Singapore to represent the Asia region as new arbitration seat in BIMCO contracts
Singapore, 21 November 2012 – The Singapore maritime community celebrates the announcement by the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) which places Singapore as the new arbitration seat in Asia, next to well-established maritime cities, London and New York.
BIMCO issued a press release on 16 November 2012 to announce that Singapore is now recognised as an official seat of arbitration to represent the Asia region. The inclusion will be made to the existing BIMCO Standard Dispute Resolution Clause which will appear in all new and revised BIMCO contracts. The adoption of the Singapore arbitration clause was unanimously approved at the recent BIMCO’s Documentary Committee Meeting held in Copenhagen.
The inclusion of Singapore as a new arbitration venue also allows the Dispute Resolution Clause to now cover three strategic geographical regions, Asia, Europe and the Americas, with arbitration clauses for Singapore, London and New York. The fourth “open” option will remain in the Dispute Resolution Clause, thus allowing parties to agree on other arbitration venues and applicable laws to suit their specific local requirements.
This recognition by BIMCO, the renowned shipping documentation expert, is a milestone achievement for Singapore as it bears testimony that Singapore has gained international recognition as a key node of the global maritime network.
Since May 2012, SMF and the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) have been working closely with BIMCO to prepare the Singapore Arbitration Clause for inclusion in the current Dispute Resolution Clause. The revised Dispute Resolution Clause will be published shortly and will appear in all new and revised BIMCO contracts in due course.
With the Asian shipowners owning more than 50% of the world’s merchant fleet and centre of shipping influence gravitating from the west to the east, this announcement is a much welcomed move by the players in the Singapore maritime scene, both in the public and private sector.
Over the last 15 years, the maritime landscape in Singapore has evolved and expanded in depth and breadth, in particular, the ancillary services sector. As the representative voice for the Singapore maritime community, SMF works in tandem with the government, maritime players and associations to spearhead new initiatives to nurture the development of the various maritime clusters. Key flagship initiatives include the inception of the mega-maritime Sea Asia show with co-organiser, Seatrade, the reconstitution of the SCMA and the launch of the Singapore Ship Sale Form (SSF), amongst others.
The SCMA was reconstituted in May 2009 by SMF. After its reconstitution, SCMA moved away from the administered model of arbitration and adopted an arbitration framework that is more reflective of the needs of the maritime community. Since then, the number of maritime arbitration caseload has been increasing steadily with more than 50 per cent of the parties that are involved in registered disputes using SCMA rules, not being based in Singapore.
Another milestone project spearheaded by SMF is the launch of the SSF in response to the Singapore and Asian maritime community’s call for an alternative form that would cater to their needs, in view of increasing maritime activities and maritime arbitration cases in Asia. Since its launch on 6 January 2011, the SSF has received favourable reviews from shipowners, shipbrokers and others, with more than 100 known shipping transactions that have adopted the form within 1 ½ years’ after the launch. For more details on the SSF, please visit www.singforms.com.
About Singapore Maritime Foundation
The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) was established on 27 January 2004 to facilitate dialogue and cooperation among maritime stakeholders from the public and private sectors. As the bridge between the public and private sectors, SMF aims to provide the industry with a clear and representative voice, and spearhead projects to boost its development.
SMF also organises and participates in a host of maritime events to strengthen the Maritime Singapore brand. To date, SMF has significantly benefitted from strong support from all sectors of the industry which has enabled the organisation to reach out directly to the community for new areas of work to improve the current maritime ecosystem.
For details, please visit www.smf.com.sg.
BIMCO is the world’s largest international shipping association, with 2,300 members in around 130 countries. Its members represent around two-thirds of the world’s commercial fleet.
Singapore Maritime Foundation
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications & Development
(65) 6325 0227