BIMCO releases new crew change clause to help owners facing highly difficult circumstances.

By Nithya Solomon , June 26, 2020

Despite relaxation of restrictions in countries, vessels owners still have a hard time in facilitating crew change. BIMCO, the international shipping association has come up with a new clause in order to assist ship owners with issues regarding crew change.

Soren Larsen, Deputy Secretary General at BIMCO said that, “Although the cost of crew changes is usually for owners’ account under a charter party, the extraordinary and unusual circumstances created by COVID-19 have left some owners unable to conduct crew changes on the ship’s trade route”

Under well defined situations, the clause gives these owners the freedom to deviate from countries which do not have a conducive environment for crew change to places with lesser restrictions. Charterers can also contribute to Covid-19 related crew changes if the vessels owners face high costs.

He also added that, “With crew now onboard for periods extending beyond their contracts of employment, owners need to have the flexibility to deviate to an alternative place if crew changes can’t be done at the places where the ship is ordered by charterers. This clause is designed to help them with that process and to encourage charterers to assist.”