SHIPMAN 2024: Streamlined Ship Management Agreements

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  • BIMCO’s revised standard ship management agreement, SHIPMAN 2024, incorporates modern practices (emissions, sanctions, cyber security) and clarifies fee structures to reduce modifications and improve clarity.
  • This update reflects the evolving landscape of ship management, incorporating new clauses and addressing ambiguities present in the previous version, SHIPMAN 2009.

Reflecting Current Practices 

A key feature of SHIPMAN 2024 is the inclusion of clauses that address contemporary concerns. These include emission trading schemes (EU ETS), sanctions compliance, cyber security protocols, and anti-corruption measures. This reduces the need for users to heavily modify the agreement with additional clauses, streamlining the process.

Combating Counterfeiting

To ensure authenticity, BIMCO added a warranty clause to SHIPMAN 2024. This clause requires the issuing party to verify that the agreement used is a genuine BIMCO template.

Addressing Fee Structures:

  • Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS): A new clause (Clause 10) incorporates the 2023 ETS Clause. This clause details how ship management and emissions trading are handled within the European Union, considering the inclusion of the maritime sector in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.
  • Management Fees (Clause 13): The revised management fee structure introduces a separate pre-delivery management fee. This fee covers services provided by the manager before the official agreement begins, in addition to the existing annual management fee which starts upon vessel delivery. If not specified in the agreement, the pre-delivery fee defaults to one-twelfth of the annual fee. This change clarifies a previously ambiguous aspect of the agreement.

Tax Withholding

The revised Clause 13 on management fees stipulates that these fees are to be paid without deductions for taxes. This necessitates owners adjusting their payments to ensure managers receive the intended amount after accounting for any tax withholding obligations.

The revisions in SHIPMAN 2024 represent a significant step towards more streamlined and user-friendly ship management agreements. By incorporating modern practices and clarifying ambiguities, BIMCO aims to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of ship management contracts.

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Source: Baltic Exchange