Definition of Bill of Lading
A bill of lading (sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BoL) is a document issued by a carrier (or their agent) to acknowledge receipt of cargo for shipment. Although the term historically related only to carriage by sea, a bill of lading may today be used for any type of carriage of goods.
Bills of lading are one of three crucial documents used in international trade to ensure that exporters receive payment and importers receive the merchandise. The other two documents are a policy of insurance and an invoice. Whereas a bill of lading is negotiable, both a policy and an invoice are assignable. In international trade outside the United States, bills of lading are distinct from waybills in that the latter are not transferable and do not confer title. Nevertheless, the UK Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 grants “all rights of suit under the contract of carriage” to the lawful holder of a bill of lading, or to the consignee under a sea waybill or a ship’s delivery order.
A bill of lading must be transferable, and serves three main functions:
- it is a conclusive receipt, i.e. an acknowledgement that the goods have been loaded; and
- it contains or evidences the terms of the contract of carriage; and
- it serves as a document of title to the goods, subject to the nemo dat rule.
Typical export transaction use Incoterms terms such as CIF, FOB or FAS, requiring the exporter/shipper to deliver the goods to the ship, whether onboard or alongside. Nevertheless, the loading itself will usually be done by the carrier himself or by a third party stevedore; (see Scruttons Ltd v Midland Silicones Ltd and NZ Shipping Co Ltd v A M Satterthwaite & Co Ltd – The Eurymedon).
A document issued by a carrier, or its agent, to the shipper as a contract of carriage of goods. It is also a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation, and must be presented for taking delivery at the destination.
Among other items of information, a bill of lading contains
(1) Consignor’s and consignee’s name,
(2) Names of the ports of departure and destination,
(3) Name of the vessel,
(4) Dates of departure and arrival,
(5) Itemized list of goods being transported with number of packages and kind of packaging,
(6) Marks and numbers on the packages,
(7) Weight and/or volume of the cargo,
(8) Freight rate and amount. It serves as a proof of ownership of the cargo, and may be issued either in a negotiable or non-negotiable form.
In negotiable form, it is commonly used in letter of credit transactions, and may be bought, sold, or traded; or used as security for borrowing money. A bill of lading is required in all claims for compensation for any damage, delay, or loss; and for the resolution of disputes regarding ownership of the cargo. The rights, responsibilities, and liabilities of the carrier and the shipper under a bill of lading (often printed on its back) are governed generally either by the older Hague rules, or by the more recent Hague-Visby rules. See also lading.
Essentially, an air waybill is a type of through bill of lading. This is because air waybills might cover both international and domestic transportation of goods. By contrast, many ocean shipments require both inland and ocean bills of lading. Inland bills of lading are necessary for the domestic transportation of goods, and ocean bills of lading are necessary for the overseas carriage of goods.
Inland and ocean bills of lading might be negotiable or non-negotiable. If the bill of lading is non-negotiable, the transportation carrier is required to provide delivery only to the consignee named in the document. If the bill of lading is negotiable, the person who has ownership of the bill of lading has the right of ownership of the goods and the right to re-route the shipment. This is sometimes called a bearer bill of lading.
Below showed a format of Bill of Lading
International organization created by some of the world’s leading banks and shipping, trading, and other firms to provide secure business-to-business information over the internet. It covers all types of commercial transactions open account, documentary collection, and documentary credit. In addition to the digital bill of lading, BOLERO handles many associated documents online and aims to provide all banking, certification, commercial, customs, insurance, and transport documents electronically. Based on the open standards (such as EDIFACT and XML), it employs a patented legal infrastructure and a secure messaging system (in association with SWIFT). Its rigorous registration system accepts only those firms as members whose identity can be verified and vetted, and binds them with strict rules. The objectives of BOLERO include
(1) Development of a financial supply chain as efficient as modern physical supply chains,
(2) Safe and tamperproof paperless-trading,
(3) Seamless integration of shipping and manufacturing systems,
(4) complete confidentiality of transactions,
(5) Fast and reliable delivery of documents anywhere in the world with non-disputable (see non repudiation) proof of delivery,
(6) Timely dispute resolution at reasonable cost, and
(7) Transparency and visibility throughout the process.
Terms of Bill of Lading
- a) “Bill of Lading” as used herein includes conventional bills of lading, as well as electronic, express and laser bills of lading, sea waybills and all like documents, howsoever generated, covering the Carriage of Goods hereunder, whether or not issued to the Merchant.
- b) “Carriage” means the whole of the operations and services undertaken or performed by or on behalf of the Carrier with respect to the Goods.
