A new BIMCO clause provides a clear allocation of responsibility and costs relating to fumigation operations and brings awareness to the safe handling of fumigants on board ships. The clause is aimed at cargo fumigation in the dry bulk sector, comprising mostly bagged or free-flowing agricultural cargoes. It can be used for voyage and time charter parties alike, thereby ensuring easy back to back cover.
Countries importing agricultural cargoes often require that fumigation is carried out before discharging to prevent any impact on the natural fauna by insects or mite pest carried in the cargo. During the contract, the charterers will therefore have an option to fumigate cargo in the ship’s holds, provided that the operations are carried out in a safe and responsible manner. As is current practice, the charterers will take responsibility for the fumigation operations and cover related costs. The lack of binding international rules on the use of fumigants on board ships means that the position of the country of loading, the vessel’s flag state and the country of discharging can differ substantially.
The IMO has developed a useful, but non-binding, set of recommendations that describes fumigation procedures in detail and offers a good framework for safe fumigation operations. To promote higher safety standards, the cargo fumigation clause incorporates these recommendations as the agreed safety standard to apply at all times Finally, the clause introduces the concept of detention for fumigation-related delay arising outside of laytime. A copy of the Cargo Fumigation Clause for Charter Parties can be downloaded from the Clauses section of the BIMCO website and from the Clause Manager for those who subscribe to IDEA•2.
A Special Circular has been issued containing explanatory notes for the Clause (see link), containing also a number of examples of laytime and detention calculations.