| Archives: August 2008

Award N°1156 – Charter-party bill of lading – Bagged rice – Cargo damage and shortage – Paramount clause and applicable law – Liability of the sea-carrier. Parties disagree on the interpretation of the Paramount clause. The owner alleges that Hamburg rules should apply because India (country where the cargo was loaded) did not ratify the Brussels Convention of 1924 and that Senegal (country where the cargo was discharged) ratified the Convention of Hamburg of 1978 (its « corresponding legislation »). Arbitrators held that the word « enacted » does not bear the same meaning that the word « ratified ». The word « enactment » relates to the procedure by which the Brussels Convention was, or was not, transposed into the national legal system of the country of loading. This is the case of India which transposed into its national legal system (« Carriage of goods by sea Act » of 1925) the articles of the Brussels Convention which apply to the case. The owner, as sea carrier, being unable to bring himself within any excepted case is liable for cargo damage and shortage as evidenced at the discharging port.