Builder’s certificate. As the name indicates, this certificate is issued by the shipbuilding yard, containing a true account of the estimated tonnage; the year and place where the vessel was built and also the name of the owners and other details. This certificate is required in addition to the declaration of ownership , on the first registry of the ship.


Breach of contract. A contract contains obligations of each of the parties to the agreement. If these obligations are not carried out or not performed or, if performed badly, a breach of contract occurs.

BALTIME. A Uniform standard form time charter published by BIMCO. In 1974 another edition included a box type format for main details and descriptive text for the clauses. BALTIME generally favours the shipowners' side and contrasts the NYPE, the New York Produce Exchange Form of time charter, which tends to favour the charterer's side.


Bulkheads. These are steel divisions across the vessel either transversely or fore and aft. The functions of bulkheads are:

Barratry. Under the U.K. Marine Insurance Act 1906 the term barratry includes every wrongful act willfully committed by the master or crew to the detriment of the owners or charterers, as the case may be.

Bill of lading identifier. In the United States the Customs authorities require that all shipping documents covering cargo imported into the U.S. be marked with an identity code, identifying the issuer of tile bill of lading.

BB. This abbreviation can be and is used for a variety of different terms such as: "Ballast Bonus", "Below bridges", "Breaking bulk" and "Bulbous bow".

Bagging of cargo. A charterparty may contain a clause, which stipulates that if the charterers load grain in bulk, they must supply to the master on his request sufficient empty bags to be used to collect any grain, which was spilled, and any grain that remained in the cargo space after discharge.

Booking office. Conference lines, operating in certain trades, may decide to establish a booking office to take bookings and also ensure that each line carries its agreed share. Shippers may not be permitted to insist on carriage by a specific line although the booking office may try to meet shippers’ wishes in this respect as much as possible.


Black list. Because oil tankers frequently load oil from Islamic countries these countries may place certain ports on a "black list" such as Israeli or South African ports, and if tankers are known to have called at ports in those countries, the tankers' names are on this black list and the ship can be boycotted and refused entry or cargo.

Boycott clause. A charterer may insist that a charterparty contains a clause, which causes the shipowner to take the risks if the vessel is delayed by a "boycott" by labour.

Breakbulk (cargo) (BB). Packages of cargo or "parcels" (small quantities) known as "general cargo" and individually carried in the cargo compartments of a ship. Such cargo is not in "bulk cargo" form and not in unitised or containerised form. If the term is used as a verb "to break bulk", it indicates "to open hatches and commence discharge".