Recommended Terms of Vessel Agency

Recommended Terms and Conditions of Vessel Agency in the United States

Issued by the Association of Ship Brokers and Agents (USA) Inc., 1997, Revised 2005

The purpose of this publication is to recommend guidelines concerning vessel agency in the United States. Vessel owners, operators, charterers, and suppliers of services to vessel principals should find its contents beneficial in their port cost estimating and in their dealings with vessel agents under varying circumstances and appointments. We emphasize that these are recommendations only. The terms and conditions can and should be changed to suit the specific requirements of the port, trade and principal/agent relationship as necessary.

This is not a tariff. The Association of Ship Brokers & Agents (USA) Inc. is enjoined from publishing a tariff by the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Association of Ship Brokers & Agents (USA) Inc.
510 Sylvan Avenue, Suite 201, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632  U.S.A.
Telephone: 201 569-2882 • Fax: 201 569-9082
Website: • Email:

Conditions All Vessels

1. (a) The following terms and conditions have been compiled from the operating practices of individual membership agency firms currently doing business in the U.S.

(b)  These terms and conditions apply whether vessel has full or part cargo and irrespective of how many ports at which she loads or discharges.

(c) In cases where agents perform services such as Surveyor, Superintendent Engineer, Port Captain, Port ALL Steward, Payroll Clerks, agents are entitled to charge  additional compensation.

(d) Should additional services be required, such as attendance to General Average, strandings, collisions,  major repairs, oil spills, detentions, mitigation of penalties, etc. agents shall be entitled to additional compensation.

(e) In the case of tankers loading or discharging parcels other than petroleum cargoes, agents are entitled to charge  additional compensation commensurate with attendance  required.

(f) When vessels are consigned to Time Charterers’ Agents, the fees for handling Owners’ items are not included in the Time Charter agency fees.

2. Agents are entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses, including but not limited to communications expenses, cellular phones, photocopying, forms, auto hire, transportation, staff and boarding clerk overtime, government charges and other expenses not usually assumed by an agent.

3. Agents are entitled to additional compensation for using the agents U.S. Customs Vessel Term Bond, amending filings due to incomplete or inaccurate information received from Principals, arranging and coordinating USCG Tank Vessel Examinations/Letter of Compliance Inspection, assignment of Bill of Lading identifiers (each), and attending stowaways and deserters.  Agents are entitled to additional compensation in any case involving local, state, or federal intervention in vessel operations, movements or crew matters.

4. In case of chartered vessels loading or discharging cargoes where there are multiple bills of lading, agents are to be entitled to additional compensation commensurate with attention required.

5. Principals shall defend and hold harmless agents from and against all expenses, claims and lawsuits for breach of  contract, injury, death, or property damage alleged to arise out of operations or conditions connected with the vessel, crew, owners, operators, independent contractors, charterers or cargo. In the event charges/penalties are assessed against bonds provided on behalf of vessels/cargo by Agent or its sub-contractor.

Principal shall promptly arrange U.S. collateral security to cover bonding exposure. Principal shall pay all costs of collection, including reasonable attorney’s fees, and shall pay interest on all unpaid amounts outstanding 30 days after accounts are rendered at the highest percentage rate allowable by law, compounded annually. In the event of an oil spill requiring notice to governmental authorities under applicable law, Agent is authorized by Principal and the vessel to make such required notification. Agent shall have a lien against vessel for all non-reimbursed expenses incurred on behalf of vessel.

6. One hundred percent (100%) of funds to cover the estimated disbursements as determined by the agent (including cash advanced to Master) must be in agents  hands prior to vessel’s arrival.

Dry Cargo Vessels

VOYAGE CHARTERAll days referred to are calendar days

1. An agency fee for Loading OR Discharging, up to 5 days VESSELS Added fee each additional day  Added fee for each additional loading or discharging place in excess of one

2.  Supervising Agency Fee for acting on behalf of an Owner or Charterer when vessel consigned to another agent for discharging or loading, up to 5 days Added fee for each additional day

Tanker Vessels, Petroleum Cargoes, Vessels Not Handling Cargo

VOYAGE CHARTER –All days referred to are calendar days

1. An agency fee for Loading OR Discharging, up to 3 days. Added fee each additional day. Added fee each additional loading or discharging place in excess  of one.

2. Supervising Agency Fee for acting on behalf of an Owner or Charterer when vessel consigned to another agent for discharging or loading, up to 3 days. Added fee for each additional day.

Agency fee for, but not limited to, dry docking, bunkering only

All Vessels


(a)  For arranging bunkers, stores, minor crew changes, repairs or drydocking, spare parts

(b) Attending delivery or redelivery of vessel only VESSELS

(c) Attending vessels calling for bunkers only and not requiring customs entrance and clearance

(d) Husbandry agent shall be entitled to relief compensation for the additional time and expense of port handling duties related to, or required by, acts, regulations or edits imposed by revised Federal, State, and/or local government maritime port requirements, including , but not limited to, security activities when such duties are in addition to the husbandry agent’s normal port handling duties.

Attending or assisting in connection with officers and crews, arranging their shore accommodations, victualling, transportation, onforwarding, payment of bills, etc.

In addition to Agency Fees

Freight & Hire Collection

Collecting, remitting hire and drawing up accounts per half month or part thereof, postage and petties additional

(a) Collecting, remitting freight and drawing up accounts, regardless of number of collections made, minimum per voyage

(b) Preparing and collecting documents under Letter of Credit, remitting freight and drawing up accounts, minimum per voyage, postage & petties, additional

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