Shipowners are insisting on incorporating protective clauses regarding demurrage and quarantine in a bid to limit any risk stemming from the coronavirus outbreak, shipbrokers said. Under the terms, charterers will bear costs, expenses, or liabilities due to visiting affected areas. Charterers also need to pay for any laytime or time on demurrage.
After the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak as a global emergency, many countries required health declaration procedures for vessels that have called at ports in China. As a result, not many ships are willing to call Chinese ports now, a shipbroker said.
When a ship is barred from entering a port because it has called affected areas, shipowners require charterers to nominate an alternative discharge port. Charterers also need to bear all costs from time lost due to laytime or time on demurrage, which also covers precautionary safety measures to protect crew on board while loading or discharging at a Chinese port.