quality standard that its members must adhere to. The FONASBA Quality Standard (FQS) aims to raise the professional standards within shipbroking and ship agency industries, and provides an internationally recognized benchmark for excellence.
  11. Collaborations: FONASBA maintains relationships with other major international shipping organizations, such as BIMCO (Baltic and International Maritime Council), INTERTANKO (International Association of Independent Tanker Owners), and the International Chamber of Shipping. These collaborations allow the organizations to work together on mutual interests and combine their resources and expertise to tackle shared challenges.
  12. Membership Support: FONASBA provides an array of services to its members, from offering advice on best practices to sharing the latest industry information. It also offers a global networking platform, providing opportunities for members to connect with other industry professionals around the world. This can be especially valuable in an industry as internationally intertwined as shipping.
  13. Young Brokers and Agents Initiative: Understanding the need to attract and nurture the next generation of shipbrokers and agents, FONASBA runs initiatives targeted at young professionals. These may include mentorship programs, career development workshops, networking events, and more. These initiatives are designed to foster enthusiasm and commitment in the industry’s future leaders.
  14. Annual and Regional Meetings: FONASBA organizes annual general meetings and regional meetings, providing opportunities for members to come together, share knowledge, discuss challenges and opportunities, and shape the direction of the Federation’s work. These meetings are crucial for maintaining the cohesion and effectiveness of the organization.
  15. Awards: To encourage excellence within the industry, FONASBA presents various awards recognizing remarkable contributions or achievements in the field of shipbroking and ship agency. These awards serve to highlight best practices and inspire all members to strive for the highest standards.
  16. Sustainability Efforts: In line with global trends, FONASBA is increasingly focused on promoting sustainability in the maritime industry. This involves advocating for environmentally-friendly practices, supporting research into green technologies, and encouraging its members to commit to reducing their environmental impact.

Through these diverse operations, Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) ensures it serves its members effectively while continuously striving to promote and improve the global shipping industry.

Overall, FONASBA’s work is vital for the efficient and effective functioning of international shipping. Through its advocacy, standards-setting, educational initiatives, and more, it helps facilitate global trade and ensures that the maritime industry continues to thrive.

Through its ongoing efforts, Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA) continues to play a pivotal role in the global maritime industry, promoting a fair, efficient, and secure environment for the conduct of maritime business.