VBAs require more than just an ephemeral look and should be an integral part of an owner`s risk management structure. If a VBA is not harmonized with the Master Time Charter Agreement and the submissions provided are carefully verified, an owner/operator may be exposed to a significant and costly risk. But charterers often bring third parties on board ships, and the master time charter may not cover the risk involved. What controls the relationship between the owner/operator and the third-party provider? Matthew Moeller is a New Orleans-based shipping and commercial lawyer with The Moeller Firm LLC. Moeller`s experience and practice focus primarily on representing shipyards, shipowners and operators, and contractors in the event of marine personal injury, construction and trade disputes. Moeller received his JD from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. I fully understand that the vessels involved have limited medical facilities and that in the event of illness or injury, appropriate medical care must be summoned by radio and that treatment may be delayed until I can be transported to an appropriate medical facility. I agree with these conditions in advance. The companies and/or their ships and/or their affiliated personnel have not implicitly or otherwise consented to me that they or their crews may perform rescue operations, or that they may or will not provide first aid or medical care. In the event that I show signs of distress or call for help, I will not blame the released parties, their owners, owners, crew, crew, ships, passengers or insurers for their actions in carrying out such a rescue or providing first aid or any other event that may occur during accommodation and/or chartering, including boarding and disembarking. It is customary for owners to require third parties to carry out a vessel boarding agreement (VBA or access agreement) in order to manage the risks. The VBA is usually a simpler document than master-time chartering.
It contains the main risk management provisions necessary to ensure the protection and predictability of the owner and third-party supplier in the event of personal or material damage on board the vessel involving property or personnel of either party.