Ship Cargoworthiness

The second ‘limb’ of the warranty was described thus by Viscount Finlay in his dissenting opinion in Elder, Dempster v. Paterson, Zochonis .“The “seaworthiness” which is in question in the present case is of a totally different nature, and relates to the fitness of the vessel for the reception of particular goods, and the absence of such fitness is described as “unseaworthiness”. It is unfortunate that for this purpose no more suitable term has been devised, as the use of the term “unseaworthiness” in this connection is apt to lead to confusion. The term “unseaworthy” is not apt to describe the unfitness of the vessel for the carriage of particular goods.” It was for this reason that it became usual to refer to this distinct second form of seaworthiness as “cargoworthiness”. ‘Cargoworthiness’ is a separate aspect of seaworthiness, which requires the vessel to be reasonably fit to receive and carry the cargo tendered. The MATIANA loaded lemons in Naples for carriage to London. The charter gave owners the liberty to call at a French port. Owing to the fact that she had previously been to a plague port, it was inevitable under existing French law that she would have to undergo deratisation by sulphur fumigation, if she called at any French port. As intended by owners, she called at Marseille where she underwent the required fumigation, which inevitably damaged the lemons. It was held that the vessel was unseaworthy, because she was unfit to receive and carry this particular cargo in the light of the mandatory enforcement of French sanitary or port regulations, which would inevitably damage such a cargo.