Bunker clauses. "Bunkers" is the fuel energy used by a ship. This can include different grades and types of fuel oil used for different purposes. It can also include coal. In charterparties there are a number of clauses dealing with bunkers. BIMCO has issued, supported or recommended certain "Bunker clauses" that should be inserted in charterparties. These are listed below:

Berth terms. This expression is used for shipments under a charterparty. The purpose of these "terms" is mainly to clarify which side pays for the loading and discharging costs of the cargo.

Baltimore Berth Grain Charterparty (Form C) (BALTIMORE FORM C) (BFC). A general purpose voyage charterparty originally published in 1913 and adapted in 1971. There is a general feeling in shipbroking circles that the BFC is not very good but it is still in common use for full cargoes of grain from the U.S. and Canada to all parts of the world.


Back Letter. Back letters may be drawn up to complement a contract in order to lay down rights and/or obligations between both contracting parties, which, for some reason or other, cannot be included in the original contract. This expression is also used for “letters of indemnity”.


Broken stowage. This refers to space not occupied by cargo iii a cargo compartment or even in a container. It can be caused by fittings in the ship, such as car decks in a ro ro vessel or web frames in a cargo hold. It can also be caused by the nonuniform shape of the cargo pieces themselves, such as the spaces around protrusions in heavy machinery or between curved casks.

Breach of warranty of authority. An agent can make contracts between his principal and a third party. When he does this he "warrants" (or "promises" to the third party) that he has authority to carry out the act. When an agent, for example, a shipbroker, acts without any authority from his principal or exceeds the authority given to him, there is no contract and the principal is not bound. The agent can then become liable to one, or both, of the parties to the presumed contract for the breach of the warranty of authority.

Bearer bill of lading. This document allows the goods to be delivered to the holder of it. The name of the consignee, to whom the goods have been sent, perhaps the buyer, may be stated as "bearer".

Block coefficient. The block coefficient of a vessel is obtained by dividing the underwater volume of displacement of a ship by the volume of a block of the same length and breadth, and of height equal to the draught of the ship. The block coefficient depends upon the “lines” of the ship. Passenger vessels with fine lines have a lower block coefficient than cargo ships with full lines. The abbreviation for Block Coefficient is generally given as Cb.


Berth charter. If a vessel was chartered for loading "on the berth", the contract of carriage was called a "berth charter". The exact nature of the cargo to be loaded is not known in advance; it being entirely up to the charterers to book the required quantity of cargo. If unsuccessful in booking a cargo, they are responsible for payment of any dead freight. Now a berth charter is a voyage charter where the vessel is chartered to the cargo to a particular berth as the destination.

Bills of Lading Act 1855. Different countries have enacted legislation to protect holders of bills of lading generally from carriers, who were mainly shipowners in the 19th century and who would attempt to avoid any liability for loss of or damage to goods belonging to the holders of the bills of lading.

Balespace. The balespace of a vessel is the volume capacity of cargo spaces under deck (including hatchways), expressed in cubic feet or cubic metres.

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.