BIMCO launches new anti-corruption clause

25 Фев

В статье рассматриваются широко обсуждаемые вопросы, связанные с анти-коррупционной оговоркой, разработанной БИМКО. Эти вопросы чрезвычайно актуальны, в частности и особенности, для Украины.

Упомянутая анти-коррупционная оговорка создает для сторон фрахтовых контрактов механизм объединения их усилий по борьбе с требованиями неправомерных платежей, которые выдвигаются портовыми и иными властями. Дело в том, что во многих юрисдикциях капитаны судов подвергаются серьезному давлению со стороны властей, которое можно определить как  мелкомасштабную коррупцию. Многие страны развернули активную борьбу с коррупцией, например, Великобритания, однако во многих других государствах эта борьба ведется явно недостаточно, так что те, кто не преподносят «подарки», считаются грубыми и нецивилизованными. Разумеется, каждая судоходная компания вырабатывает свою анти-коррупционную политику, и упомянутая оговорка может быть использована как ориентир такой политики, тем более, что ее внесение в договор фрахтования позволяет фрахтователям объединить анти-коррупционные усилия с судовладельцами, которые ранее обычно уклонялись от внесения в контракты подобных оговорок.

BIMCO has launched a voluntary anti-corruption clause for charter parties that is intended to give owners and charterers a contractual platform for co-operative action to resist demands for illegal payments from port officials and others. Ian Cochran investigates.

BIMCO’s new voluntary’ anti­corruption clause for charter parties can be used in any jurisdiction as it applies the anti-corruption laws applicable to each of the parties and the local law of the place where the ship is located. A key provision within BIMCO’s anti-corruption clause is a mechanism for owners to issue a note of protest if an illegal demand is made and the demand is not withdrawn.

Speaking with HLPFI, Grant Hunter, BIMCO’s chief officer contractual & legal affairs, explained: “Corruption happens in many countries at many levels but what we are seeing now is a concerted global effort across all industries to try to eradicate the practice.

Tackling corruption

“It is not going to happen overnight and our anti-corruption clause is only one tiny pan of a much larger mechanism attempting to tackle corruption.

“Many large, global corporations have in recent years introduced anti-corruption policies in response to new legislation — such as the UK Bribery Act. However, the policies of many of these corporations tend to have a land-based perspective and do not take into account the demands by corrupt port officials who are able to apply all sorts of pressures to the master for facilitation payments from visiting ships.

“The result has been a steady creep of rather onerous anti-corruption clauses from major charterers that leave owners potentially exposed to picking up the cost of delays if they resist demands for payments in ports [whether in cash or kind]. So, owners have not traditionally included anti­corruption clauses in their charter parties.

“The master of a ship is very much on the frontline when tackling small-scale corruption in ports. From BIMCO’s perspective, we want to provide the industry with a clause that allows the master to

Grant Hunter: What we are seeing now is a concerted global effort across all industries to try to eradicate corruption.

comply with anti-corruption legislation by having solid company procedures in place and by working together with charterers to resist demands for payment.

«As part of a larger orchestrated effort by industry, we hope it will have an important role to play. The clause is now being incorporated into charter parties and we will review how it well it has worked six months from now when BIMCO’s documentary committee reconvenes in Copenhagen,» he concluded.

Speaking with several heavy lift and multipurpose vessel operators, it became clear that many have anti-corruption initiatives in place.

For example, Hoegh Autoliners said that it has an extensive anti-corruption programme in place and co-operates actively with other carriers to work against corruption through the Maritime Anti Corruption Network (MACN).

Ingo Hesse, managing director of EMS Chartering, said:“The BIMCO anti­corruption clause might be a good fundamental to resist demands for illegal payments. The problem is, there is no such thing as a universal scale for bribery.

“As member of EMS-Fehn-Group, we follow the simple rule that all 17 member companies comply with — we do not pay bribes. But we are long enough in the business to know that you cannot decree anti-bribery rules that apply for all. Working in shipping and logistics means working in different countries with different cultural norms.

“We trust in the tact and the sensitiveness of our colleagues to know the fine line between being polite and being demanding. In some countries you will be regarded as rude and uncivil not to bring a gift. In other countries the same gift would be regarded as blatant attempt to bribe your contact person,” he said.

Clear policies

SAL Heavy Lift’s Christian Hoffmann commented: “I think corruption is an issue for many companies in certain parts of the world. In SAL we have a very clear policy on such matters, which is part of our core values. Our standpoints and behaviour is outlined in our charter of conduct and the SAL compliance policy; which is available directly from our website.

“Whether we will implement the new BIMCO anti-corruption clause or continue to make use of our own clauses when we negotiate contracts, I cannot yet tell. Our legal department will find the best solution for us. But anti-corruption is certainly a topic that is taken seriously within our commercial set-up,” he said.

Giving a US perspective, David Groves, a director of Galborg, USA, said that most of the company’s large contracts ex-USA have an anti-corruption US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) compliance clause, which covers the services ex-USA to southern Africa and to Europe.

Echoing other comments received, Zeaborn’s Ove Meyer said: “Most of the customers have similar clauses anyway, so theoretically it should not be a problem for the premium carrier.”

HLPFI (Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International, Editor Ian Matheson)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Following the publication of the BIMCO Anti-Corruption Clause for Charter Parties, a set of explanatory notes has been issued. The notes are a useful reference for users providing a detailed explanation of the thinking behind each of the six sub-clauses and how they are intended to work in practice. The notes in full can be seen on the BIMCO website at www.bimco.org

Автор: Ian Cochran

Источник: Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International. — 2016. — January/February. — P. 137.