Update on BIMCO 2020 Fuel Transition Clause for Time Charter Parties

On 21 December 2018 we commented on the newly released BIMCO clauses intended to address the International Maritime Organization’s revised sulphur content limits with regard to the consumption and carriage of marine fuel (in accordance with Regulation 14 of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978, MARPOL), which enter into force on 1 January and 1 March 2020 respectively. Since then we have received a number of enquiries relating to how the BIMCO 2020 Fuel Transition Clause for Time Charter Parties addresses the cleaning of fuel tanks ahead of 1 January 2020. The clause outlines the two-stage process (found at (c)(i) and (ii)) that must be completed before compliant fuel (i.e., fuel that complies with the lower sulphur limits coming into force on 1 January 2020) can be loaded into any fuel tank. The first stage (found at (c)(i)) requires that any non-compliant fuel (i.e., fuel that does…

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