“These vessels are designed to carry trucks and trailers and have accommodation for more than 12 passengers,” said BIMCO.
“There will usually be restaurants and shopping facilities on board to cater to the passengers during the voyage. The majority of these vessels are operating in Western European waters, but are also to be found in other areas of the world where port facilities lend themselves to the unique features of the RoPax trade such as ramp loading and discharging.”
At present, the sector uses heavily amended versions of existing standard forms of time charter party such as BALTIME, GENTIME and NYPE. At the first meeting of the drafting sub-committee held at BIMCO House in early October, it was decided that a useful base model for the new form would be BIMCO’s own standard dry cargo and liner time charter party – GENTIME.
“Although it is now 14 years old, GENTIME is a well-written and comprehensive time charter party that has a small but enthusiastic group of followers in the market,” continued BIMCO.
“However, the new RoPax contract will not simply be an updated GENTIME with additional specialist clauses. The drafting team intend to take the overall structure of GENTIME to use as a framework for the charter party, but will ensure that its contents are specifically tailored to the RoPax market. This means taking into account aspects of the trade such as the employment of restaurant and shop staff, the provision of passenger catering and accommodation facilities on board and the carriage of trucks and trailers on car and weather decks.”
Though the project is at a very early stage, BIMCO’s drafting team aims to prepare a purpose-designed time charter party for the RoPax trade that will avoid current issues of heavily amending general-purpose standard forms.
The new contract, code named ROPAXTIME will embody commonly used additional clauses which will further assist in reducing the amount of time spent preparing charterer for the RoPax trade.