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Carriage of goods: 

Carriage of goods Lectures by: Reseacher Dr.iur. Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson

Where and when: 

Where and when Mon Sep. 11th 10.15 - 12.00 am Room 365 Domus Nova Tue Sep. 12th. 10.15 – 12.00 am Auditorium 14 Domus Bibliotheca Wed Sep 13th 10.15 – 12.00 am Auditorium 14 Domus Bibliotheca Thursd Sep. 14th 10.15 – 12.00 am Room 365 Domus Nova

Introduction to the lectures : 

Introduction to the lectures Topic: Carriage of goods The achievement requirements Master: Good understanding Bachelor: General understanding

The Structure of the Lectures; Monday: 

The Structure of the Lectures; Monday The Maritime Code Chapter 13; Carriage of General Cargo Introductory provisions, section 251 The parties and the documents Scope of Application, section 252 Historical and international background Hague-Visby and Hamburg-rules


Tuesday: The liability of the Carrier Set of obligations, Section 252-257 The basic rule regarding the basis of liability, section 275 The exemption from liability, section 276


Wednesday: Specifications: Deck cargo, section 284 Dangerous cargo, section 257 Live animals, section 277 Liability for delay, section 278 Deviation, section 262 The amount of compensation and limitation of liability, section 279 and 281

Thursday: : 

Thursday: The bill of lading, section 292 ff The sea waybill, section 308 Maybe – something on the use of a sub-carrier

Contracts of affreightment: 

Contracts of affreightment At sea: a contract to perform transportation services by ship or to make a ship´s transportation capacity available Includes liner trade, general cargo carriage Voyage charters Quantity contracts and time charters Maritime Code section IV ”Contracts of carriage” Charterparties excluded, section 253

The parties in the contract of carriage: 

The parties in the contract of carriage The parties: Carrier (Norw: Transportør) Sender (Norw: Sender) Others: Shipper e.g. FOB/CIF Sub-carrier

The parties and others: 

The parties and others The shipper; not part of the contract The code establishes a quasi-contractual relationship Has certain liabilities in relation to the carrier May claim Bill of Lading, § 294 Responsible for the accuracy of the statements relating to the goods entered in the bill of lading, § 301 The receiver, not party to the contract Not mentioned in section 251 Might step into the contract depending of the wording of the Bill of Lading (§ 292)

The documents: 

The documents The bill of lading, § 292 Acknowledgement that goods of a certain nature and quantity have been received A promise to transport the goods A promise to deliver the goods

The Bill of Lading: 

The Bill of Lading Signed by the carrier Evidence of transport agreement between the line and the cargo owner Booking note Delivered without any formal preliminary contact Different : ”Shipped” bill of lading ”Received for shipment” bill of lading ”Through” bill of lading

Sea waybill (§§ 308–309): 

Sea waybill (§§ 308–309) Evidence that the carrier has received the goods Evidence of a contract of sea carrige Promise to deliver the goods at their destination Not negotiable!

Tramp bills of lading (§ 325): 

Tramp bills of lading (§ 325) Bill of lading used under charterparties For individual pieces of cargo

Historical and international background: 

Historical and international background Convention – MC § 251 Freedom of Contract misused USA Harter Act 1893 Haag Rules (Brussels 1924) Haag-Visby Rules (1968) Hamburg Rules (1978)

Scandinavian solutions: 

Scandinavian solutions Hamburg Rules are not ratified Thus; the rules in the MC are aligned with the Hamburg rules as far as possible Separat rules on domestic transport The Hague-Visby Rules apply only to international transport Norwegians wanted to harmonise the legal framework for different modes of national transportation

The scope of application : 

The scope of application Regulated in MC § 310: The jurisdiction of Norwegian courts when the contract is providing carriage between two states Competent when the parties have agreed on Norway (prorogation clause) Competent when the case has necessary connection to Norway – described in § 310, paragraph 1,a-d

The choice of law : 

The choice of law In the case of cargo damages, special choice of law rules; MC section 252 and 253 Carriage with a Scandinavian point of contact will be subject to Scandinavian rules on liability applied as lex fori Carriage without a Scandinavian contact – the law of another convention state most closely connected with the carriage.

