Charterparty Wordings

Sea-trader owes it to himself and his principals to be at least aware of common charterparty wordings and alterations thereto that act advantageously or otherwise to prospective ventures. Unfortunately, it is not possible to learn all of these technical peculiarities from books on the subject. Much must be learned from experience and from the advice of colleagues. Knowledge can also be gained from comparison between blank pro-forma and previously negotiated contracts, and from intelligent perusal of shipping newspaper and magazine reports of shipping disputes and legal decisions. Implications for chartering of legal decisions are reported in circulars issued by bodies such as BIMCO, P & I Clubs and the like – all essential reading for the sea-trader. Once negotiations leading to a fixture have been concluded, it becomes the task of the shipbroker acting for the charterer to draw up the charterparty, amending the printed text where necessary, and adding appropriate side clauses and addenda. Care should be taken to avoid repetition and the inclusion of irrelevant and unnecessary clauses which are liable to creep in if the fixture is based upon a completed charterparty drawn up on a previous occasion. But nothing should be deleted, inserted or altered without the agreement of the owner’s broker. It is also advisable to include the text of all clauses agreed upon, not merely to mention them. For example, if protective clauses are included – e.g. the Both to Blame Collision Clause – it is not really good enough to state that it is deemed to be included. It should actually be attached for all to read if required.