« AnteriorContinuar »
INVOICE. An account of goods sent by merchants to their correspondents at home or abroad, in which the peculiar marks, the numbers, the value, and contents of such packages are set forth; as also charges, such as freight, insurance, &c.
MANIFEST.-A document, signed by the master, containing the name or names of the place or places where the goods on board have been laden, and the place or places for which they are respectively destined; the name and tonnage of the vessel; the name of the master, and the name of the place to which the vessel belongs; a particular account and description of all the packages on board, with the marks and numbers thereon; the goods contained in such packages, goods stowed loose, the names of the respective shippers and consignees, as far as such particulars are known to the master. The manifest must be made out, dated, and signed by the master, at the place or places where the goods, or any part of the goods, are taken on board.
BILLS OF LADING.
BILLS OF LADING.-—An acknowledgment, signed usually by the master of a ship, certifying the receipt of goods on board, and engaging, under certain exceptions, to deliver the said goods safely at the port to which the ship is bound, either to the shipper or to such other person as he may signify by a written assignment upon the bills of lading, on the payment of the stipulated freight.
The exceptions in a bill of lading are-the Act of God, the Queen's enemies, fire, and all and every other accidents and dangers of the seas, rivers and navigation of whatever kind or nature soever. Sometimes these exceptions are limited in particular trades; thus, in the trade to and from the West Indies, the following limitation is added: "save risk of boats, so far as ships are liable thereto;" but the exception does not make the owner or master liable for a loss in the boats to which they would not be liable in the ship to which the boats belong. The bills of lading determine the contents of the cargo of a ship. Although the goods are shipped in pursuance of a charter-party, yet the master must sign bills of lading-the former being the instrument
and evidence of the contract for the shipping and conveyance; and the latter being the evidence of and title to the particular goods shipped for conveyance under that contract.
On delivery of the goods on board, the master or his mate signs a common receipt for them, which must be returned to the master, or cancelled, on the bills of lading being delivered. Bills of lading ought to be signed within 24 hours after the delivery of the goods on board, the master having satisfied himself as to the quantity shipped and the condition in which they are shipped. The bills of lading should always be read previous to signing, as objectionable clauses might be inserted.
Three stamped bills of lading are usually made out, one for the merchant or shipper-another (which is sent by post) for his agent or consignee and a third is retained by the master for his own use and security, and for his guidance in delivering the goods.
When the quantity, quality, or condition of the goods, or the contents of the casks, bales, or packages, are unknown, or the goods are liable to deterioration, the master ought to qualify his obligations in the bills of lading, by writing under his signature, "Quantity and quality," or "Contents unknown," or "Not liable for deterioration."
When the ship is hired by a charter-party, the bills of lading are delivered by the master to the charterer, but when goods are sent by a general ship (that is, one in which the goods of several unconnected parties are laden, to be conveyed to the ship's port of destination), each person sending goods on board receive bills of lading for the same.
Upon delivery of the goods at the port of destination to the shippers' factors, or assigns, the giving up of the bills of lading sent to the factors or assigns is a sufficient discharge, but the master may insist on a receipt.
Bills of lading are transferable, either by blank or special endorsement, like ordinary bills of exchange, and the master is bound to deliver the goods to the holder producing the endorsed bill, who has acquired a legal right to it.
In case several parties claim the goods, or where there is a doubt as to who is entitled to delivery of them, the master should lodge the goods in the custody of a wharfinger or warehouseman, so as to preserve his lien for the freight; and he should do the same if no such bill of lading is produced to him during the lay days, or the demurrage days, when they are fixed; and then he should apply for a judicial authority to sell as much of the cargo as will pay the freight and charges.
* In bills of lading of a general ship to consignees in England from consignors abroad, in order to have a remedy for demurrage, take care to have inserted the clause "Consignees paying freight and demurrage.”
CHARTER-PARTY.-A contract in writing, between the owner or master of a ship and the freighter, by which the former lets the ship, or part of the ship, under certain specified conditions, for the conveyance of the goods of the freighter to some particular place or places. Generally, however, a charter-party is a contract for the use of the whole ship.
No precise form of words or set of stipulations is requisite in a charter-party. The forms of charter-party may, and indeed in many cases must, be varied to suit the views and intentions of the party concerned.
A charter-party specifies the nature of the voyage, and expresses the terms on which the cargo is carried. The owners or masters usually stipulate that the ship shall be tight, staunch, and strong, and in every respect seaworthy; well and sufficiently found with all the tackling, apparel, furniture, and provisions requisite, and with the proper complement of crew for the voyage; that the ship shall be ready by a day appointed to receive the cargo, and wait a certain number of days to take it on board; that, after lading, she shall sail with the first fair wind and opportunity for the port of destination (the dangers of the sea excepted), and there deliver the goods to the merchant or his assigns in the same condition they were received on board; and further, that during the course of the voyage the ship shall be kept tight and staunch, and furnished with sufficient men and other necessaries, to the best of the owner's endeavours. On the other hand, the merchant usually covenants to load and unload the ship within a limited number of days after she shall be ready to receive the cargo, and after arrival at the destined port, and to pay freight in the manner appointed. It is usual, also, for each of the parties to bind himself in penalties for non-performances of the covenants, articles, and agreements in the charterparty-it is signed by the contracting parties and a witness.
