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HMRC internal manual

Tonnage Tax Manual

Background material: Shipping contracts

Voyage charterparties

A voyage charterparty is an agreement under which a ship is to load at one or more named ports (or identified berth within a port) a particular specified cargo to be carried to a named discharging port or ports.

The shipowner’s remuneration for performing his obligations under the charterparty is known as freight.  It is charged at an amount per deadweight tonne, or as a lump sum for the voyage.

Because a ship operator who voyage charters-in has not got control of the crew, and thus a more limited control of the ship, a limit has been placed on charters-in ‘otherwise than on bareboat charter terms’ (time and voyage charters) to the extent of not exceeding 75 per cent of the tonnage operated.

Standard voyage charters are produced by organisations such as BIMCO, which may be modified by the addition or subtraction of particular clauses.  The Tonnage Tax Technical Adviser can provide further details.


FA00/SCH22/PARA143 (meaning of ‘on bareboat charter terms’) TTM17791
Operating a ship: chartered to the company TTM03100
The 75 per cent limit: chartered-in TTM05100
Contracts of affreightment TTM15100
Bareboat charterparties TTM15110
Time charterparties TTM15120
Contact points TTM01120