| Archives: March 2007

Award N°1137 – Carriage of rice under b/l – Cargo damage – Owner liable as carrier – Inherent vice (No) – Circumstances surrounding the voyage not correctly assessed (Yes) – Lack of appropriate care to the cargo (Yes) – Unseaworthiness (Yes). Following the carriage of a cargo of rice from Dalian to Monrovia where extensive damages (mould) occurred, the owner, who issued bills of lading, was held liable based on the (unamended) Brussels Convention insofar that the inherent vice has not been established. The intrinsic quality of the rice can neither spoil, nor deteriorate, nor impair under the sole effect of an usual low temperature, inasmuch that cargo sweat resulting from the voyage is a mere element of the transport and refers to the absolute seaworthiness obligation required. It was up to the carrier to protect the cargo against sweat, alternatively, not to accept this specific cargo for loading.