The choice of law, cont.: 

The choice of law, cont. § 252; Chapter 13 applies to ”carriage of general cargo” § 253; But not to ”carriage under a charter party” The dividing line? depends upon the transportation document however, a line will be drawn Chapter 13 applies to tramp bill of lading and to quantity contracts

Choice of Law, cont.: 

Choice of Law, cont. Section 252 first paragraph: Chapter 13 applies to Scandinavian trade, except domestic trade in another Scandinavian country Section 252 second paragraph: Chapter 13 applies to other international trade in five situations: Section 252 third paragraph Freedom of choosing the law of a Convention State, The relationship with 252 second paragraph nr 5 According to preparatory work the parties have a freedom of choice After a dispute has arisen, the parties may agree on how to settle it ( Section 310 paragraph 2)

To what extent are the Norwegian rules mandatory?: 

To what extent are the Norwegian rules mandatory? The rules are mandatory, but the carrier can take on more stringent liability (§ 254) This includes the time-bar rules (§ 501)

Liability for damage on goods: 

Liability for damage on goods Sender Receiver Carrier Sales Contract Contract of affrightment Damaged, lost, delayed goods SjSJø MC § 274 flg

The main rule on liability; MC § 275: 

The main rule on liability; MC § 275 MC § 275: Negligence with a reversed burden of proof MC § 276: Exemptions 1) Fault or negclect in the navigation of the ship or 2) Fire MC § 276, second paragraph: not if ”initial unseaworthiness”

Liability for loss, damaged or delayed goods: § 275: 

Liability for loss, damaged or delayed goods: § 275 The cargo owner must prove; That the goods have been damaged while in the carrier´s custody That he has suffered economic loss The carrier must prove himself innocent That the damage is not a result of his own or any of his servants or representatives fault or negligence In practical terms: How the damage actually occurred That neither he nor his servants were negligent

What must the carrier or his servants do to avoid being branded as negligent?: 

What must the carrier or his servants do to avoid being branded as negligent? Breach of public regulations? Container Code 1982/84 Has the carrier enough knowledge? Not perfect – but reasonable fitness The cargo owner must give the carrier necessary information Not only the particular goods but also the type of voyage Previous experience ND 1977.1 Tor Marcia

The periode of care, MC 274: 

The periode of care, MC 274 while the goods are in his or her custody instead of ”tackle to tackle” At the port of loading (2. paragraph) From when the carrier receives the goods At the port of discharge (3. paragraph) until the goods are : Delivered to the receiver Warehoused on the account of the receiver (§ 271 or agreement) Delivered to any authority according to law

Vicarious liability: 

Vicarious liability Identification or privity The neglect of servants is considered the fault of the carrier. Vicarious liability is only presupposed in the code § 276, paragraph 1 no. 1 Establishes pre-conditions for indentification Includes more than those directly employed by the carrier Harbour workers and longshoremen? Yes Shipyard employees and inspectors ? ??

Exemption from liability for navigational errors under MC § 276: 

Exemption from liability for navigational errors under MC § 276 Haag/Visby – Hamburg Excemptions a & b kept, but not for Norwegian domestic trade. ”Navigational errors” MC § 276 first paragraph no. 1 ” Fault or neglect in the navigation or management of the ship” Only fault/neglect comitted by master, crew etc. Not his own fault, or the fault of senior management personnel (owner´s privity) What if the shipowner and the master are the same person? ND 1974.315 Statement in preparatory work

Exemption, cont.: 

Exemption, cont. Navigation of the vessel Steering and manoeuvring, response to signals etc. Management of the ship The ship´s condition, manning and equipment Borderline cases Was the act or omission primarily in the interest of the cargo or the ship? ND 1975.85 NSC Sunny Lady

Exemption, cont.: 

