Shepherd and Wedderburn

UK 200 2013 position: 71

GAFTA standard form contracts revise approach to force majeure

By John MacKenzie

From 1 June 2014, GAFTA standard form contracts have adopted a single ‘prevention of shipment/delivery’ clause that deals with events previously covered under separate ‘prohibition’, ‘force majeure, strikes’ and ‘loading strikes’ clauses. The effect has been to introduce an overarching concept of ‘force majeure’ in all FOB, C&F and CIF GAFTA contracts.

The new clause expressly lists 12 events covered by the unified concept of force majeure. These include: (a) prohibition of export; (b) blockade; (c) acts of terrorism; (d) hostilities; (e) strike, lock-out or combination of workmen; (f) riot or civil commotion; (g) breakdown of machinery; (h) fire; (i) ice; (j) act of God; (k) unforeseeable and unavoidable impediments to transportation or navigation; and (l) any other event comprehended in the term ‘force majeure’…

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