The Revised MYBA Charter Agreement

MEDIA ROOM

MYBA, the Worldwide Yachting Association, have released the 2016 amendments to the MYBA Charter Agreement, which has attracted the attention of many within the shipping industry.

The changes which have been effected may be considered to be minor as the majority of them were intended to clarify pre-existing clauses. However, there have been noteworthy changes to Clause 19 which relates to incidence of salvage and Clause 20 regarding the payment of charter fees and other monies to the owners of the chartered yacht.

MYBA has reverted back to the previous wording used in the 2002 agreement for Clause 19 as it was decided that this version explained the process of incidences of salvage more clearly. Clause 19 now states that “During the period of the charter, the benefits, if any, from any derelicts, salvages and towages, after paying the crew’s proportion, and a proportion of the charter fee during the time the vessel was engaged in providing salvage assistance, and expenses during this time directly related to the salvage, shall be shared equally between the owner and the charterer.”

On the other hand, the amendment to Clause 20, relating to the payments of charter fees includes clarification to the correct procedure, which up until the release of the revised charter agreement had drawn a lot of requests for clarification. With the effected revision, the charter agreement now states that the balance of the charter fee is to be paid to the owner on the first working day following the completion of the charter period, unless a complaint has been received by the charterer.

Should a complaint be lodged, the stakeholder receiving the complaint shall be obliged to retain the balance of the charter fee for a period of 14 days, and if during such 14-day period the charterer’s complaint is resolved by way of an agreement with the owner of the yacht, the stakeholder shall release the charter fee to the owner. If after the 14-day period no settlement has been reached, the stakeholder shall be obliged to pay the owner the charter fee in full until either the matter has been resolved by both parties, or otherwise the matter has been sent to arbitration whereby an arbitration award has been published. This clause, while outlining the procedure regarding payment of charter fees, is also a fair balance to both parties since it provides for both a time-period by which a party may take action and it also allows for a valid claim to be reviewed by the parties involved.

The aim of the MYBA and the revised charter agreement is to qualify and clarify certain practices within the chartering sector, while also being impartial to all parties involved.

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