- c) “Carrier” means the Company named on the face side hereof and on whose behalf this Bill of Lading was issued, whether acting as carrier or bailee.
- d) “Charges” means freight, deadfreight, demurrage and all expenses and money obligations incurred and payable by the Merchant.
- e) “Container” means any container (closed or open top), van, trailer, flatbed, transportable tank, railroad car, vehicle, flat, flatrack, pallet, skid, platform, cradle, sling-load or any other article of transport.
- f) “Goods” means the cargo received from the shipper and described on the face side hereof and any Container not supplied by or on behalf of the Carrier.
- g) “Merchant” means the shipper, consignee, receiver, holder of this Bill of Lading, owner of the cargo or person entitled to the possession of the cargo and the servants and agents of any of these, all of whom shall be jointly and severally liable to the Carrier for the payment of all Charges, and for the performance of the obligations of any of them under this Bill of Lading.
- h) “On Board” or similar words endorsed on this Bill of Lading mean that in a Port to Port movement, the Goods have been loaded on board the Vessel or are in the custody of the actual ocean carrier; and in the event of Intermodal transportation, if the originating carrier is an inland or coastal carrier, means that the Goods have been loaded on board rail cars or another mode of transport at the Place of Receipt or are in the custody of a Participating carrier and en route to the Port of Loading named on the reverse side.
- i) “Participating carrier” means any other carrier by water, land or air, performing any part of the Carriage, including inland carriers, whether acting as sub-carrier, connecting carrier, substitute carrier or bailee.
- j) “Person” means an individual, a partnership, a body corporate or any other entity of whatsoever nature.
- k) “Vessel” means the ocean vessel named on the face side hereof, and any substitute vessel, feedership, barge, or other means of conveyance by water used in whole or in part by the Carrier to fulfill this contract.
The Goods carried hereunder are subject to all terms and conditions of the Carrier’s applicable tariff(s), which are hereby incorporated herein. Copies of the relevant provisions of the applicable tariff(s) are obtainable from the Carrier upon request. In the event of any conflict between the terms and conditions of such tariff(s) and the Terms and Conditions of this Bill of Lading, this Bill of Lading shall prevail.
The Merchant warrants that in agreeing to the Terms and Conditions hereof, it is, or is the agent and has the authority of, the owner or person entitled to the possession of the Goods or any person who has a present or future interest in the Goods. When the Merchant instructs or as a matter of course permits the Carrier or its agents to prepare and release one or more original Bills of Lading to the consignee, the Merchant understands and agrees that such instruction or course of dealing, once provided or allowed, is irrevocable by the Merchant regarding this shipment, and the Carrier is without any responsibility or liability upon delivery of the cargo pursuant to said instruction or course of dealing and any and all revocations by the Merchant to be completely null and void.
- Except where the Carriage covered by this Bill of Lading is to or from a port or locality where there is in force a compulsorily applicable ordinance or statute similar in nature to the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to Bills of Lading, dated at Brussels, August 25, 1924, the provisions of which cannot be departed from, this Bill of Lading shall have effect subject to the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of the United States (COGSA), approved April 16, 1936, and nothing herein contained, unless otherwise stated, shall be deemed a surrender by the Carrier of any of its rights, immunities, exemptions, limitations or exonerations or an increase of any of its responsibilities or liabilities under COGSA or, as the case may be, such ordinances or statutes. The provisions of COGSA or such compulsorily applicable ordinances or statutes (except as otherwise specifically provided herein) shall govern before loading on and after discharge from the vessel and throughout the entire time the Goods or Containers or other packages are in the care, custody and/or control of the Carrier, its agents, servants, Participating carriers or independent contractors (inclusive of all subcontractors), whether engaged by or acting for the Carrier or any other person, and during the entire time the Carrier is responsible for the Goods.
- The Carrier shall not be liable in any capacity whatsoever for any delay, non-delivery, misdelivery, acts of thieves, hijacking, act of God, force majeure, quarantine, strikes or lockouts, riots or civil disobedience or any other loss or damage to or in connection with the Goods or Containers or other packages occurring at any time contemplated under subdivision a) of this Clause.
- The rights, defenses, exemptions, limitations of and exonerations from liability and immunities of whatsoever nature provided for in this Bill of Lading shall apply in any action or proceeding against the Carrier, its agents and servants and/or any Participating carrier or independent contractor.
