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Bills of lading / Contracts of carriage

Bills of lading are the cornerstone of nearly all contracts of carriage by sea. Once issued, a bill of lading:

  1. acts as a receipt for the cargo shipped; 
  2. represents the contract of carriage between the receiver and carrier. The carrier is most commonly the ship owner but often, and in the container trade especially, the carrier can be the time charterer.
  3. is treated in law as a document of title to the goods in question and, in turn, a negotiable instrument, as has been the case for over 200 years.

Revecca VasiliouThe legal issues surrounding bills of lading are vast, as are the international conventions which have been created by the shipping community. These international conventions, including the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, and sometimes the Hamburg Rules, codify the way disputes have traditionally been resolved between parties.

 

Anna Doumeni Nov-17The club has over 50 qualified lawyers and barristers working in house, spread across London, Piraeus, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong and Rio de Janeiro. All of our claims handers have considerable experience in handling cargo claims and the various bill of lading issues that arise in relation thereto. The club, through its website, periodic Circulars, Bulletins and regular web alerts, also keeps its members up to date on bill of lading and cargo claim issues.

 

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Arbitration clauses and club letters of undertaking - a warning

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Letters of Indemnity - International Group (IG) approved wordings

Whilst these letters of indemnity (LOI) have been approved by the International Group (IG) and the club, members should still be aware that use of these LOI can have an impact and prejudice their P&I cover. A member should always feel free to approach their usual club contact before using these LOI if in any doubt