Exemption, cont. § 276, Paragraph 1 no.2: Fire caused by persons for whom the carrier is responsible Not his own fault, or the fault of senior management personnel (owner´s privity) (exc liability when adequate fire procedures have not been developed) What is a fire? Open flame Smouldering? Possible

Unseaworhtiness and the exemptions in 276 first paragraph no (1) and no. (2): 

Unseaworhtiness and the exemptions in 276 first paragraph no (1) and no. (2) The exemptions do not apply when the damage, loss or delay is connected with unseaworthiness. The ship being unseaworthy at the commencement of the voyage The carrier, or someone for whom he is responsible, has not exercised due diligence to make the ship seaworthy

Seaworthiness : 

Seaworthiness What is seaworthiness? Narrow sense; technical / state control and Broad sense; in relation to the cargo/ cargoworthyness Only initial unseaworthiness Gorgonzola & chocolate

Deck cargo and live animals: 

Deck cargo and live animals Deck cargo, MC § 263 Must be in accordance with a particular right Loss or damage; ordinary rules on liability Unlawful loading on deck Special rules on liability in § 284, strict liability Loading on deck despite otherwise agreed: unit limitation rules (§§ 280-283) can not be invoked § 284, second paragraph Live animals Liable under the ordinary rules (§275) Not liable for special risks associated with such carriage § 277

Dangerous cargo: 

Dangerous cargo Cargo, inherently dangerous Definition is difficult More than everyday risk Lists of dangerous cargoes issued by the authorities The sender has a duty of disclosure; § 257 The goods must be marked as dangerous Reasonable notice must be given to the carrier All relevant information must be given (second paragraph) The sender will be liabel if the shipper failes to mark the goods and inform the carrier

The carrier´s rights : 

The carrier´s rights The carrier´s rights when the sender has not fulfilled his duty to inform § 291: May refuse to take dangerous goods on board May discharge the goods or destroy them or render them innocuous (harmless) Not applicable when ”assumption of risk”; § 291 second paragraph Special rule on saving life and property – no obligation to pay damages; § 291 third paragraph

Strict liability on the sender : 

Strict liability on the sender § 291 imposes strict liability on the sender When the cargo is delivered without information about dangerous characteristics or necessary safety measures Pre-condition: The carrier must not have had actual knowledge § 291 covers both carrier and a sub-carrier

Liability for delay : 

Liability for delay The loss: 1The goods are damaged or destroyed Liability is regulated in § 275 The goods are ok, but market conditions have changed (Christmas decoration in January) Liability is regulated in § 278 When is there a delay? Starting point: § 262 ”carried out with due despatch” (care) § 278.2 gives further guidelines: Agreed delivery Within the time which is reasonable to demand of a prudent carrier in the circumstances No delivery? 60 days – total loss


Deviation Traditionally; serious breach of contract Today; has the carrier chosen a reasonable voyage plan, and Is the cargo at destination within a reasonable time § 275, second paragraph: the carrier has a right to take measures to save human life or reasonable measures to save ships or other property at sea.

The scope of liability: 

The scope of liability Quantum of damages may be regulated in the contract. Here: when the contract is silent The ordinary starting point (economic loss) does not apply Standarised loss rule in MC § 279 Value of the goods Exchange price,market price or current value of same goods What about indirect or consequential damages? has been accepted in arbitration practice, but noe general rule

The unit limitation rules: 

The unit limitation rules SDR – Special Drawing Rights, § 505 MC § 280 667 SDR for each lost or damaged unit or 2 SDR per kilogram damaged or lost goods The limit of liability which results in the highest liability shall be applied

What is a unit ?: 

What is a unit ? § 281; container, pallet or other transport device The text of the bill of lading is determinative The rules on liabiliy does not apply where the carrier himself caused damage wilfully or through gross negligence, § 283

Introduction - the bill of lading: 

Introduction - the bill of lading Liability under rules relating to bills of lading Delivery liability (distinct type of liability, §§ 302, 292) Description liability (§ 300) Misdescription (§299 third paragraph)

The underlying sale and the bill of lading: 

The underlying sale and the bill of lading Distance sale The goods and the payment cannot be exchanged simultaneously The buyer cannot inspect the goods The bill of lading provides a description of the goods The value of the description hinges to a large extent on the legal rules associated with it.

