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Shipping Offshore Update June 2021

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Updated BIMCO contracts for towage and barge hire

BIMCO has recently published new editions of the widely used TOWHIRE, TOWCON and BARGEHIRE contract forms, which were last revised in 2008. The amendments are intended to improve legal clarity and bring the contracts more in line with current commercial practice.



BIMCO has today expanded their suite of offshore contracts by launching the new standard time charter for accommodation support vessels. Wikborg Rein participated in BIMCO's drafting committee for the form and set out an overview of its key features below.


The shipbuilder’s interpellation right – Obtaining clarity in a delayed shipbuilding project

Delay in shipbuilding projects may ultimately grant the buyer a cancellation right, thereby giving rise to both legal and economic risks for the shipbuilder. Under the circumstances, the builder’s “interpellation” right can help mitigate those risks and provide clarity for both parties.


Deep sea mining – preparing the ground

The Norwegian Government has initiated a process for the potential opening up of deep sea mining on the Norwegian continental shelf. What is the legal framework for such developments and how does the Norwegian Government foresee that this process will be conducted?


Shipbuilding Notice of defects – possible traps for the buyer and the builder

A Norwegian Supreme Court decision from last year provides guidance on the importance of a buyer giving notice of defects in due time, as well as the importance of a builder reserving its rights before entering into discussions on the merits of those defects.


Ship recycling – ongoing liabilities for shipowners

The English Court of Appeal has in a recent judgment (Hamida Begum v Maran (UK) Limited [2021] EWCA Civ 326) upheld the High Court’s decision to decline to strike out a claim against a UK ship manager for the death of a shipyard worker in Bangladesh following a demolition sale.


The High North Report – an "ocean of opportunities"?

On 27 November 2020 the Norwegian government presented a white paper on the High North with the title "People, opportunities and Norwegian interests in the Arctic" (the "High North Report"). The report is the first white paper on the Northern region in nine years, and sets out the government's policy on foreign relations, climate change and environmental concerns, community development, business, infrastructure, transport and safety.


Hvordan håndtere tospråklige kontrakter?

Selskaper som opererer internasjonalt kan ofte møte krav om tospråklige kontrakter i fremmede jurisdiksjoner.


CO2 transportation and storage agreements – is it rocket science?

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects have been referred to as “moon landings”. One may presume that, along with some of the technology, the underlying business and contracts are also something akin to rocket science. However, a closer look reveals major similarities to the gas sales business and gas sales agreements rather than something more ground breaking.


ASBAGASVOY 2020 – a new voyage charter for gas tankers

BIMCO and the Association of Ship Brokers & Agents (“ASBA”) recently released a dedicated gas tanker voyage charterparty, the ASBAGASVOY 2020. The form is a based on the well-established ASBATANKVOY form for product tankers and has been developed in response to the growth of the gas spot market.