When either the Place of Receipt or Place of Delivery set forth herein is an inland point or place other than the Port of Loading (Through Transportation basis), the Carrier will procure transportation to or from the sea terminal and such inland point(s) or place(s) and, notwithstanding anything in this Bill of Lading, but always subject to Clause 4 hereof, the following shall apply:
If the loss or damage not falling within a) above, but which concerns compulsorily applicable laws and would have applied if the Merchant had made a separate and direct contract with the Carrier, a Participating carrier or independent contractor, as referred to in Clause 4 a), then the liability of the Carrier, Participating carrier and independent contractor, their agents and servants, shall be subject to the provisions of such law. If it should be determined that the Carrier bears any responsibility for loss or damage occurring during the care, custody and/or control of any Participating carrier or independent contractor, and be subject to law compulsorily applicable to their bills of lading, receipts, tariffs and/or law, then the Carrier shall be entitled to all rights, defenses, immunities, exemptions, limitations of and exonerations from liability of whatsoever nature accorded under such bill of lading, receipt, tariff and/or applicable law, provided however, that nothing contained herein shall be deemed a surrender by the Carrier of any of its rights, defenses and immunities or an increase of any of its responsibilities or liabilities under this Bill of Lading, the Carrier’s applicable tariff or laws applicable or relating to such Carriage.
- a) The Carrier shall be entitled to subcontract on any terms the whole or any part of the Carriage, loading, unloading, storing, warehousing, handling and any and all duties whatsoever undertaken by it in relation to the Goods or Containers.
- b) It is understood and agreed that if it should be adjudged that any person or entity other than or in addition to the Carrier is under any responsibility with respect to the Goods, all exemptions, limitations of and exonerations from liability provided by law or by the Terms and Conditions hereof shall be available to all Carrier’s agents, servants, employees, representatives, all Participating carriers and all stevedores, terminal operators, warehousemen, crane operators, watchmen, carpenters, ship cleaners, surveyors and all independent contractors whatsoever. In entering into this contract, the Carrier, to the extent of these provisions, does so not only on its own behalf but also as agent and trustee for the aforesaid persons.
- c) The Carrier undertakes to procure such services as necessary and shall have the right at its sole discretion to select any mode of land, sea or air transport and to arrange participation by other carriers to accomplish the total or any part of the carriage from Port of Loading to Port of Discharge or from Place of Receipt to Place of Delivery, or any combination thereof, except as may be otherwise provided herein.
- d) No agent or servant of the Carrier or other person or class named in subdivision b) hereof shall have power to waive or vary any of the terms hereof unless such waiver or variation is in writing and is specifically authorized or ratified in writing by an officer or director of the Carrier having actual authority to bind the Carrier to such waiver or variation.
MERCHANT’S RESPONSIBILITY: DESCRIPTION OF GOODS.
- a) The description and particulars of the Goods set out on the face hereof and any description, particular or other representation appearing on the Goods or documents relating thereto are furnished by the Merchant, and the Merchant warrants to the Carrier that the description, particulars and any representation made, including, but not limited to, weight, content, measure, quantity, quality, condition, marks, numbers and value are correct.
- b) The Merchant warrants it has complied with all applicable laws, regulations and requirements of Customs, port and other authorities and shall bear and pay all duties, taxes, fines, imposts, expenses and losses incurred or suffered by reason thereof or by reason of any illegal, incorrect or insufficient marking, numbering, addressing or any other particulars relative to the Goods.
- c) The Merchant further warrants that the Goods are packed in a manner adequate to withstand the ordinary risks of Carriage having regard to their nature and in compliance with all laws, regulations and requirements which may be applicable.
- d) No Goods which are or may become dangerous, inflammable or damaging or which are or may become liable to damage any property or person whatsoever shall be tendered to the Carrier for Carriage without the Carrier’s prior express consent in writing and without the Container or other article of transport in which the Goods are to be transported and the Goods being distinctly marked on the outside so as to indicate the nature and character of any such articles and as to comply with all applicable laws, regulations and requirements. If any such articles are delivered to the Carrier without such written consent and marking or if, in the opinion of the Carrier, the articles are or are liable to become of a dangerous, inflammable or damaging nature, the same may at any time be destroyed, disposed of, abandoned or rendered harmless without compensation to the Merchant and without prejudice to the Carrier’s right to Charges.
- e) The Merchant shall be liable for all loss or damage of any kind whatsoever, including but not limited to, contamination, soiling, detention and demurrage before, during and after the Carriage of property (including but not limited to Containers) of the Carrier or any person (other than the Merchant) or vessel caused by the Merchant or any person acting on its behalf or for which the Merchant is otherwise responsible.
