Disadvantageous terms for bunker buyers may be hiding in the small print. File Image / Pixabay
Bunker sellers have been adding clauses to the terms and conditions of their contracts without highlighting the fact to their customers in recent months, according to brokerage NSI.
The company noted the changes it had seen since August in a note to clients this week written by Paul Hardy, its head of business development.
Some of the clauses include the seller being able to assign its rights to a third party without prior consent from the buyer, the seller taking no liability for delays, the seller being able to charge a 20% penalty fee for the buyer failing to make payment in full by reference to an alleged counterclaim, and the buyer being forced to indemnify the seller for any delay it causes to other vessels, Hardy said.
"These are the hidden costs and risks of doing business," he said.
"What's more, anecdotally a lot of these new terms have been introduced by stealth -- i.e. not publicized by counterparties to their customers."