2021 February 17 15:49

BIMCO adds new ice region reports and provides winter navigation advice

This year, BIMCO has expanded its ice reporting to cover the Northern Chinese, Japanese and Greenland sea areas, and can advise on contractual issues related to ice clauses.

The ice reports include, where available, up- to- date ice charts, indicating the coverage and thickness of the sea ice for the Northern Chinese, Japanese and Greenland sea areas.

“The BIMCO ice information coverage is expanding along with the growing availability of national and regional ice information services,” says Peter Lundahl Rasmussen, head of Maritime Information.

BIMCO has an established online ice information section for members, providing  a wide array of services ranging from general information on understanding ice navigation for novices to advanced navigation guidance for the various ice regions in the world. Furthermore, during the winter and local ice seasons, BIMCO provides bi-weekly, ice reporting for the Baltic and Canadian regions – the service which is now being expanded.

In addition to checking the background information and the actual reports covering the area in question, BIMCO also strongly recommends that the contractual terms are considered in detail. Many, but certainly not all, standard charter parties contain ice clauses, but some are better than others and contract negotiators should always pay attention to this.

It happens that owners accept a contract without an ice clause, or even delete the ice clause already contained in the charter party, and that may be a very costly decision if the vessel encounters ice during the charter. This can be costly, because without the protection that the ice clause will offer, the vessel is forced to proceed towards the contractual destination and the owners will be liable for any potential delays and damage to the vessel caused by the ice.