REPAIR STANDARDS Standardizing Contracts
Contracts relating to the broad range of ship repairs have not, traditionally, lent themselves to any form of standardization. That could all be changing, London law firm Ince & Co., has made recent effort with Bimco's Documentary Committee to develop a standard ship repair contract. Part I of REPAIRCON, Bimco's standard contract, is set out in the usual Bimco format — with boxes to be completed covering key details of the contract and its main terms. These include place and date of repairs, identity of owner, contractors, vessel, repair yard, delivery and cancellation dates, etc. REPAIRCON's Part II contains the main terms defining rights and obligations. These can be amended or deleted, says Ince, while warning that "great care needs to be exercised to guard against confusing the balanced allocation of risk and responsibility". The law firm is clearly impressed with Bimco's efforts: "Brevity and clarity have always been guiding principles of Bimco forms and, to that end, REPAIRCON addresses the main commercial terms required for a notional contract of one month's duration." However the lawyers draw attention to Bimco's advice that for shorter or longer contracts, and for conversion work, the standard form may need to be carefully modified. "It will also be important to include tailor-made clauses dealing with technical and practical issues, particular the allocation of responsibility for safety and procedures for ensuring that the repairs are monitored and carried out safely in accordance with application safety management systems," Ince notes.