The Sea Cargo Charter establishes a framework for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of ship chartering activities worldwide. It sets a benchmark for what it means to be a responsible charterer and/or shipowner in the maritime sector and provides actionable guidance on how to achieve this.

The Sea Cargo Charter is consistent with the policies and ambitions of the International Maritime Organization, the UN agency responsible for regulating shipping globally, including its latest ambition as stated in its July 2023 GHG Strategy to reach net-zero emissions from international shipping by or around 2050.

As a result, the Sea Cargo Charter enable cargo-owners and shipowners to align their chartering activities with responsible environmental behaviour and incentivise international shipping’s decarbonisation – to shape a better future for maritime shipping and society.

The Sea Cargo Charter is applicable to bulk ship charterers and shipowners as well.


Principle 1

Assessment of climate alignment


Signatories will measure the emissions intensity of their chartering activities on an annual basis and will assess their climate alignment relative to established decarbonisation trajectories. This assessment is based on a robust industry-appropriate methodology outlined in the Technical Guidance.

Principle 2



Signatories recognise the important role that verification mechanisms play in providing unbiased information. For each step in the assessment of climate alignment, signatories will rely on data types, data sources and service providers' collaboration as outlined in the Technical Guidance.

Principle 3



Signatories commit to making compliance with the Sea Cargo Charter contractual in their new chartering activities. They will use the Sea Cargo Charter Clause in charter parties and will work together with other business partners in the charter party chain to meet this requirement (charterers, owners, disponent owners).

Principle 4



Signatories publicly acknowledge their participation in the Sea Cargo Charter and publish their climate alignment scores in the Sea Cargo Charter Annual Disclosure Report and their own corporate reports each year.


“The Sea Cargo Charter is an important step in laying the foundations for a net-zero emissions shipping industry. Collaboration such as this, from across the sector, is vital to scale-up customer demand for low- or zero-emissions shipping.”

Annual Disclosure Report 2023

The second Sea Cargo Charter Report presented climate alignment scores of 33 charterers and cargo owners. The scores are results of an impressive reporting rate that has increased since last year to 90%.


An extensive list of resources is at the disposal of Sea Cargo Charter signatories.