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The case provides clarification that a charterer’s obligation to keep a ship in class under a Barecon charter is an absolute obligation and a condition of the contract. It also provides a warning of the importance of maintaining class under a bareboat charter at all times and the potentially drastic consequences of failing to do so.

Under a time charter, the charterer is usually responsible for fuel and the owner for compliance with MARPOL whereas under a voyage charter an owner would generally be responsible for both. Whilst this should make the position more straightforward, one crucial question will be how best to mitigate the potential impact of volatile fuel prices linked to 2020.

The London Maritime Arbitrators Association (‘LMAA’) has recently published a ‘LMAA Arbitration Clause’ and a ‘LMAA Arbitration Notice Clause’. Given the potential importance of issues relating to jurisdiction, these are worth considering.

In this edition of our “Sulphur Series”, we look in more detail at the practical steps that will need to be taken in order to prepare ships without scrubbers for the switchover to low sulphur fuel on 1st January, 2020. We also consider how the allocation of responsibilities and costs related to such steps might be dealt with contractually.

Following the introduction in 2018 of new biofouling regulations for ships visiting New Zealand, Intertanko have now issued practical guidance to owners which addresses and clarifies some of the issues relating to the new requirements. As these relatively stringent new regulations present a number of technical, commercial and practical implications for owners and charterers, Members are recommended to take note of all available guidance and take protective measures to minimise disruption under charterparties.


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