Incorporation of Charter Party into Bill of Lading

Monday, April 14, 2003
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that when a charter party is clearly identified in a bill of lading, it may be incorporated into the bill of lading. In the instant case, the time charter for the vessel included a clause providing for arbitration of disputes via a specific procedure. The time charterer then entered into a voyage charter for carriage of steel coils from Latvia to New Orleans. Bills of lading were then executed by the charterer and the shipper for shipment of a cargo of steel coils. The bills of lading stated that they incorporated all terms and conditions of the time charter. The steel coils were delivered in a damaged condition and the shipper sought local arbitration. The vessel owner's objection was overruled by the trial court. On appeal, the court held that the evidence showed that the intent of the parties when the bills of lading were executed was to incorporate the provisions of voyage charter into the bills of lading. Source: HK Law
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