- f) The Merchant shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Carrier against any loss, damage, claim, liability or expense whatsoever arising from any breach of the provisions of this Clause 7 or from any cause in connection with the Goods for which the Carrier is not responsible.
Goods may be stuffed by the Carrier in or on Containers, and may be stuffed with other goods. Containers, whether stuffed by the Carrier or received fully stuffed, may be carried on or under deck without notice, and the Merchant expressly agrees that cargo stuffed in a Container and carried on deck is considered for all legal purposes to be cargo stowed under deck. Goods stowed in Containers on deck shall be subject to the legislation referred to in Clause 4. hereof and will contribute in General Average and receive compensation in General Average, as the case may be.
The Terms and Conditions of this Bill of Lading shall govern the responsibility of the Carrier with respect to the supply of a Container to the Merchant.
If a Container has been stuffed by or on behalf of the Merchant, the Carrier, any Participating carrier, all independent contractors and all persons rendering any service whatsoever hereunder shall not be liable for any loss or damage to the Goods, Containers or other packages or to any other goods caused
(1) by the manner in which the Container has been stuffed and its contents secured,
(2) by the unsuitability of the Goods for carriage in Containers or for the type of Container requested by and furnished to the Merchant, or
(3) condition of the Container furnished, which the Merchant acknowledges has been inspected by it or on its behalf before stuffing and sealing.
CONTAINERS WITH REEFER APPARATUS.
Containers with temperature or atmosphere control apparatus for refrigeration will not be furnished unless contracted for expressly in writing at time of booking and, when furnished, may entail increased Charges. In the absence of an express request, it shall be conclusively presumed that the use of a dry container is appropriate for the Goods.
Merchant must provide Carrier with desired temperature range in writing at time of booking and insert same on the face side of the Bill of Lading, and where so provided, Carrier is to exercise due diligence to maintain the temperature within a range of plus or minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit of the temperature requested by the Merchant on the face hereof while the Containers are in its care, custody and/or control or that of any Participating carrier or independent contractor, their agents or servants. The Carrier does not accept any responsibility for the functioning of temperature or atmosphere-controlled Containers not owned or leased by Carrier or for latent defects not discoverable by the exercise of due diligence.
Where the Container is stuffed or partially stuffed by or on behalf of the Merchant, the Merchant warrants that it has properly pre-cooled the Container, that the Goods have been properly stuffed and secured within the Container and that the temperature controls have been properly set prior to delivery of the Container to the Carrier, its agents, servants, or any Participating carrier or independent contractor. The Merchant accepts responsibility for all damage or loss of whatsoever nature resulting from a breach of any of these warranties, including but not limited to other cargo consolidated in the Container with the Merchant’s Goods or to any other cargo, property or person damaged or injured as a result thereof, and the Merchant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold the Carrier, Participating carriers and independent contractors, their agents and servants, harmless from and against all claims, suits, proceedings and other consequences thereof regardless of their nature and merit.
OPTION OF INSPECTION.
The Carrier and any Participating carrier shall be entitled, but under no obligation, to open any Container at any time and to inspect the contents. If it thereupon appears that the contents or any part thereof cannot safely or properly be carried or carried further, either at all or without incurring any additional expense, the Carrier and Participating carrier may abandon the transportation thereof and/or take any measures and/or incur any reasonable additional expenses to continue the Carriage or to store the Goods, which storage shall be deemed to constitute due delivery under this Bill of Lading. The Merchant shall indemnify the Carrier against any reasonable additional Charges so incurred.
Deck cargo (except that carried in Containers on deck) and live animals are received and carried solely at Merchant’s risk (including accident or mortality of animals), and the Carrier will not in any event be liable for any loss or damage for or from which he is exempt, immune or exonerated by applicable law, or from any other cause whatsoever not due to the fault of the Carrier, any warranty of seaworthiness in the premises being hereby waived, and the burden of proving liability being in all respects upon the Merchant. Except as may be otherwise provided, such shipments shall be deemed Goods and shall be subject to all Terms and Conditions of this Bill of Lading.
METHODS AND ROUTES OF TRANSPORTATION.
