February 1, 2013
Further to our earlier report that the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) has included Singapore as an arbitration venue in the electronic version of BIMCO contracts the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) has now released the SCMA BIMCO Arbitration Clause (2013).
The text of the model clause can be found at the SCMA website. Contracting parties are allowed to choose between English or Singapore governing law, with English law applying in default. Disputes will be referred to arbitration in Singapore and conducted under Singapore's International Arbitration Act and in accordance with the SCMA's Arbitration Rules.
The SCMA has also updated the SCMA Rules 2nd Edition (2009), which is now known as the "SCMA Rules 2nd Edition (2009) - As amended Jan 2013". In particular, Rule 6 has been amended to bring it in harmony with the SCMA BIMCO Arbitration Clause (2013). The parties' agreement in relation to the number of arbitrators will now prevail over the provisions of Rule 6, with three arbitrators being the default number. Where parties have agreed to having one arbitrator but are unable to agree on who is to be appointed, the period given the Chairman to make the appointment has been reduced from 30 days to 14 days. Likewise, the periods relating to the appointment of arbitrators where the parties have agreed to three arbitrators has also been reduced from 30 days to 14 days. The text of the SCMA Rules 2nd Edition (2009) - As amended Jan 2013 may be downloaded from the SCMA website.