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COMMITTEE ON THE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES
WALLACE H. WHITE, JR., Maine, Chairman
SCHUYLER OTIS BLAND, Virginia.
CLAY STONE BRIGGS, Texas.
GEORGE W. LINDSAY, New York.
RUBY C. HUTCHINSON, Clerk
RELATING TO THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA
MONDAY, MARCH 3, 1930
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, COMMITTEE ON THE MERCHANT MARINE AND FISHERIES,
Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10.30 o'clock, a. m., Hon. Wallace H. White, jr. (chairman), presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. This hearing is called by previous decision of the committee for the purpose of holding hearings on H. R. 3830, a bill relating to the carriage of goods by sea.
(H. R. 3830, Seventy-first Congress, first session)
A BILL Relating to the carriage of goods by sea Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That every bill of lading or similar document of title which is evidence of a contract for the carriage of goods by sea to or from ports of the United States, in foreign trade, shall have effect subject to the provisions of this act.
SECTION 1. When used in this act
(a) The term “carrier" includes the owner or the charterer who enters into a contract of carriage with a shipper;
(b) The term “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) The term "goods' ” includes goods, wares, merchandise, and articles of every kind whatsoever, except live animals and cargo which by the contract of carriage is stated as being carried on deck and is so carried;
(d) The term "ship” means any vessel used for the carriage of goods by sea;
(e) The term "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.
SEC. 2. Subject to the provisions of section 6, 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.
RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIABILITIES
Sec. 3. (1) The carrier shall be bound, before and at the beginning of the voyage, to exercise due diligence to
(a) Make the ship seaworthy;
(c) Make the holds, refrigerating and cooling chambers, and all other parts of the ship in which goods are carried, fit and safe for their reception, carriage, and preservation.
(2) 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 had no reasonable means of checking.
(4) Such a bill of lading shall be prima facie evidence of the receipt by the carrier of the goods as therein described in accordance with paragraphs (3) (a), (b), and (c), of this section.
(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, such removal shall be prima facie evidence of the delivery by the carrier of the goods as described in the bill of lading.
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 paragraph 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 the goods, arising from negligence, fault, or failure in the duties and obligations provided in this section, or lessening such
liability otherwise than as provided in this act, shall be null and void and of no effect. A benefit of insurance in favor of the carrier, or similar clause, shall be deemed to be a clause relieving the carrier from liability.
RIGHTS AND IMMUNITIES
SEC. 4. (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, refrigerating 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 (1) of section 3. Whenever 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.
(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;