New contracts designed to speed spill response times

BIMCO and ISCO launch two contracts to make arranging clean-up services following a spill incident easier.

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Updated on 16 Jun 2017 09:52 GMT

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and International Spill Control Organisation (ISCO) have launched two new spill response contracts designed to make the task of arranging clean-up services following a spill incident significantly easier during an emergency.

One of the contracts, RESPONSECON, is tailored for international use and the other, US RESPONSECON, is specifically for use in the United States. Both are available free of charge at

The contracts have been written by a group of experts from BIMCO, ISCO, the International Group of P&I Clubs, the International Salvage Union and the Spill Control Association of America. Other partners, including the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) and individual response contractors, also contributed.

Tony Paulson, West of England P&I Club, who led the drafting team, said: "Until now, no single standard contract for the hire of specialised spill response services and equipment has been available. Harmonised terms and conditions will help speed the process of getting essential spill response equipment on site as soon as possible."

ISCO's Matthew Sommerville added: "Timing is critical for a successful response. To avoid delay, the contract lets the parties sign and mobilise the response while negotiations continue on rates and charges. This means that the contracts can be negotiated in a matter of minutes and personnel and equipment can get to work immediately."

The two contracts are designed to enable those involved in spill incidents to obtain clean-up services and hire specialised personnel and equipment without delay.

The terms and conditions are set out in standard clauses with accompanying annexes for the different parties to insert detailed descriptions of the required services and rates for personnel and equipment.

Image: BIMCO's head office in Denmark.