With respect to the Goods or Containers or other packages, the Carrier may at any time and without notice to the Merchant:
- a) use any means of transport (water, land and/or air) or storage whatsoever;
- b) forward, transship or retain on board or carry on another vessel or conveyance or by any other means of transport than that named on the reverse side hereof;
- c) carry Goods on or under deck at its option;
- d) proceed by any route in its sole and absolute discretion and whether the nearest, most direct, customary or advertised route or in or out of geographical rotation;
- e) proceed to or stay at any place whatsoever once or more often and in any order or omit calling at any port, whether scheduled or not;
- f) store, vanned or devanned, at any place whatsoever, ashore or afloat, in the open or covered;
- g) proceed with or without pilots;
- h) carry livestock, contraband, explosives, munitions, warlike stores, dangerous or hazardous Goods or Goods of any and all kinds;
- i) drydock or stop at any unscheduled or unadvertised port for bunkers, repairs or for any purpose whatsoever;
- j) discharge and require the Merchant to take delivery, vanned or devanned;
- k) comply with any orders, directions or recommendations given by any government or authority or by any person or body acting or purporting to act with the authority of any government or authority or having under the terms of the insurance on the Vessel or other conveyance employed by the Carrier, the right to give such orders, directions or recommendations.
- l) take any other steps or precautions as may appear reasonable to the Carrier under the circumstances.
The liberties set out in subdivisions a) through l) may be invoked for any purpose whatsoever even if not connected with the Carriage covered by this Bill of Lading, and any action taken or omitted to be taken, and any delay arising therefrom, shall be deemed to be within the contractual and contemplated Carriage and not be an unreasonable deviation.
In no circumstance whatsoever shall the Carrier be liable for direct, indirect or consequential loss, profit of any kind or damage caused by delay or any reason whatsoever.
MATTERS AFFECTING PERFORMANCE.
In any situation whatsoever and where so ever occurring and whether existing or anticipated before commencement of, during or after the Carriage, which in the judgment of the Carrier is likely to give rise to any hindrance, risk, capture, seizure, detention, damage, delay, difficulty or disadvantage or loss to the Carrier or any part of the Goods, or make it unsafe, imprudent, impracticable or unlawful for any reason to receive, keep, load, carry or discharge them or any part of them or commence or continue the Carriage at the Port of Discharge or of the usual or intended place of discharge or Delivery, or to give rise to danger, delay or difficulty of whatsoever nature in proceeding by the usual or intended route, the Carrier and any Participating carrier, without notice to the Merchant, may decline to receive, keep, load, carry or discharge the Goods, or may discharge the Goods and may require the Merchant to take delivery and, upon failure to do so, may warehouse them at the risk and expense of the Merchant and Goods or may forward or transship them as provided in this Bill of Lading, or the Carrier may retain the Goods on board until the return of the Vessel to the Port of Loading or to the Port of Discharge or any other point or until such time as the Carrier deems advisable and thereafter discharge them at any place whatsoever. In such event, as herein provided, such shall be at the risk and expense of the Merchant and Goods, and such action shall constitute complete delivery and performance under this contract, and the Carrier shall be free from any further responsibility. For any service rendered as herein above provided or for any delay or expense to the Carrier, Participating carrier and/or Vessel caused as a result thereof, the Carrier shall, in addition to full Charges, be entitled to reasonable extra compensation, and shall have a lien on the Goods for same. Notice of disposition of the Goods shall be sent to the Merchant named in this Bill of Lading within a reasonable time thereafter.
All actions taken by the Carrier hereunder shall be deemed to be within the contractual and contemplated carriage and not be an unreasonable deviation.
If delivery of the Goods or Containers or other packages or any part thereof is not taken by the Merchant when and where and at such time and place as the Carrier is entitled to have the Merchant take delivery, they shall be considered to have been delivered to the Merchant, and thereafter always to be at the risk and expense of the Merchant and Goods.
If the Goods are stowed within a Container owned or leased by the Carrier, the Carrier shall be entitled to devan the contents of any such Container, whereupon the Goods shall be considered to have been delivered to the Merchant and the Carrier, may at its option, subject to its lien and without notice, elect to have same remain where they are or sent to a warehouse or other place, always at the risk and expense of the Merchant and Goods.
CHARGES, INCLUDING FREIGHT.
The Charges payable hereunder have been calculated on the basis of particulars furnished by or on behalf of the Merchant. The Carrier shall, at any time, be entitled to inspect, reweigh, remeasure or revalue the contents and, if any of the particulars furnished by the Merchant are found to be incorrect, the Charges shall be adjusted accordingly and the Merchant shall be responsible to pay the correct Charges and all expenses incurred by the Carrier in checking said particulars or any of them.
Charges shall be deemed earned on acceptance of the Goods or Containers or other packages for shipment by the Carrier and shall be paid by the Merchant in full, without any offset, counter claim or deduction, cargo and/or vessel or other conveyance lost, or not lost, and shall be non-returnable in any event.
