A BIMCO working group with expertise in war risks, piracy and marine insurance met in London on 12 February to begin a project to review and update BIMCO’s widely used CONWARTIME 2004, VOYWAR 2004, and Piracy Clauses.
Among the group’s tasks is adding greater clarity to the provisions of the War Risks clause in determining if there is a risk of the vessel being exposed to danger. The recent Triton Lark judgment on this issue is being carefully studied. The group will also study the references to “additional insurance” in the clauses to ensure that it is sufficiently clear to the parties what insurances are considered “normal” for an owner to have and other insurances which may be required for a particular voyage that involves the sort of risks contemplated by the clause. A broader definition of “piracy” will be added to the War Risks Clauses to make them consistent with the definition used in the Piracy Clauses.
The issue of the suspension of hire payments after 90 days under the Piracy Clause for time charter parties will also be revisited. Provision will also be made for the time required to restore the vessel after release from seizure by pirates to her previous trading condition.
As the Piracy Clauses have been closely modelled on the War Risks Clauses, efforts will be made to harmonise the two as much as possible.
Work on the revision of these important clauses will continue in March, and it is hoped that a set of first drafts will be ready to present to the Documentary Committee at its next meeting in May.