The courts have held that in circumstances where cargo was not first discharged from a vessel due to contamination but on-carried to an Alternative Discharge Port the time limit would run from the date of actual discharge. That is to say from the date upon which the cargo was discharged at the ultimate discharge port.
Neither the carrier not the ship should 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 Article III.
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 Article.
Hague Visby Article IV Rule 1, in effect, restates Shipowners’ obligation under Article III Rule 1 to exercise due diligence in relation to the seaworthiness of the vessel and then goes on to say that in circumstances where the owners have exercised such due diligence then the owner will be entitled to rely upon the defences available to them under Article IV.