The Merchant shall remain responsible for all Charges, regardless whether the Bill of Lading states, in words or symbols, that it is “Prepaid,” “to be Prepaid” or “Collect,” including, but not limited to, costs, expenses and reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the Carrier in pursuing Charges. Payment of Charges to a freight forwarder, broker or to anyone other than the Carrier shall not be deemed payment to the Carrier and shall be at the Merchant’s risk.
In arranging for any services with respect to the Goods, the Carrier shall be considered the exclusive agent of the Merchant for all purposes, and any payment of charges to other than the Carrier shall not, in any event, be considered payment to the Carrier.
The Merchant shall defend, indemnify and hold the Carrier, Participating carriers, independent contractors, their agents and servants, harmless from and against all liability, loss damage and expense which may be sustained or incurred relative to the above.
The Carrier shall have a lien on the Goods and any documents relating thereto, inclusive of any Container owned or leased by the Merchant, as well as on any Charges of whatsoever nature due any other person, and any documents relating thereto, which lien shall survive delivery, for all sums due under this contract or any other contract or undertaking to which the Merchant was partly or otherwise involved, including, but not limited to, General Average contributions, salvage, demurrage and the cost of recovering such sums, inclusive of attorney fees. Such lien may be enforced by the Carrier by public or private sale at the expense of and without notice to the Merchant.
The Merchant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold the Carrier, Participating carriers, independent contractors, their agents and servants, harmless from and against all liability, loss, damage or expense which may be sustained or incurred by the Carrier relative to the above and the Merchant agrees to submit to the jurisdiction of any court, tribunal or other body before whom the Carrier may be brought, whether said proceeding is of a civil or criminal nature.
It is agreed that superficial rust, oxidation or any like condition due to moisture, is not a condition of damage but is inherent to the nature of the Goods. Acknowledgement of receipt of the Goods in apparent good order and condition is not a representation that such conditions of rust, oxidation or the like did not exist on receipt.
If the Vessel on which the Goods are carried (the carrying Vessel) comes into collision with any other vessel or object (the non-carrying vessel or object) as a result of the negligence of the non-carrying vessel or object or the owner of, charterer of, or person responsible for the non-carrying vessel or object, the Merchant undertakes to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Carrier against all claims by or liability to (and any expense arising therefrom) any vessel or person in respect of any loss of or damage to, or any claim whatsoever of the Merchant paid or payable to the Merchant by the non-carrying vessel or object or the owner of, charterer of or person responsible for the non-carrying vessel or object and set off, recouped or recovered by such vessel, object or person against the Carrier, the carrying vessel or her owners or charterers. This provision is to remain in effect in other jurisdictions, even if unenforceable in the courts of the United States.
- a) If General Average is declared, it shall be adjusted according to the York/Antwerp Rules of 1994 and all subsequent amendments thereto from time to time made, at any place at the option of any person entitled to declare General Average, and the Amended Jason Clause as approved by BIMCO is to be considered as incorporated herein, and the Merchant shall provide such security as may be required in this connection.
- b) Notwithstanding a) above, the Merchant shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Carrier, Participating carriers, independent contractors, their agents and servants, in respect of any claim (and any expense arising therefrom) of a General Average nature which may be made against the Carrier and/or any Participating carrier and shall provide such security as may be required in this connection.
- c) Neither the Carrier nor any Participating carrier shall be under any obligation to take any steps whatsoever to post security for General Average or to collect security for General Average contributions due the Merchant.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.
Except as otherwise provided in this Clause or elsewhere in this Bill of Lading, in case of any loss or damage to or in connection with cargo exceeding in actual value the equivalent of $500 lawful money of the United States, per package, or in case of cargo not shipped in packages, per shipping unit, the value of the cargo shall be deemed to be $500 per package or per shipping unit. The Carrier’s liability, if any, shall be determined on the basis of a value of $500 per package or per shipping unit or pro rata in case of partial loss or damage, unless the nature of the cargo and valuation higher than $500 per package or per shipping unit shall have been declared by the Merchant before shipment and inserted in this Bill of Lading, and extra freight paid if required. In such case, if the actual value of the cargo per package or per shipping unit shall exceed such declared value, the value shall nevertheless be deemed to be declared value and the Carrier’s liability, if any, shall not exceed the declared value.
The words “shipping unit” shall mean each physical unit or piece of cargo not shipped in a package, including articles or things of any description whatsoever, except cargo shipped in bulk, and irrespective of the weight or measurement unit employed in calculating freight and related charges.
As to cargo shipped in bulk, the limitation applicable thereto shall be the limitation provided in Section 1304(5) of COGSA, or such other legislation, convention or law as may be applicable, and in no event shall anything herein be construed as a waiver of limitation as to cargo shipped in bulk.
