BIMCO/ASBA issue guidance on "STBC" c/p term
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
BIMCO, working together with ASBA, has developed an interpretation of the term “self trimming” as used, but not defined, in Clause 12(a) of the NORGRAIN ’89 charter party. The term “self trimming bulk carrier” or “STBC” is frequently misused in the dry cargo sector as a general description of a ship’s characteristics, regardless of the type of cargo to be carried.
The Special Circular issued by BIMCO (Special Circular No. 5, September 2010) contains an interpretation of the term “self trimming” found in Clause 12(a) of the NORGRAIN ‘89 charter. The interpretation has been jointly drafted by BIMCO and ASBA (the authors of the NORGRAIN form).
In addition, the Special Circular contains useful guidance on the proper context in which a vessel should be described as “STBC” or “Self Trimming Bulk Carrier”.
It is hoped that these guiding notes will assist the dry cargo sector in avoiding disputes that arise out of the mis-description of a vessel as “STBC” when the term is not appropriate to the type of commodity agreed to be carried.
Here is the circular
From Bimco - 05th Sept
Definition of STBC - Self Trimming Bulk Carrier – NORGRAIN „89
BIMCO and the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents, USA Inc, (ASBA) have jointly drafted an interpretation of the term “self trimming” as used in NORGRAIN ’89 and also developed some guidance notes to help avoid the frequent misuse of the vessel description “STBC” in the dry cargo sector.
In Clause 12(a) of NORGRAIN ’89 a reference is made to “self trimming” but no definition is given. ASBA, as the authors of NORGRAIN ’89, have worked together with BIMCO to produce a welcome interpretation of the term as follows:
For the purpose of Clause 12(a) of the NORGRAIN 89 Charter Party, the term self-trimming is intended to mean that when loading a full cargo of free flowing grain in bulk (any and all grains as defined by the International Grain Code) in all holds, no additional trimming other than customary spout/loader trimming will be required.
Use of the term “STBC”
BIMCO and ASBA recommend, for the avoidance of doubt, that when using the term "STBC" in a charter party, it is expressly stated to which cargo commodity the "self-trimming" characteristic of the vessel shall apply, i.e., "STBC - when loading of free-flowing grain cargoes only".
Notes on "STBC"
A bulk carrier described as STBC (Self Trimming Bulk Carrier) in a charter party for commodities other than grain means that the vessel is able to self-trim specified free-flowing cargo when loading by virtue of the physical characteristics of the design of its holds without the need for additional trimming.
In a time charter party the question of whether a vessel is "self-trimming" is dependent on the physical characteristics of the vessel's holds and subject to an agreed and specified list of cargoes that can be carried.
Owners and brokers should exercise care when describing a vessel as a "STBC" to ensure that the cargo contracted to be carried is physically capable of being self-trimmed when loading by virtue of the vessel's hold design. STBC will not apply to all dry bulk cargo commodities and owners may incur additional liabilities and costs if manual cargo trimming when loading is required by a vessel described as "self-trimming".
Source: BIMCO Documentary Affairs Department: firstname.lastname@example.org
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