BIMCO and the International Spill Control Organisation, ISCO, began work last week in London on developing a standard contract for the hire of spill response services and equipment. While salvage experts will secure a ship that has become a casualty and prevent pollution or further pollution from occurring, the cleaning-up operation is undertaken by separate contractors. At present, there is no single standard contract for the hire of specialised spill response services and equipment.
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Harmonised terms and conditions that are consistent with a shipowners’ P&I insurance cover will help speed the process of getting essential spill response equipment on site as soon as possible.
The spill response contract will be an agreement that can be used by a shipowner whose ship has caused a spill and a contractor hired to perform clean-up services. Key issues that the contract will cover include hire payments relating to services and equipment, mobilisation and demobilisation of equipment and personnel, insurance, and the parties’ liabilities and responsibilities.
The drafting group comprises pollution response experts from ISCO as well as P&I and salvage industry representatives. It is hoped to have a first draft of the contract ready for review by the Documentary Committee at its next meeting in May.