Voyage Charters

Page 1051

Chapter 56

Collision Clause

[Clause 20(b) continued]
(iv) BOTH TO BLAME. If the Vessel comes into collision with another ship as a result of the negligence of the other ship and any act, neglect or default of the Master, mariner, pilot or the servants of the Owner in the navigation or in the management of the Vessel, the owners of the cargo carried hereunder shall indemnify the Owner against all loss or liability to the other or non-carrying ship or her owners in so far as such loss or liability represents loss of, or damage to, or any claim whatsoever of the owners of said cargo, paid or payable by the other or recovered by the other or non-carrying ship or her owners as part of their claim against the carrying ship or Owner. The foregoing provisions shall also apply where the owners, operators or those in charge of any ships or objects other than, or in addition to, the colliding ships or object are at fault in respect of a collision or contact.
[Clause 20(b) is continued in the next chapter]
56.1 This clause, like the Jason Clause,1 reflects United States law, under which the owner of cargo damaged in a collision can recover in full against any vessel whose fault caused or contributed to the collision. The effect of this is that the carrier may be rendered indirectly liable for damage to cargo carried by him, although caused by an excepted peril such as negligence in the navigation of the ship; and the purpose of the clause is to confer on the shipowner a right of indemnity in those circumstances.2 The clause has been inaccurately transcribed in the charter. For the correct version see clause 11 of the Gencon 1994 form. It remains to be decided whether there is any significance in the error. 56.2 In English law, the general rule regarding the liability of joint or concurrent tortfeasors is the same as in the United States, and each is liable in full. However, maritime collision is an exception to the general rule, and a shipowner or cargo owner whose property is damaged by collision is only entitled to recover from a vessel whose fault caused or contributed to the collision in proportion to the degree of that vessel’s fault.3

U.S. Law

56A.1 See Time Charters, paras 34A.22–34A.28.