Ten Golden Rules for Shipbrokers
1. Consider at all times with whom you are negotiating. Have you dealt with them before? If in doubt check with the Club.
2. If requested to pass on information about any company to others (including your principal) make sure that the source of the information is clear e.g. "agents/owners/master/charterers advise as follows......".
3. It is also recommended that you add the following footnote to communications containing information on others: "We pass the above information which we have received from .............as brokers only and without guarantee and would suggest owners/charterers make their own investigations".
4. If offering a ship on behalf of an owner do not rely solely on your own records and always check with owners for the ship's description before offering.
5. If you do not understand what was communicated to you, ask what it means. There is no shame in not knowing or understanding. The danger is in pretending that you know or understand.
6. Corroborate all telephone offers in writing as soon as possible. This is especially important when the recipient's English is poor.
7. Recap messages. It is a good idea to prefix these with the following: "For the sake of good order herewith recap as agreed so far" or (if fully agreed with all subjects and details in order and all other outstanding items agreed) "herewith recap as finally fixed".
8. Beware of "changeover times". The greatest proportion of claims against brokers arise from mistakes occurring either at holiday times or when brokers are absent due to travelling/illness, when colleagues try to cover their post-fixture related matters.
9. The Day Book. Keep a permanent written record of the day's events/notes of fixtures etc. for future reference.
10. Do not admit liability or suggest any compromise without first informing the Club.