How to obtain delivery of cargo: 

How to obtain delivery of cargo The receiver must be authorised §§ 292, 1.paragraph no. 2, 303 and 304 Who is authorised ? The reciver must physically possess the bill of lading, and Be expressly stated in the bill of lading/consignee (§ 302 1. ledd, first paragraph, first alternative) or A series of endorsements are leading to the person demanding delivery ( § 302 1. paragraph, second alternative) or There is an endorsement in blank /without naming the consignee (§ 302 1. paragraph, third alternative) The carrier must act bona fides; if he knows that the receiver is not authorised to demand delivery he cannot deliver the goods

The bill of lading is a negotiable instrument: 

The bill of lading is a negotiable instrument The bill of lading is a key to receiving the goods: The issuers defences cannot be invoked against holders in good faith, MC § 292 third paragraph The carrier will be free from liability if he delivers to the owner (§ 302) The carrier can demand presentation as a pre-condition of delivery (§ 304) A holder in good faith is protected against competing claimants (§ 306)

The content of a bill of lading: 

The content of a bill of lading What is a bill of lading? MC § 292 requires that the document contains: - evidence of an agreement of carriage by sea - evidence that the sender has received or loaded the cargo” - the words ”bill of lading” or make it apparent that delivery will only take place on presentation of the bill

The content of a bill of lading, cont.: 

The content of a bill of lading, cont. § 296 first paragraph no. 1 -the nature of the goods - their dangerous properties - the necessary identification marks - the number of packages or pieces and - the weight All as stated by the shipper § 296 first paragraph no 2 - the apparent condition of the goods and packaging (in apparent good order and condition) § 296 first paragraph no 3 - 13

§ 296 second and third paragraph: 

§ 296 second and third paragraph Shipped billl of lading must contain: Nationality and name of the ship Place of loading and the date when the loading was completed The bill of lading must be signed By the carrier or someone on his behalf The master, § 176; ”principal” (owner)/ § 295; ”carrier” By someone who has been given the authority An agent

What if some information is missing?: 

What if some information is missing? MC § 297; still a bill of lading if the conditions in § 292 is fulfilled Must be named bill of lading or Indicate that the goods only will be delivered against presentation of the document

Carrier`s duty to check that the information in the bill of lading is correct: 

Carrier`s duty to check that the information in the bill of lading is correct § 298 first paragraph The carrier shall to a reasonable extent check the accuracy of the information on the goods entered in a bill of lading § 298 second paragraph; make a reservation Resonable grounds for doubting or Not had resonable opportunity to check § 299 third paragraph; notation Must state expressly that the information is incorrect

The carrier`s liability for information in the bill of lading: 

The carrier`s liability for information in the bill of lading Designed to protect individuals who rely in good faith on the information in the bill of lading How far should the protection extend? Is it enough that there is a gap between the information and the actual conditions of the goods? Or do we need some culpable conduct causing the information to be misleading? How should the damages be assessed in monetary terms? Expectation interest (put in the situation as if the goods matched the description) Reliance interest ( put in the situation as if he had been actually informed) Solution: §§ 299 and 300 - different liability regimes

Implied transport liability, § 299, third paragraph: 

Implied transport liability, § 299, third paragraph Only relevant when a third party has acquired the bill of lading in good faith relying on the accuracy of the statement in it Then evidence on the contrary shall not be admissIble

Implied transport liability, cont. : 

Implied transport liability, cont. The third party must have paid the purchase price in exchange for the document Or it is used as a negotiable document in international trade A bank has acquired the bill of lading in connection with it letter of credits obligation Or otherwise has extended credit using the bill of lading as security The bill of lading is conclusive evidence of the condition and quantity of the goods at the commencement of carrige Any difference between the description in the bill of lading and the conditions of the goods at delivery is treated as damage arising during transport

