December 6 - The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and FONASBA, the worldwide organisation representing shipbrokers and ship agents, have launched a general agency agreement for port agents, shipowners and ship operators contracting port a
Drawn up by the group responsible for drafting the Agency Appointment Agreement, which was released earlier this year, the new agreement can be adapted for single use or a long-term contract.
Parties can select their requirements from a list of functions such as sales and marketing, port or general agency and husbandry, and can agree other services to suit their needs. The agreement covers the parties' obligations for remuneration, insurance, liability, termination, confidentiality and dispute resolution.
"Managing ships has become much more complex, with many more parties involved, and as a result knowing who your exact counterpart is, can be difficult. This creates more room for disagreements or simple mistakes," explains Fulvio Carlini, chairman of FONASBA's Chartering & Documentary Committee.
"The standard contract creates a solid agreement, allowing agents and operators to focus on core activities, build stronger relations and not worry about potential disputes or legal issues."
Francis Sarre, chairman of BIMCO's Documentary Committee, adds: "Disputes cost time and money, and we hope this new agency representation contract will facilitate smoother working practices and help to prevent disagreements between operators and agents across the industry.
"The new contract offers both parties a clear structure agreeing their specific individual requirements while covering all the wider obligations and liabilities and offering greater flexibility."
The new standard contract can be downloaded from the FONASBA website and BIMCO's IDEA.