Official Charterparties

Agreed or Trade: The charterparty wording has been ‘agreed’ between a body such as BIMCO (broadly representing owners’ interests) and a charterers’ organisation for a particular trade. The printed conditions of such a charterparty may not be altered in any way without the express agreement of all the organisations drawing up the document, which is compulsory for all engaged in the particular trade. Adopted: Where a body (e.g. a chamber of shipping) ‘adopts’ a charterparty that has been ‘agreed’ between say, a charterers’ organisation and BIMCO. An example is the POLCOALVOY charterparty, adopted by the General Council of British Shipping. Such a body can also adopt a charterparty that has not been ‘agreed’, should it approve of that document’s contents, although in the latter case the clauses can be altered by mutual consent by contracting parties in the trade. Recommended: Where charterparty text is liable to alterations in negotiations, although the wording of the printed text meets with the approval of the inspecting body, the form can be used as a ‘recommended’ document. An example is the GENCON charterparty. Approved: Simply an expression describing ‘recommended’, ‘adopted’, or ‘agreed’ charterparties. Issued: A charterparty for which a group such as BIMCO is responsible for drafting and making available for use. In large centres such as London and New York, blank copies of most charterparty forms can be obtained from specialist stationers supplying maritime documents, failing which local shipbrokers or the organisation publishing the form may be able to provide guidance on its availability in particular areas. For those with Internet access copies of many BIMCO approved forms can be downloaded from the BIMCO website at