Vessel Charter and Registration

IMG is one of the only law firms in the Pacific Northwest that focuses on both the transactional side and the litigation side of charter party agreements.

Different charter parties impose different obligations, exclusions, and limitations between each entity. For this reason, both shipowners and charterers should consider seeking sound and practical legal advice before drafting, amending or complementing any time charter, voyage charter, or bareboat charter party. During a contentious charter party dispute, shipowners and charterers should be especially aware of their legal exposures and contractual liabilities.

With experience in bareboat, time and voyage charters, contracts of affreightment and slot charters, dry bulk and containerized cargoes, oil, gas and products, IMG regularly acts on behalf of the region’s largest shipowners and charterers. Indeed, our expertise in transactional and contentious charter party matters gives us an invaluable perspective – we can foresee the problems that might arise and take steps to avoid them. Need help understanding your legal rights in a charter party contract? IMG can help.

What to Expect From Your Legal Team

We provide practical, commercial and results-driven advice on a discreet and confidential basis. All assignments will have a nominated lead partner who will be your dedicated point of contact. We will work to your agenda, timescales and budgets to achieve the best outcome. We would expect to be your trusted adviser during the process and our industry knowledge and reputation will facilitate a direct and open dialogue between all stakeholders.

Frequent Charters We Advise Upon

Time Charters

Time chartering is a complex business. The shipowners give the time charterers substantial control over the commercial operation of the vessel in exchange for the regular payment of hire. While this arrangement suggests that the shipowners have transferred much of the potential operational risk to the charterers and that the charterers can do more or less what they like with the ship, such an initial impression on behalf of the time charterer is both deceptive and dangerous.

If you would like clarification of your rights and liabilities as either a time charterer or a shipowner, IMG can help.

Time Charter
Voyage Charter landing craft

Voyage Charters

Voyage charters are the most commonly used charter party agreement. Under a voyage charter, a ship owner and a charterer enter into a contract whereby the vessel will carry cargo between two points. The voyage can be a single trip or multiple trips, provided that the charterer has absolutely no operational control over the vessel while it is being operated. Any delays during the loading and unloading of the cargo, as well as any delays during the seagoing part of a voyage, generally fall onto the vessel owner. Many charterers prefer this allocation of risk.

Bareboat Charters

A bareboat charter is the simplest type of charter party agreement. Under a bareboat charter (a.k.a. “demise charter”), the charterer effectively becomes the owner of the vessel for all operational and trading purposes, and thus, is responsible for the navigation, operation, repair, maintenance, insurance, and crew of the vessel.

Despite an appearance of simplicity, bareboat charters are complex agreements, and numerous problems can arise during their use. Owners and charterers should seek sound legal advice before drafting or amending a bareboat charter.

Shipyard law

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