Carriage of Goods by Sea Act


Published: 1926-03-22

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Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA [CH.331 – 1


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA
CHAPTER 331

CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of rules in Schedule.
4. Absolute warranty of seaworthiness not to be implied in contracts to which rules apply.
5. Statement as to application of rules to be included in bills of lading.
6. Modification of Article VI. of rules in relation to coasting trade.
7. Modification of rules 4 and 5 of Article III in relation to bulk cargoes.
8. Saving and operation.

SCHEDULE — Rules relating to Bills of Lading.




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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 331

CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA
An Act to make uniform the law with respect to the

carriage of goods by sea.
[Commencement 22nd March, 1926]

Whereas at the International Conference on Maritime
Law held at Brussels in October, one thousand nine
hundred and twenty-two, the delegates at the Conference,
including the delegates representing His Majesty, agreed
unanimously to recommend to their respective Govern-
ments to adopt as the basis of a convention a draft
convention for the unification of certain rules relating to
bills of lading:

And whereas at a meeting held at Brussels in
October, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three, the
rules contained in the said draft convention were amended
by the Committee appointed by the said Conference:

And whereas it is expedient that the said rules as so
amended and as set out with modifications in the Schedule
to this Act should, subject to the provisions of this Act, be
given the force of law with a view to establishing the
responsibilities, liabilities, rights and immunities attaching
to carriers under bills of lading:

1. This Act may be cited as the Carriage of Goods by
Sea Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“rules” means the rules in the Schedule to this Act.
3. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the rules

shall have effect in relation to and in connection with the
carriage of goods by sea in ships carrying goods from any
port in The Bahamas to any other port whether in or
outside the The Bahamas.

4. There shall not be implied in any contract for the
carriage of goods by sea to which the rules apply any
absolute undertaking by the carrier of the goods to provide
a seaworthy ship.

3 of 1926
5 of 1987
17 of 1989

Short title.

Interpretation.

Schedule.

Application of
rules in
Schedule.

Absolute
warranty of
seaworthiness
not to be implied
in contracts to
which rules
apply.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

5. Every bill of lading, or similar document of title,
issued in The Bahamas which contains or is evidence of
any contract to which the rules apply shall contain an
express statement that it is to have effect subject to the
provisions of the said rules as applied by this Act.

6. Article VI of the rules shall, in relation to the
carriage of goods by sea in ships carrying goods from any
port in The Bahamas to any other port in The Bahamas
have effect as though the said article referred to goods of
any class instead of to particular goods and as though the
proviso to the second paragraph of the said article were
omitted.

7. Where under the custom of any trade the weight
of any bulk cargo inserted in the bill of lading is a weight
ascertained or accepted by a third party other than the
carrier or the shipper and the fact that the weight is so
ascertained or accepted is stated in the bill of lading, then,
notwithstanding anything in the rules, the bill of lading
shall not be deemed to be prima facie evidence against the
carrier of the receipt of goods of the weight so inserted in
the bill of lading, and the accuracy thereof at the time of
shipment shall not be deemed to have been guaranteed by
the shipper.

8. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect
the operation of section 207 of the Merchant Shipping Act
and sections 3 and 4 of the Merchant Shipping (Maritime
Claims Limitation of Liability) Act, 1989 or the operation
of any other enactment for the time being in force limiting
the liability of the owners of seagoing vessels.

(2) The rules shall not by virtue of this Act apply to
any contract for the carriage of goods by sea made before
such day, not being earlier that the twenty-first day of
January, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-six, as the
Governor-General may by Order in Council direct, nor to
any bill of lading or similar document of title issued,
whether before or after such day as aforesaid, in pursuance
of any such contract as aforesaid.1


1 By Order in Council made on the sixteenth day of January nineteen hundred and

twenty-nine and published on the nineteenth day of January nineteen hundred and
twenty-nine as Gazette Notification No. 21 of nineteen hundred and twenty-nine, it was
directed that the twelfth day of February nineteen hundred and twenty-nine be
the date from which the rules apply.


Statement as to
application of
rules to be
included in bills
of lading.

Modification of
Article VI of
rules in relation
to coasting trade.

Modification of
rules 4 and 5 of
Article III in
relation to bulk
cargoes.

Saving and
Operation.
5 of 1987, Sch.
17 of 1989, s. 5
and Sch.
Ch. 268.
Ch. 281.

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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

SCHEDULE (Schedule 2)

RULES RELATING TO BILLS OF LADING

ARTICLE I
Definitions

In these Rules the following expressions have the meaning
hereby assigned to them respectively, that is to say —
(a) “Carrier” includes the owner or the charterer who enters

into a contract of carriage with a shipper;
(b) “Contract of Carriage” applies only to contracts of carriage

covered by a Bill of Lading or any similar document of
title, in so far as such document relates to the carriage of
goods by sea, including any Bill of Lading or any similar
document as aforesaid issued under or pursuant to a charter
party from the moment at which such Bill of Lading or
similar document of title regulates the relations between a
carrier and a holder of the same;

(c) “Goods” includes goods, wares, merchandises, and articles
of every kind whatsoever, except living animals and cargo
which by the contract of carriage is stated as being carried
on deck and is so carried;

(d) “Ship” means any vessel used for the carriage of goods by
sea;

(e) “Carriage of Goods” covers the period from the time when the
goods are loaded on to the time when they are discharged
from the ship.

