BIMCO’s Documentary Committee has approved a revised version of the Continent Grain Charter Party, SYNACOMEX, to reflect changes in the geopolitical landscape following events including the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. The revised charter party now includes BIMCO’s anti-corruption clause and updated versions of the war risks and sanctions clauses.

The charter party is developed by joint copyright holders SYNACOMEX and Armateurs de France, the French Union for Grains and Seeds Trade and the French Shipowners’ Association. It is widely used by grain traders in areas including the Baltics, the East Coast of South America and the Black Sea.

The revision of the contract began during the pandemic when the way of doing business changed for many, and the war in Ukraine has amplified the need to update. The charter was last revised in 2000 and the new update also includes changes in the commercial utilisation, including a removal of its “box layout”.

“SYNACOMEX 2023 is the result of thorough consultations within the membership of SYNACOMEX and a detailed review by BIMCO to ensure that the form reflects the parties’ needs. It is an up-to-date and easy-to-use standard based on what we know works in the industry,” says Christelle Tailhardat, Secretary General of SYNACOMEX.

The first SYNACOMEX charter party was introduced in 1957 and previous editions of the form have also been approved by BIMCO.

“We are pleased to work with other organisations to support and raise the contractual standards in the industry. The grain charter is an important document which has been increasingly used in the global grains and seeds trade over the years,” says BIMCO’s Documentary Committee Chairperson Nick Fell, Executive Vice President Corporate Services and General Counsel of BW Group.

The BIMCO review was assisted by a committee representing frequent users of the form from Pacific Basin (Claire Weustenraed), NORDEN (Rasmus Saltofte and Camilla Engedal), Ifchor/Nova Marine Carriers (Emilien Aubey) and Gard Japan (Sammy Smallbone).

“As joint copyright holders of the SYNACOMEX form and members of the Documentary Committee, we are pleased to see BIMCO supporting the document. This is a quality stamp which will further assist the acceptance of the form in the market,” says Jean-Philippe Casanova, Executive Officer of Armateurs de France.

SYNACOMEX 2023 will soon be made available for use on SmartCon and on the BIMCO website accompanied by explanatory notes.