Article in International Shipping News - 12 May 2016
BP recently incorporated a CargoDocs electronic Bill of Lading clause into its latest Charter Party, BPVOY5, as eB/L adoption continues to accelerate across Energy trades globally.
BPVOY5 Clause 30 (pertaining to Bills of Lading) states that (i) Bills of Lading may be ‘transmitted electronically using the ESS-Databridge', i.e. via CargoDocs and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the DSUA, and (ii) that an eB/L satisfies all the requirements to be deemed the legal equivalent of a paper Bill of Lading.
Specifically, relevant sub-sections from the eB/L clause in BPVOY5 read as follows:
30.3 - Charterers may require Owners to ensure that any Bill of Lading under this Charter (whether or not signed on behalf of Owners) is issued and signed in electronic form and transmitted electronically using the ESS-Databridge (such Bill of Lading an "eDoc") in accordance with the terms and conditions of the ESS-Databridge Services & Users Agreement as amended from time to time in accordance with its terms ("the DSUA").
30.4 - An eDoc shall be deemed to satisfy any applicable law, contract term, custom or practice requiring that any Bill of Lading issued under this Charter be made or evidenced in paper format and/or in writing and/or signed.
The inclusion of the above comes at a time when eB/L uptake is ramping up across Tanker and Bulker trades in the Energy, Agri, Metals and Chemicals sectors.
Most notably, it marks the first time an Energy Major such as BP has incorporated an eB/L clause in its Charter Party, following a similar move by leading Mining and Agri companies over the past two years.