The Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers & Agents (FONASBA), along with international shipping association BIMCO, has launched a new agency appointment agreement document to simplify port agency appointments.

Designed on the basis of BIMCO’s tried and tested box layout, the new document provides an easy means of confirming the details of an agency agreement for an individual or short series of port calls.

The newly launched form, created over a period of around eight months by members of FONASBA and BIMCO, is also expected to replace the existing layout, which mainly relies on telephonic conversation or email exchanges.

"Our objective was to devise a comprehensive, but easily understood, framework contract."

In addition, the new document will formalise the exchange of communication by mentioning the details of both parties, basis of the remuneration as well as responsibilities and obligations of the parties to the agreement.

BIMCO chairperson Han van Blanken said: "Our objective was to devise a comprehensive, but easily understood, framework contract for use when making port agency appointments, particularly in bulk and tramp trades.

“I am pleased to say that working with an experienced group of shipping professionals we have achieved that aim and I have every confidence that the new contract will quickly be accepted as the industry standard."

With 2,200 members in around 130 countries, BIMCO currently represents shipowners, operators, managers, brokers, and agents.

Formed in 1969, FONASBA represents the global ship agency and ship broking professions.