A charter-party is generally under seal, but sometimes a printed or written instrument is signed by the parties, called a memorandum of a charter-party; and this, if a formal charter-party be not afterwards executed, is binding. But in whatever form the writing may be, it must bear a stamp, in terms of the Stamp Act.
A charter-party when the ship is let at the place of the owner's residence, is generally executed by them, or some of them (and frequently by the master also), and by the merchant or his agent. In a foreign port it must necessarily be executed by the master or the owner's authorised agent (if such there be) and the freighter or his agent.
A charter-party executed by the master in his name, when he is in a foreign port, in the usual course of the ship's employment, and therefore, under circumstances which do not afford evidence of fraud, or when it is executed by him at home, under circumstances which afford evidence of the expressed or implied assent of the owners, is binding upon the owner.
The freighter may load the ship either with his own goods or with the goods of another, or he may re-let the whole or part to others, provided there is no clause in the charter-party prohibiting him from so doing.
The charter-party usually expresses the burden of the vessel; and, in so doing, care should be taken to state it according to the actual number of tons burden, or to the number in the certificate of registry.
The usual covenant, that the ship shall be seaworthy, and in a condition to carry the goods, binds the owner to prepare and complete everything to commence and fulfil the voyage.
The vessel must be properly dunnaged, agreeable to the usages of the trade in which she is engaged, or according as the nature of the cargo may require; and in the stowage of the cargo, the various articles must be arranged and placed in the most approved method, so as to prevent damage.
In all maritime transactions, expedition is of the utmost consequence -for even by a short delay the object or season of a voyage may be lost; and, therefore, if either party be not ready at the time appointed for the loading of the ship, the other may seek another ship or cargo, and bring an action to recover the damages he has sustained.
If the charter-party stipulates for a full and complete cargo, the master must take on board as much as he can, with safety and without injury to the ship; and the freighter is bound to furnish the same, either of his own goods or the goods of others.
The master must not take on board any contraband goods, or have in his possession any false or colourable papers, and so rendering the ship liable to seizure; but he must take and keep on board all the papers and documents required for the protection of the ship and cargo in all the countries to which he is trading.
If the master receive goods at the quay or beach, or send his boat for them, his responsibility commences with the receipt of them. With goods intended to be sent coastwise, the responsibility of the wharfinger ceases upon the delivery of them to the mate of the vessel, upon the wharf. As soon as he receives the goods, the master must provide adequate means for their protection and security.
After the vessel has been fully loaded, cleared at the Custom House, and all the requisite Customs and other documents on board, and all other charges paid, the master must, as soon as the weather permits, commence the voyage without delay, but not so as to sail into tempestuous weather, or during a gale.
During the time of war, it is a usual stipulation that vessels shall sail with convoy; under this obligation, the master must repair to the place of rendezvous in proper time, and be careful to procure all the instructions issued by the commander of the convoy; and if the master neglect to proceed with convoy, he will be answerable for all losses that may arise from the want of it.
Having commenced the voyage, the master must proceed to the port of destination without delay, and without stopping at any intermediate port, or deviating from the straight course of the voyage, unless in case of convoy, which the master must follow as far as possible. A deviation from the usual course may be justified for the purpose of repairs, or for avoiding an enemy or the perils of the sea, as well as by the sickness of the master or seamen, and the mutiny of the crew.
It is usually stipulated in charter-party and bills of lading that a certain number of days, called lay days, shall be allowed for loading and discharging the cargo, and that the freighter may detain the vessel for a further specified time on payment of a daily sum for such overtime (demurrage). If the vessel be detained beyond the two designated periods, the freighter is liable to an action on the contract, although the delay may not be attributable to any fault or omission on his part.
The lay days are either running days, including every day-or working days, excluding Sundays and Custom House holidays-or weather working days. The charter-party should specify whether they are working or running days.*
Notice should be given every day that the ship is on demurrage, and the amount of demurrage due claimed. On Saturday, the demurrage for the following Sunday should be claimed.
When no lay days are specified, the length of time for loading and unloading must be determined by the nature of the cargo, or by the usual and customary time allowed at the port.
If any clause of the charter-party is ambiguous, the interpretation should be liberal; or if the charter-party is silent in respect to any point, the usage of the trade in which the ship is employed must be adopted.
* In London, "days" mean "working days," and Sundays and holidays do not count until the ship is on demurrage. After that, all days count.