Barecon 2001: the Barecon 89 bareboat charter revised
“Barecon 89” is one of the most successful standard form contracts in use. Its successor “Barecon 2001” introduces a number of changes designed to keep the contract apace of the latest bareboat chartering practices. This commentary traces and explains the effect of these changes.
Barecon 89 was the industry’s standard bareboat charter form, enjoying widespread use and general approval. Although Barecon charters have been lauded in that they are rarely the subject of litigation, BIMCO decided to review Barecon 89 in order to ensure that the contract kept apace with developments in chartering practice. 1
Initially it was felt that this could be achieved by revising some of the more awkwardly worded clauses. However, after further consideration it was felt that more widespread changes would be of benefit to users. The result of the review process is Barecon 2001, which was adopted in November 2001 at the annual meeting of BIMCO’s Documentary Committee.
The familiar format of Barecon 89 is retained, with the open boxes forming Part I and standard clauses forming Parts II, III, IV and V. Of the changes to the standard clauses, the most notable is the introduction of detailed clauses on termination and repossession. The clauses on delivery and cancellation, inspection, maintenance and operation, hire, insurance and repairs, redelivery, indemnity, liens, assignment, sub-charter and sale, and contracts of carriage have benefited from revision. 2
Barecon 2001 will also be among the first BIMCO standard forms to incorporate a mediation provision. This commentary examines the changes to Parts II-V of the Barecon 89 charter.
Delivery and cancellation
The requirement to exercise due diligence in delivering the vessel has been given increased prominence in Barecon 2001, cl. 3. By reversing the order of the first two sentences of Barecon 89, cl. 3, it is now clear that the obligation to exercise due diligence
* Sir Q.W. Lee and Dr Peter Thompson Lecturer in Maritime Law, University of Hull. My thanks to Babbis Theodosiadis for his comments on an earlier draft of this paper.
1. There are moves by many states towards a greater liberalization of shipping practice. Such moves include the liberalization of registration requirements, streamlined shipping regulations, and favourable taxation regimes and training facilities. For the United Kingdom position, see the Department of Transport, British Shipping: Charting a New Course,
available at http://www.shipping.dft.gov.uk/cnc/index.htm . Another key issue in shipping practice is increased concern with maritime security. This features highly on the agenda of the IMO and is a matter of some urgency: see IMO General Assembly Resolution A. 924(22).
2. A number of other provisions are unchanged or subject only to minor amendments. These include cl. 1 (definitions), cl. 2 (charter period), cl. 6 (trading restrictions), cl. 12 (mortgages), cl. 16 (non-lien), cl. 19 (salvage), cl. 20 (wreck removal), cl. 21 (general average), cl. 24 (bank guarantee), cl. 25 (requisition/ acquisition) and cl. 27 (Commission).
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