Implied transport liability, cont.: 

Implied transport liability, cont. The basis of liability is § 275; negligence with a reversed burden of proof Exculpating evidence is not allowed (§ 299, 3 paragraph) The liability is unconditionally Quantum The ordinary rules on cargo damage apply

Liability for incorrect description, § 300: 

Liability for incorrect description, § 300 Protects a third party who has aquired the document relying on the accuracy of the information provided Basis for liability; § 300 ”the carrier understood or ought to have understood” – not strict liability That the information was objectively incorrect That the information was likely to mislead a third party

The scope of the carriers liability: 

The scope of the carriers liability The holder of the bill of lading must receive compensation for losses suffered due to his reliance on the bill of lading As if correct information was given (reliance interest) Not defined as ordinary carrier of transport liability Thus the unit limitation does not apply

Situations covered by both § 299 and § 300: 

Situations covered by both § 299 and § 300 The cargo owner can choose which set of rules to apply

Shipper`s liability to carrier: 

Shipper`s liability to carrier The Shipper: Provides information as described in § 296 paragraph 1 no. 1 The Carrier will be held liable for this information thus; Strict liability for information provided by the shipper, § 301 paragraph no 1


Fraud The shipper needs a clean bill of lading ”good order and condition” otherwise Difficulty to sell the goods – negotiating the bill of lading Back letters/letter of indemnity The back letters can not be invoked in a court of law in the case of fraud, § 301, second paragraph The cargo owner will have a claim both against the carrier and the shipper The cargo owner is entitled to be informed about possible back letters (§ 300)

Liability for wrongful delivery: 

Liability for wrongful delivery The cargo should only be delivered against presentation of the bill of lading What if an old customer provides a trustworthy explanation? And a bill of lading holder appears subsequently? The carrier will be subject to unlimited liability and his inSuranse will not help him. Often he will recuire a guarantee from the receiver Other documentary solutions may be possible – sea way bill

Sea waybills (§§ 308-309): 

Sea waybills (§§ 308-309) Not negotiable documents The presentation of the original document is not a pre-condition for delivery Evidence of a contract of carriage Acknowledges that the goods have been received Contains an undertaking by the carrier to deliver the goods to the consignee named in the document

The content of a sea waybill,: 

The content of a sea waybill, Pre-conditions in § 309 Information about the goods The name of the sender, consignee and the carrier The terms of the carriage The freight and other expenses According to the prearatory work The place of shipment and delivery Whether the goods can or shall be loaded on deck Exceptions are accepted The sea waybill shall be signed (§ 309 and the reference to § 296 third paragraph)

The carrier`s duty to inspect the cargo: 

The carrier`s duty to inspect the cargo MC § 309, 1.paragraph, 2. sentence – see § 298 Regarding the information mentioned in § 296 first paragraph no 1 And information on the condition of the goods and the packing

What are the consequences of issuing a sea waybill?: 

What are the consequences of issuing a sea waybill? The waybill must specify the consignee The sender still may instruct the carrier to deliver to another party But not when the consignee has asserted his right to the goods (demanded delivery) It is evidence of the contract of carriage and of receipt of the goods as described § 309 second paragraph The shipper may demand a bill of lading (§ 308 third paragraph - § 294) Not if the sender has waived his right to change consignee.

Liability for wrongful delivery: 

Liability for wrongful delivery Who appears entitled to the goods pursuant to the text of the sea waybill Can be uncertainty as to the party`s identity Change of consignee Oral or written notice must be given to the carrier prior to the time limit in § 308 second paragraph In sufficient time for the carrier

When are sea waybills issued and whom are they issued to?: 

When are sea waybills issued and whom are they issued to? Custom of the trade decides choiCe of document The sender has the right to demand a sea waybill but must accept that the shipper receives it directly from the carrier

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