Charterparties: Law, Practice and Emerging Legal Issues

Page 249


Clauses paramount

Clauses paramount

Professor Yvonne Baatz

13.1 Introduction

A clause paramount may be inserted in both a charterparty and in any bill of lading issued under that charterparty. The original purpose of a clause paramount was to make sure that the Hague Rules,2 which were intended to apply to certain bills of lading, did indeed apply to bills of lading. Although the Rules do not apply to charterparties, many charterparties also contain a clause paramount requiring any bill of lading issued under the charterparty to contain such a clause and applying the clause to the charterparty as well, so that the obligations under the charterparty and the bill of lading are therefore back-to-back. The clause paramount was relatively straightforward when the only international convention was the Hague Rules which had been widely adopted by maritime nations. However, the clause paramount has become much more complex owing to the proliferation of potential rules that could be mandatorily applicable to the bill of lading, such as the Hague-Visby3 or Hamburg Rules.4

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