New BIMCO Covid-19 crew change clause for time charterparties

BIMCO has produced a new Covid-19 clause that has been designed to give owners the liberty to deviate from their route for the purpose of effecting crew changes, under tightly defined circumstances.

BIMCO observed that, although global travel restrictions were beginning to ease, those which remained in many countries continued to impede crew changes.

The clause also provides an option for charterers to contribute to the crew change in recognition of the potentially high cost of making a Covid-19 related arrangements of this kind.

BIMCO said that crew changes were usually for owners’ account under a charterparty. However, the extraordinary and unusual circumstances created by Covid-19 had left some owners unable to conduct crew changes on a ship’s trade route. “With crew now remaining on board for periods beyond their contracts of employment, owners require the flexibility to deviate to an alternative place if crew changes cannot be effected at the places to which the ship is ordered by charterers”, said BIMCO. The new clause has been designed to help them with that process and to encourage charterers to assist.

The clause can be downloaded from the BIMCO website, together with explanatory notes providing a guide to its use and application, at:

https://www.bimco.org/contracts-and-clauses/bimco-clauses/current/covid-19-crew-change-clause-for-time-charter-parties-2020