ARTICLE II
Risks

Subject to the provisions of Article VI, under every contract
of carriage of goods by sea the carrier, in relation to the loading
handling, stowage, carriage, custody, care, and discharge of such
goods, shall be subject to the responsibilities and liabilities, and
entitled to the rights and immunities hereinafter set forth.

ARTICLE III
Responsibilities and Liabilities

1. The carrier shall be bound, before and at the beginning
of the voyage, to exercise due diligence to —
(a) Make the ship seaworthy;
(b) Properly man, equip, and supply the ship;

See Ch. 335.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(c) Make the holds, refrigeration and cool chambers, and all
other parts of the ship in which goods are carried, fit and
safe for their reception, carriage and preservation.
2. Subject to the provisions of Article IV, the carrier shall

properly and carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for
and discharge the goods carried.

3. After receiving the goods into his charge, the carrier, or
the master or agent of the carrier, shall, on demand of the
shipper, issue to the shipper a Bill of Lading showing among
other things —
(a) The leading marks necessary for identification of the goods

as the same are furnished in writing by the shipper before
the loading of such goods starts, provided such marks are
stamped or otherwise shown clearly upon the goods if
uncovered, or on the cases or coverings in which such
goods are contained, in such a manner as should ordinarily
remain legible until the end of the voyage;

(b) Either the number of packages, or pieces, or the quantity, or
weight, as the case may be, as furnished in writing by the
shipper;

(c) The apparent order and condition of the goods:
Provided that no carrier, master or agent of the carrier shall

be bound to state or show in the Bill of Lading any marks,
number, quantity or weight, which he has reasonable ground for
suspecting not accurately to represent the goods actually
received, or which he has no reasonable means of checking.

4. Such a Bill of Lading shall be a prima facie evidence of
the receipt by the carrier of the goods as therein described in
accordance with paragraphs 3(a), (b), and (c).

5. The shipper shall be deemed to have guaranteed to the
carrier the accuracy at the time of shipment of the marks,
number, quantity, and weight, as furnished by him, and the
shipper shall indemnify the carrier against all loss, damages, and
expenses arising or resulting from inaccuracies in such
particulars. The right of the carrier to such indemnity shall in no
way limit his responsibility and liability under the contract of
carriage to any person other than the shipper.

6. Unless notice of loss or damage and the general nature of
such loss or damage be given in writing to the carrier or his
agent at the port of discharge before or at the time of the
removal of the goods into the custody of the person entitled to
delivery thereof under the contract of carriage, or, if the loss or
damage be not apparent, within three days, such removal shall
be prima facie evidence of the delivery by the carrier of the
goods as described in the Bill of Lading.

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The notice in writing need not be given if the state of the
goods has at the time of their receipt been the subject of joint
survey or inspection.

In any event the carrier and the ship shall be discharged
from all liability in respect of loss or damage unless suit is
brought within one year after delivery of the goods or the date
when the goods should have been delivered.

In the case of any actual or apprehended loss or damage the
carrier and the receiver shall give all reasonable facilities to each
other for inspecting and tallying the goods.

7. After the goods are loaded the Bill of Lading to be
issued by the carrier, master or agent of the carrier, to the
shipper shall, if the shipper so demands, be a “shipped” Bill of
Lading:

Provided, that if the shipper shall have previously taken up
any document of title to such goods, he shall surrender the same
as against the issue of the “shipped” Bill of Lading, but at the
option of the carrier such document of title may be noted at the
port of shipment by the carrier, master, or agent with the name
or names of the ship or ships upon which the goods have been
shipped and the date or dates of shipment, and when so noted the
same shall for the purpose of this Article be deemed to constitute
a “shipped” Bill of Lading.

8. Any clause, covenant or agreement in a contract of
carriage relieving the carrier or the ship from liability for loss or
damage to or in connection with goods arising from negligence,
fault or failure in the duties and obligations provided in this
Article for lessening such liability otherwise than as provided in
these Rules, shall be null and void and of no effect.

A benefit of insurance or similar clause shall be deemed to
be a clause relieving the carrier from liability.

ARTICLE IV
Rights and Immunities

1. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be liable for loss or
damage arising or resulting from unseaworthiness unless caused
by want of due diligence on the part of the carrier to make the
ship seaworthy, and to secure that the ship is properly manned,
equipped and supplied, and to make the holds, refrigeration and
cool chambers and all other parts of the ship in which goods are
carried fit and safe for their reception, carriage and preservation
in accordance with the provisions of paragraph I of Article III.

