Issue 6, 2008 - Piracy


The majority of piracy related enquires concern whether in the current climate a ship is obliged to transit the Gulf of Aden. The starting point for any discussion is the terms of the governing charterparty. These can vary widely although in most cases the Bimco Conwartime or Voywar clauses are incorporated.

Both of these clauses define “War Risks” to include “acts of piracy, acts of terrorists, acts of hostility... by any person, body, terrorist or political group which in the reasonable judgement of the Master or Owner, may be or are likely to become dangerous to the vessel.”

The Conwartime clause further provides that “the vessel shall not be ordered to or through any... place, area or zone... where in the reasonable judgement of the Master or the Owner the ship may be, or

is likely to be exposed to War Risks”.