Becoming a Signatory

Who can become a Signatory of the Sea Cargo Charter?

All charterers are eligible to join the Sea Cargo Charter: those with interest in the cargo on board; those who simply charter out the vessels they charter in; disponent owners; all charterers in a charterparty chain; companies involved in pools.

The Sea Cargo Charter must be applied by Signatories in bulk ship chartering activities that are:

  • on time and voyage charters, including contracts of affreightment and parceling, with a mechanism to allocate emissions from ballast voyages,
  • for voyages carried out by dry bulk carriers, chemical tankers, oil (crude and product) tankers, and liquefied gas carriers,
  • and where a vessel or vessels are engaged in international trade (excluding inland waterway trade).

Since 1 January 2022, vessels under 5000 gross tonnage are also included. 

In recognition of the diversity of a charterer’s role, the reporting to the Sea Cargo Charter is divided into four segments:

  1. SEGMENT 1 – Charterparties where the Signatory is the only time charterer and there is no charterparty chain or, if there is a charterparty chain, the Signatory is the final time charterer. (mandatory, if applicable)
  2. SEGMENT 2 – Charterparties where the Signatory is the Voyage Charterer. (mandatory, if applicable)
  3. SEGMENT 3 – Charterparties where the Signatory is an intermediate time charterer in a charterparty chain, or the bareboat charterer. (optional)
  4. SEGMENT 4 – Owned vessels: if, in addition to being a charterer on certain transactions, Signatories or companies within the same group also own vessels, they can also choose to include voyage of their owned vessels in their reporting. (optional)

The first calendar year of reporting, Signatories reports on its chartering activities for the previous year (year of becoming a Signatory), starting from the next fiscal quarter date after the date of becoming a Signatory. Fiscal quarters starting dates are set as follows: Q1 – January 1st, Q2 – April 1st, Q3 – July 1st, Q4 – October 1st.

The scope will be reviewed and may be expanded by Signatories on a timeline that is at their discretion.

How to become a Signatory?

Companies wishing to become a Signatory of the Sea Cargo Charter must submit the Standard Declaration, the Signatory Application, and the Membership Agreement to the Secretariat of the Sea Cargo Charter Association. Once accepted into the Association, the Signatory will have five months to complete and submit the Signatory Self-Assessment to the Secretariat. All relevant documents are available from the Secretariat.