Whatever loss or damage has resulted from unseaworthiness,
the burden of proving the exercise of due diligence shall be on the
carrier or other person claiming exemption under this section.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

2. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for
loss or damage arising or resulting from —
(a) act, neglect, or default of the master, mariner, pilot, or the

servants of the carrier in the navigation or in the
management of the ship;

(b) fire, unless caused by the actual fault or privity of the
carrier;

(c) perils, dangers and accidents of the sea or other navigable
waters;

(d) act of God;
(e) act of war;
(f) act of public enemies;
(g) arrest or restraint of princes, rulers or people, or seizure under

legal process;
(h) quarantine restrictions;
(i) act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods, his agent

or representative;
(j) strikes or lock-outs or stoppage or restraint of labour from

whatever cause, whether partial or general;
(k) riots and civil commotions;
(l) saving or attempting to save life or property at sea;
(m) wastage in bulk or weight or any other loss or damage arising

from inherent defect, quality, or vice of the goods;
(n) insufficiency of packing;
(o) insufficiency or inadequacy of marks;
(p) latent defects not discoverable by due diligence;
(q) any other cause arising without the actual fault or privity of

the carrier, or without the fault or neglect of the agents or
servants of the carrier, but the burden of proof shall be on
the person claiming the benefit of this exception to show
that neither the actual fault or privity of the carrier nor the
fault or neglect of the agents or servants of the carrier
contributed to the loss or damage.
3. The shipper shall not be responsible for loss or damage

sustained by the carrier or the ship arising or resulting from any
cause without the act, fault or neglect of the shipper, his agent or
his servants.

4. Any deviation in saving or attempting to save life or
property at sea, or any reasonable deviation shall not be deemed
to be an infringement or breach of these Rules or of the contract
of carriage, and the carrier shall not be liable for any loss or
damage resulting therefrom.

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5. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall in any event be or
become liable for any loss or damage to or in connection with
goods in an amount exceeding £100 per package or unit, or the
equivalent of that sum in other currency, unless the nature and
value of such goods have been declared by the shipper before
shipment and inserted in the Bill of Lading.

This declaration if embodied in the Bill of Lading shall be
prima facie evidence, but shall not be binding or conclusive on
the carrier. By agreement between the carrier, master or agent of
the carrier and the shipper another maximum amount than that
mentioned in this paragraph may be fixed, provided that such
maximum shall not be less than the figure above named.

Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible in any
event for loss or damage to or in connection with goods if the
nature or value thereof has been knowingly misstated by the
shipper in the Bill of Lading.

6. Goods of an inflammable, explosive or dangerous nature
to the shipment whereof the carrier, master or agent of the
carrier, has not consented, with knowledge of their nature and
character, may at any time before discharge be landed at any
place or destroyed or rendered innocuous by the carrier without
compensation, and the shipper of such goods shall be liable for
all damages and expenses directly or indirectly arising out of or
resulting from such shipment.

If any such goods shipped with such knowledge and consent
shall become a danger to the ship or cargo, they may in like manner
be landed at any place or destroyed or rendered innocuous by the
carrier without liability on the part of the carrier except to general
average, if any.

ARTICLE V
Surrender of Rights and Immunities, and Increase of Responsibilities

and Liabilities
A carrier shall be at liberty to surrender in whole or in part

all or any of his rights and immunities or to increase any of his
responsibilities and liabilities under the Rules contained in any
of these Articles, provided such surrender or increase shall be
embodied in the Bill of Lading issued to the shipper.

The provisions of these Rules shall not be applicable to charter-
parties, but if Bills of Lading are issued in the case of a ship under a
charter-party they shall comply with the terms of these Rules.
Nothing in these Rules shall be held to prevent the insertion in a Bill
of Lading of any lawful provision regarding general average.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

ARTICLE VI
Special Conditions

Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Articles, a
carrier, master or agent of the carrier, and a shipper shall in
regard to any particular goods be at liberty to enter into any
agreement in any terms as to the responsibility and liability of
the carrier for such goods, and as to the rights and immunities of
the carrier in respect of such goods, or his obligation as to
seaworthiness, so far as this stipulation is not contrary to public
policy, or the care or diligence of his servants or agents in regard
to the loading, handling, stowage, carriage, custody, care, and
discharge of the goods carried by sea, provided that in this case
no Bill of Lading has been or shall be issued and that the terms
agreed shall be embodied in a receipt which shall be a non-
negotiable document and shall be marked as such.

Any agreement so entered into shall have full legal effect:
Provided that this Article shall not apply to ordinary

commercial shipments made in the ordinary course of trade, but
only to other shipments where the character or conditions of the
property to be carried or the circumstances, terms and conditions
under which the carriage is to be performed, are such as reasonably
to justify a special agreement.

ARTICLE VII
Limitations on the Application of the Rules

Nothing herein contained shall prevent a carrier or a shipper
from entering into any agreement, stipulation, condition,
reservation or exemption as to the responsibility and liability of the
carrier or the ship for the loss or damage to or in connection with
the custody and care and handling of goods prior to the loading on
and subsequent to the discharge from the ship on which the goods
are carried by sea.

ARTICLE VIII
Limitation of Liability

The provisions of these Rules shall not affect the rights and
obligations of the carrier under any statute for the time being in force
relating to the limitation of the liability of owners of seagoing
vessels.

ARTICLE IX
The monetary units mentioned in these Rules are to be

taken to be gold value.

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