City Research Online

An Analysis of Transport Documents

Zhao, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-8935-001X (2016). An Analysis of Transport Documents. In: Current Issues in Maritime and Transport Law. (pp. 1-28). San Lazzaro, Italy: Bonomo Editore.


The shipper is under an implied duty to inform the carrier of dangerous goods. The duty is one of strict liability under both Common law and the HagueVisby Rules. The carrier will (be able to) seek redress from the shipper for damages occasioned by such an undeclared shipment of dangerous goods. It is therefore prudent for the carrier to ensure that the shipper is identified so that the risk of dangerous cargo liability is allocated conclusively. Otherwise he risks forfeiting his right to compensation by initiating a claim against the wrong party. The shipper might be either the seller or the buyer of the goods or a party other than the seller or buyer. Identifying the “shipper” can however prove problematic, as the party appeared as the shipper in the bills of lading does not always necessarily become the original party under it. Depending on the sale contract that the parties enter into, the named shipper may be the agent of another party who is in fact the original party as the shipper. To ascertain the original party to the contract of carriage under the bills of lading therefore depends on the sale contract agreed between the seller and buyer. This is significant because there is apparently a gap between “Carriage of Goods by Sea Law” and “International Trade Law” in terms of the identification of the shipper. The aim of this paper is to fill this gap and accordingly, find how the risk of dangerous goods liability spreads at the loading stage to the parties of sale contract.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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