Cargo Survey

The Master is obliged to deliver the cargo in the same good order that he received it.  This is why it is important for any defects found during the loading to be noted on the Bill of Lading, failing which the Master will be responsible for these defects even though they were present before shipment. Against a genuine cargo claim there is no defence.  However, as some regimes are expert in “constructing” cargo claims, a Ship manager must be fully aware of the steps he can take to minimise the risk of being subjected to an “optimistic” cargo claim – always remembering that some countries demand a cash deposit against cargo claims before the ship is allowed to sail and that subsequently, by the merest chance, the cargo claim is found to be of the same size as the cash deposit.  In order to protect the Owner’s interest the Manager should ensure that: In the event of bad weather on the voyage the Master should always “Note Protest” on his arrival.  That is to appear before a Notary Public or the appropriate local official of the country to declare that the vessel encountered adverse weather during the voyage. For steel cargoes the P & I Club’s requirement of a pre-shipment survey of the cargo be strictly followed and an independent survey at the discharge port be effected. In the event of a homogenous cargo, either bagged or bulk, to a country notorious for a flexible approach to cargo claims the Master should arrange for the customs to seal the hatches at the loading port.  The Master should also arrange, in conjunction with the P & I Club representatives, to carry out a draft survey before the discharge starts and upon completion of discharge and in addition, in the case of a non bulk cargo, a check tally. In the event of any doubt consult with the P & I Club and follow their recommendations.