Where a Container is not stuffed by or on behalf of the Carrier or the parties characterize the Container as a package or a lump sum freight is assessed, in any of these events, each Container and its contents shall be deemed a single package and Carrier’s liability limited to $500 with respect to each such package, except as otherwise provided in this Clause or elsewhere in this Bill of Lading.
In the event this provision should be held invalid during that period in which compulsory legislation shall apply of its own force and effect, such as during the tackle-to-tackle period, it shall nevertheless apply during all non-compulsory periods such as, but not limited to, all periods prior to loading and subsequent to discharge from the Vessel for which the Carrier remains responsible.
Where compulsorily applicable legislation provides a limitation less than $500 per package or shipping unit, such lesser limitation shall apply and nothing herein contained shall be construed as a waiver of a limitation less than $500.
Further, where a lesser monetary limitation is applicable, such as during handling by a Participating carrier or independent contractor and damage occurs during its or their period of care, custody, control and/or responsibility, the Carrier shall be entitled to avail itself of such lesser limitation.
NOTICE OF CLAIM: TIME FOR SUIT.
As to any loss or damage presumed to have occurred during the Carrier’s period of responsibility, the Carrier must be notified in writing of any such loss or damage or claim before or at the time of discharge/removal of the Goods by the Merchant or, if the loss or damage is not then apparent, within 3 consecutive days after discharge/delivery or the date when the Goods should have been discharged/delivered. If not so notified, discharge, removal or delivery, depending upon the law applicable, shall be prima facie evidence of discharge/delivery in good order by the Carrier of such Goods.
In any event, the Carrier shall be discharged from all liability of whatsoever nature unless suit is brought within 1 year after delivery of the Goods or the date when the Goods should have been delivered, provided however, that if any claim should arise during a part of the transport which is subject by applicable law and/or tariff and/or contract to a shorter period for notice of claim or commencement of suit, any liability whatsoever of the Carrier shall cease unless proper claim is made in writing and suit is brought within such shorter period.
Suit shall not be deemed “brought” unless jurisdiction is obtained over the Carrier by service of process or by an agreement to appear. In the event this provision is held invalid during that period in which compulsory legislation shall apply of its own force and effect, such as during the tackle-to-tackle period, it shall nevertheless apply during all non- compulsory periods during which the Carrier remains responsible.
LAW AND JURISDICTION
Governing Law shall be in accordance with Clause 4. Here of.
Jurisdiction: All disputes in any way relating to this Bill of Lading shall be determined by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in Miami, Florida to the exclusion of the jurisdiction of any other courts in the United States or the courts of any other country, PROVIDED ALWAYS that the Carrier may in its absolute and sole discretion invoke or voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of any other court which, but for the terms of this Bill of Lading, could properly assume jurisdiction to hear and determine such disputes, but such shall not constitute a waiver of the terms of this provision in any other instance.
Definition of Charter Party
Charter party, contract by which the owner of a ship lets it to others for use in transporting a cargo. The ship owner continues to control the navigation and management of the vessel, but its carrying capacity is engaged by the charterer.
There are four principal methods of chartering a tramp ship—voyage charter, time charter, bareboat charter, and “lump-sum” contract. The voyage charter is the most common. Under this method a ship is chartered for a one-way voyage between specific ports with a specified cargo at a negotiated rate of freight. On time charter, the charterer hires the ship for a stated period of time, for a specified round-trip voyage, or, occasionally, for a stated one-way voyage, the rate of hire being expressed in terms of so much per ton deadweight per month. Whereas on a voyage charter the owner bears all the expenses of the voyage (subject to agreement about costs of loading and discharging), on time charter the charterer bears the cost of bunkers and stores consumed.
On bareboat charter, which is less frequently used in ordinary commercial practice, the owner of the ship delivers it up to the charterer for the agreed period without crew, stores, insurance, or any other provision. Contracts can also be arranged on a lump-sum basis, when an owner agrees to ship a given quantity of a stated cargo from one port to another for a stated sum of money.
The charter party is the document that is subject to scrutiny and interpretation by a court of law in the event of dispute, but, in practice, most disputes are submitted to arbitration. Among the most important clauses in any charter party are those that lay down the number of days allowed for loading or unloading and those that determine who is to bear the expenses involved.
Terms & condition of Charter Party
These Charter Party Terms and Conditions set out the terms and conditions for the supply of Charter Party services by Hunt & Palmer to.
