The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has started developing a new standard term sheet for ship sale and leaseback transactions.

The standard will complement the existing BIMCO term sheets for bilateral and syndicated ship financing, SHIPTERM and SHIPTERM S, which were published in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“This is a very timely project to embark on, and we have made good progress at this first meeting,” said Nick Fell, executive vice president, corporate services and general counsel of BW Group and chairperson of the drafting group in charge of the project.

He added: “Sale and leasebacks are now an essential and expanding feature of the shipping industry, and BIMCO can facilitate such transactions by developing a balanced starting point for use by the parties.”

The drafting group also consists of: Alexandros Laios of Navios Corporation; Catherine Smith of Wah Kwong; Conor Warde of Mayer Brown; Jia Zhang of China Development Bank Leasing; Jay Shi of China Merchants Bank Financial Leasing; Lawrence Chao of Island Navigation; Matt Hannaford of Hannaford Turner; Olga Petrovic of Linklaters; and Wilson Wei Liu of Minsheng Financial Leasing.

At the first meeting, the group agreed to develop the ship leasing standard on a similar basis to SHIPTERM and SHIPTERM S. The standard will therefore contain the BIMCO box layout as Part I and a clauses section as Part II.

The plan is to adapt the existing term sheets to fit sale and leaseback transactions reflecting both the sale and purchase of the ship and the charter of the ship. Both financing and operating leases will be catered for.

The target date for adoption of the sale and leaseback term sheet is November 2020.