What to expect at a ship sale and purchase closing meeting?
Generally, there will be two simultaneous meetings on a closing day. One meeting will take place ‘ashore’. This may be at the offices of one of the parties or their legal advisors or even appointed escrow agents. This meeting leads the closing. The second meeting will take place ‘aboard’ the subject vessel.
As for the documents inspected during a closing meeting, there are typically two categories;
- Closing documents are the documents listed in the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) such as the Bill of Sale, Powers of Attorney, Certificate of Ownership and Encumbrances and Certificate of Class.
- Technical documents are the documents required for the maintenance and operation of the vessel (also annexed to the MOA) such as Certificates referring to safety and/or pollution. Keep in mind that at the closing, parties will not normally inspect technical documents in depth, as this practice is done before the closing. The exercise at closing is normally to confirm that the agreed documents are there and ready for delivery.
As for the latest news on closing meetings for a ship sale and purchase, BIMCO has released a new standard S&P contract (SHIPSALE22) which explicitly includes electronic closing as an option to physical closing.