The Charter Party Terms and Conditions shall be supplemented by one or more Charter Party Summaries setting out the sectors, routes, aircraft type or individual aircraft, as applicable, the flight schedules, applicable rates and cost distributions, together with any amendments to these Charter Party Terms and Conditions.
Hunt & Palmer is not an air carrier nor is it an operator of aircraft and accordingly all Flights shall be performed by the applicable Carrier in accordance with the Carrier Agreement.
The provisions of these Charter Party Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into each Charter Party Summary in their entirety and to the absolute exclusion of any terms and conditions, terms of business or other terms provided by Charterer at any time, unless otherwise stated in such Charter Party Summary.
Each Charter Party Summary incorporating these Charter Party Terms and Conditions shall form a separate agreement, and each reference to “Charter Party Summary” in these Charter Party Terms and Conditions shall refer to each such separate Charter Party Summary.
Difference between Bill of Lading and Charter Party
As mentioned briefly it is in certain trades common that carriage of goods involves a couple of relations and documents, namely a charter party related to the use of the vessel as well as a bill of lading related to the cargo.
Looking at the contractual relations the seller under a C.I.F.-contract will probably appear as the charterer of a vessel under a subsequent voyage charter party, and he will in many cases also be the shipper under the bill of lading involved. He has to pay freight as well as certain ancillary costs as seller under the C.I.F. sale’s contract and he will then also be liable to pay the freight under the charter party/contract of carriage, since the buyer as the possible consignee will request a bill of lading marked “freight prepaid” following the terms of the sale’s contract.
On the other hand in a traditional F.O.B.-transaction the buyer will normally appear as charterer of the vessel whereas the seller will frequently appear as the shipper under the bill of lading and the buyer may appear as the consignee. Then as contracting party the charterer under the charter party will be liable to pay the freight, but depending on the circumstances there may be situations where the freight is not paid and where there will be need of a more plentiful pocket. As mentioned the bill of lading will be an additional, and at least to some extent, superseding document. The relations will, of course, differ depending on who is actually performing, but the important thing in the perspective here, is the relation and coordination between the two contracts. Below, I shall in some more detail focus on the different parties involved and the financial security in the cargo.
In English law Scrutton explains that there are two alternative, complimentary situations. Firstly freight is prima facie payable by the party who makes the contract of carriage with the owner. “But, a new contract may be presumed as a fact from demand of the goods, and their delivery by the master without insisting on his lien. The apparent implication is, of course subject to the shipper in fact being the contracting party. Even if the charterer has entered
into the charter the shipper will then come into a contractual relation with the carrier by delivering the cargo for carriage and receiving the bill of lading. Apart from the charterer there are thus three possible payors of the freight, namely the shipper, the consignee and the holder of the bill of lading.
I shall here somewhat further discuss those principles which have been laid down and developed in English law and illustrate this development through some cases. The duties of the seller under a C.I.F. contract has already been discussed to some degree. It has, however, to be added that there are occasions where the sale’s contract provides that the bill of lading will name the buyer as the shipper even where the seller has to make the shipping arrangements. Also when it comes to F.O.B.-sales there are many variations, but again in the “classic” form of the F.O.B. contract the fob seller enters into a contract with the shipowner.
The particular situation, which forms the basis for this article, is to-day history, but it still contains elements which are of importance in the discussion of liability for the payment of freight.
During the autumn of 1991 and the spring of 1992 a number of disputes arose where the then Soviet organization Exportkhleb was involved as buyer/charterer/consignee in transactions related to the purchase of grain. Many of the transactions then leading to disputes involved the purchase of grain from the United States.
Traditionally, Soviet enterprises tried to apply CIF-terms as sellers and FOB terms as buyers in international sales, i.a. in order to gear transportation and insurance to Soviet ”sister” organizations. Exportkhleb made the different purchases of US grain from various grain houses in roughly the same manner and on the same terms and conditions as on earlier occasions. It appeared, however, that during the particular period Exportkhleb did not have enough funds, and payments were delayed considerably or did not come through. Furthermore there were for various reasons delays in the loading and in the discharge of the goods under the different shipments. Thus one of the problems involved was related to the buyers’ failure to pay the cargo, i.e. a problem under the sale’s agreement between the seller and the buyer. The other one concerned failure to pay the freight, i.e. a problem under the charter party between the charterer and the shipowner, and/or under the bill of lading between the shipper and the carrier. Apart from the lack of funds as a basic problem there were also delays due to congestion at the ports, leading to demurrage and such related costs. Problems thus arose for sellers, carriers and financiers due to the delay in payment of the purchase price, the freight, and various steps were taken to protect the different interests involved.The problems that arose had many different angles.