Voyage Charters

Page 269

Chapter 11

Owners' Responsibility Clause

2. Owners’ responsibility clause 21
Owners are to be responsible for loss of or damage to the goods 22
or for delay in delivery of the goods only in case the loss, damage 23
or delay has been caused by the improper or negligent stowage of 24
the goods (unless stowage performed by shippers/Charterers or their 25
stevedores or servants) or by personal want of due diligence on the 26
part of the Owners or their Manager to make the vessel in all respects 27
seaworthy and to secure that she is properly manned, equipped and 28
supplied or by the personal act or default of the Owners or their 29
Manager. 30
And the Owners are responsible for no loss or damage or delay 31
arising from any other cause whatsoever, even from the neglect or 32
default of the Captain or crew or some other person employed by 33
the Owners on board or ashore for whose acts they would, but for 34
this clause, be responsible, or from unseaworthiness of the vessel on 35
loading or commencement of the voyage or at any time whatsoever. 36
Damage caused by contact with or leakage, smell or evaporation 37
from other goods or by the inflammable or explosive nature or 38
insufficient package of other goods not to be considered as caused 39
by improper or negligent stowage, even if in fact so caused. 40
11.1 This clause appears principally to stipulate an acceptance of, rather than an exception from, liability, but in effect it provides owners with a wide-ranging exclusion of their legal liability for loss, damage or delay in delivery of the goods carried. In essence, owners are not liable for loss of or damage to or delay in delivery of the goods unless caused by:
  • (a) negligent or improper stowage when, under clause 5(a), the owners rather than the charterers/shippers perform the loading; or
  • (b) unseaworthiness due to the personal want of due diligence on the part of the individuals who control the management of the vessel, as distinct from the neglect or default of persons, such as employees or agents employed to perform the owners’ functions, for whose fault they would be liable on general principles; or
  • (c) some other cause due to the personal act or default of those same individuals.

In practice, however, parties often agree specific typed clauses, which have, or may have, an effect on the scope of these exceptions and this clause must, therefore, always be read carefully

Page 270

in the light of the charterparty as a whole. Probably the most frequently encountered and most important such additional clause involves the incorporation of the Hague Rules.

The rest of this document is only available to i-law.com online subscribers.

If you are already a subscriber, click Log In button.

Copyright © 2024 Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited. Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited is registered in England and Wales with company number 13831625 and address 5th Floor, 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD, United Kingdom. Lloyd's List Intelligence is a trading name of Maritime Insights & Intelligence Limited.

Lloyd's is the registered trademark of the Society Incorporated by the Lloyd's Act 1871 by the name of Lloyd's.