2020 ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ – BIMCO Clauses

18 December 2018

Following on from the Club’s News Alert of September (click here) on compliance with the 2020 Global Sulphur Cap which takes effect from 1 January 2020, Members and Assureds should note that BIMCO has now published two recommended charterparty clauses that are intended to address key contractual issues relating to the one off event of switching to fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.50%. The clauses are designed to provide a fair allocation of responsibilities and liabilities between the owners and charterers in managing remaining stocks of fuel that will become non-compliant under MARPOL on 1 January 2020:

·         2020 Marine Fuel Sulphur Content Clause – provides for charterers to supply fuel which complies with the applicable sulphur content requirements, and sets out owners’ warranty that the vessel shall comply with the sulphur content requirements, subject to charterers having supplied compliant fuels. This clause is intended to replace the Bunker Sulphur Content Clause for Time Charter Parties 2005 and deals with sulphur requirements of all Emission Control Areas. A copy of the clause and explanatory notes can be accessed by clicking here.


·         2020 Fuel Transition Clause - deals with switching between fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 3.50% and fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.50% by 1 January 2020, with charterers to arrange discharge and disposal of non-compliant fuel. A copy of the clause and explanatory notes can be accessed by clicking ​here.

BIMCO suggest that both clauses should be incorporated into time charterparties along with their other existing bunker clauses which deal with specifications, grades, quality and suitability of the fuels supplied (all issues that are not addressed by the two new clauses). However, BIMCO expressly advise that both clauses are not intended for use by vessels fitted with and operating exhaust gas cleaning systems (i.e. scrubbers).

Members and Assureds are recommended to review their charterparties and other relevant contracts and arrangements well in advance of the 1 January 2020 ‘Global Sulphur Cap’ deadline to ensure compliance.