| Archives: August 2015

Award 1224 – N/Y Produce 1946 – Rice in bags – Congenbill B/L – Shortage and dama g e s to c a r go – L e t t e r s of undertaking – Subrogated insurers – Admissibility (yes) – Shipowner sea carrier – Shipowner’s liability for shortage (100 %) for losses due to mould (50 %). A vessel was time-chartered for a shipment of rice in bags from Vietnam to two ports in West Africa. Shortage and damage due to moisture were ascertained in both discharge ports. The claimant cargo insurers asserted that because the bills of lading were headed with the shipowner’s name, it should assume the responsibility of the sea carrier while the shipowner disputed the admissibility of the cargo insurers’claim as well as the description of sea carrier attributed to him. Firstly, the arbitrators declared the claim was admissible after havingv e r i fi e d t h e v a l i d i t y o f t h e subrogat ion. Then, they have considered that by allowing in the charter-party the time-charterer to sign the bills of lading on Master’s and/or Owners’ behalf and thus to enter in them the name of the owning company, the shipowner was in fact the sea carrier, and legally linked towards the bills of lading holders. Therefore, they judged that the shipowner was liable for the shortage but, as far as damage due to moisture was concerned, the amount was to be shared with the time-charterer whose fault the shipowner could take advantage of in order to mitigate his liability.