In dry cargo chartering members of BIMCO are expected to comply with the following: An ‘official’ charterparty form is a form that has been agreed and passed by an official body such as BIMCO, these are distinguished from other forms which are not considered to be as suitable for use, possibly because they unduly favour one or other of the parties involved. The shipowner is advised whenever possible to use these forms because they are usually well drafted and balanced forms. The ‘official’ forms may be described as:
- An agreed charterparty: this is a form which has been agreed between BIMCO or another group of shipowners and charterers for the trade concerned, the terms must not be altered in any way. The use of this form is compulsory for that particular trade. Examples of agreed forms are Polcoalvoy and Sovcoalvoy.
- An adopted charterparty: if a charterparty has been agreed by two organisations, and another organisation wishes to make use of it, they may then adopt the charterparty. Thus BIMCO may adopt a charterparty agreed by the Chamber of Shipping of the UK and a number of charterers. BIMCO members would then be expected to use this document whenever possible.
- A recommended charterparty: is used where no specific charterparty exists for a particular trade and an organisation like BIMCO would recommend a particular charterparty, such as Gencon, for use by its members in that particular trade.
In practice, the choice of form is dictated by the charterer and not by the shipowner.