Rider clauses. Standard form charterparties have been used for a very long time and their use is recommended by shipowners’ P. & I. Associations because they contain clauses that have generally been tested in courts when disputes have arisen.
However, some standard-form documents may contain clauses that have not kept up to date with changes in the shipping business. An example is the New York Produce Exchange form, originally published in 1913; the present form is that which was last amended in 1946. Apart from derivations (such as the ASBATIME 1981, which is much more modern) both shipowners and charterers may also want to amend standard terms and add terms, which are specific to their own needs. The clauses in which these added terms are contained are known as “Rider clauses”. The phrase means a set of additional clauses which substitute or supplement clauses in the original document.
The standard form is frequently treated like a “skeleton” for basic, fundamental contractual responsibilities and rights and the Rider clauses, which are added, are like the “flesh” of the contract. If a Rider clause conflicts with a printed clause it is considered that the Rider clause prevails. The reason for this is that a typed, Rider clause expresses the intention of the parties during the negotiations more clearly than the pre-printed clauses. However, in many fixtures, standard clauses are amended so excessively that the charterparty finally used bears little resemblance to the original standard form that was intended to be used. Some charterparties contain a clause stating that “Rider Clauses . . . as attached hereto are incorporated in the Charter”, and then follow a “Rider of Suggested Additional Clauses” (ASBATIME).
In the GENCON 1976 voyage charterparty, space is provided for additional clauses covering special provisions, if agreed. The parties can then type into this space words such as “Rider Clauses Numbers 18 to 47 both inclusive, as attached hereto, are deemed to be fully incorporated in this Charterparty”. (The standard form GENCON charterparty contains 17 clauses.) Entire printed clauses in the document may then be deleted with a typed remark alongside the deletion: “See Clause.”