The work on the revision of AB 04 and ABT 06 has been under way for some six years. In November, the Construction Contracts Committee (BKK) produced a progress report regarding the process. In this article, we briefly review the difference between AB 04 and ABT 06 and also provide a status update on how the work to revise these standard agreements is proceeding.
THE STANDARD AGREEMENTS AB 04 AND ABT 06
A standard agreement is a contract that contains generalised provisions that are produced for use in a large number of contexts. Two standard agreements that are currently used in Sweden within construction law are AB 04 and ABT 06. These have been published by BKK for 2004 and 2006 respectively. AB 04 stands for General Provisions for building, civil engineering and installation contracts, and is intended for use in construction contracts. It means that the purchaser (and any consultants engaged) are responsible for the design stage of the work and the contractor is responsible for executing the work. In turn, ABT 06 stands for General Provisions for design-build contracts for building, civil engineering and installation work and is intended for use in design-build contracts. In design-build contracts, the contractor is responsible for both design and execution of the work. Put simply, the purchaser has greater control in a construction-only contract, but lower risk in a design-build contract as the contractor is responsible for the entirety.
THE NEED FOR REVISION
In line with the technical and legal development that has taken place since 2004 and 2006 respectively, a need has arisen to modify the terms and conditions in the standard agreements. BKK has therefore decided to draw up new standard agreements (AB and ABT respectively). However, the revision has been delayed and the work has been ongoing since autumn 2016.
UPDATED PROGRESS REPORT
In November 2022, BKK published an update on its website concerning how the revision work was proceeding. BKK states that the revision work is well advanced and that significant parts of the prospective new provisions are in place, and also that a number of central issues have been given both balanced and clarificatory solutions. Further, BKK states that negotiations are continuing in certain respects, which makes it unlikely that a consultative process will commence before the turn of the year 22/23 – which in January 2023 turned out to be a correct assessment as no consultative process has commenced yet. Once the consultative process does start, it will be open to all (i.e. not restricted to a particular circle) and proceed for three months, and when it concludes, the referrals will be processed, after which final preparation of opinions received will take place. After final preparation, the result shall be approved by BKK's principals before new standard agreements can be published.
In other words, the work is moving forward, but the wait will continue for a while yet. We are looking forward to the new agreements being finalised in the near future – 2023 will undeniably be an exciting year in the field of construction law!
Would you like to know more about AB 04 and ABT 06?
Lindahl is keenly monitoring developments surrounding the new AB 04 and ABT 06. If there is any interest, we are also able to develop training courses and seminars on the Swedish standard agreements and their interaction with AMA AF. You are very welcome to contact us using the contact details below.