1.0 Introduction 3
2. Carriers Liability 3
To Cargo Owners
3. Insurance 7
H&M / P&I
4. Salvage Contracts & 9
Port Of Refuge
5.0 Conclusion 10
The following assignment will take the scenario given of a collision between a bulk carrier and a container vessel in the Malacca Straights. The author will aim to explain the carriers liabilities in both the time charter and voyage charter cases and discuss whether exemptions are able to be invoked as stated in the Hague-Visby Rules.
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Article 1(b) goes onto state that the Contract of carriage applies to contracts of carriage by a Bill of Lading or similar document. As stated this vessel was on a Time charter and would have been hired using the ‘Baltic and International Maritime Conference Uniform Time-Charter’. (Baltime 1839) This is the contract between the Charterer and the Ship Owner and this states the responsibilities of both parties. Section 13 of the contract states that the Owner is responsible for the “…Loss or damage to goods on board” and goes on to argue that this is case if “…the loss or damage has been caused by want of due diligence on the part of the owners or their manager in making the vessel seaworthy.” (Baltime 1839, Section 13)
In this case the Carrier could be Charterer depending on whether the Bill of Lading is signed by the master, or in the charterers name. If the charterer is the carrier then the following must be considered.
Under the Hague-Visby rules Article III section 1, the carrier must, at the beginning of the voyage exercise due diligence to;
a) Make the ship seaworthy
b) Properly Man, equip & supply the ship
c) Make holds, refrigerated and cooling chambers, and all other parts of the ship in goods are carried, fit and safe for their reception, carriage and preservation
It could be easy to state in this case therefore, that the charterer is responsible for the cargo in the bulk carrier which may have been damaged due to the partial flooding caused by the collision in the starboard forward hold. However the vessel sailed in an un seaworthy condition and this in the full knowledge of the shipping company. By entering the time charter agreement, the responsibility of maintaining the vessel lies with the ship owner and the charterer can sue for damages if, as in this case, the ship owner has not taken “…reasonable steps to carry out repairs when defects are brought to his attention”. (STC Shipmasters Business Notes, May 2006)
By entering the time charter agreement using Baltime 1839, the ship owner has signed that he is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the vessel to keep it sea worthy, therefore the charterer has shown ‘due diligence’ as per article III of the Hague-Visby rules and article III ‘Responsibilities & Liabilities’ of the ‘Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971.
So it seems apparent that the ship owner is liable for the cargo, but in this case the charterer is the carrier and under article II of the Hague-Visby rules, “The Carrier, in relation to the loading, handling, stowage, carriage custody, care and discharge of such goods, shall be subject to the responsibilities and liabilities, and entitled to the rights and immunities hereinafter set forth.” (Gaskell 1987, pg 640) So it is evident that in the case where the charterer is the carrier, he is liable to the cargo receivers. As discussed however, as the Time Charter agreement states that the Ship owner is responsible for the cargo due...