GUARDCON - update on security guard contract
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 | 00:00
Work on the drafting of an industry standard contract for the employment of security guards on ships has now reached phase two of its development. The GUARDCON Sub-committee has completed its initial drafting of the contract and has now entered into a consultation process with private maritime security companies and marine underwriters. While BIMCO would like to be able to involve every company interested in this highly topical project, it is simply not practical to do so. Instead, the Sub-committee has contacted a small selection of reputable international maritime security firms directly to solicit their views on the basic principles addressed in the contract. Likewise, it is important to involve those who will write insurance cover for security providers when using GUARDCON and a similar consultation process has been implemented with a small group of major underwriters who are known to have already written cover for security guards. Throughout the development process P&I Clubs from the International Group of P&I Clubs have been kept abreast of drafting developments and been invited to comment. P&I Club support for GUARDCON will play an essential role in encouraging and promoting the use of the contract by the industry.
The consultation process will last just one week as BIMCO is still pushing to release GUARDCON into the market as soon as possible to meet an ever-growing demand for a standard contract for the use of security guards on ships. The drafting team will review and carefully consider all the comments received from the consultation process and plan to meet again to finalise the wording on 14 February in London. Thereafter, GUARDCON will be referred to BIMCO’s 60-strong Documentary Committee (DC) who are ultimately responsible for giving approval for publication for all BIMCO contracts and clauses. Although the DC normally only give their approval to documents during their twice-yearly meetings, the need to expedite the approval of GUARDCON so that it reaches the market as soon as possible means that the approval process will be done using a fast track process via a dedicated private online discussion forum. As to when GUARDCON will be published, according to BIMCO’s Chief Officer Contractual and Legal Affairs, Grant Hunter “We cannot, at this stage, know what the volume of feedback from the consultation process will be, or indeed what the feedback from members of the Documentary Committee will be – so it is difficult to place a precise timetable for the publication of GUARDCON at present. However, BIMCO has set aside the next two weeks for the process, so all going well GUARDCON should appear before the end of February”.
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