Hague-Visby Rules

The Hague-Visby Rules provide by article IV, rule 6 that if inflammable explosive or dangerous goods are taken on board without knowledge of their nature and without the consent of the master of the carrier or his agent, the goods may be landed or destroyed or rendered innocuous anywhere without any right of the goods’ owner to claim compensation. The shipper of such goods shall be liable for all damages and expenses directly arising out of or resulting from such shipment. It has even been decided that goods may be dangerous even though they are not inflammable or explosive or noxious but only endanger the free movement of the ship and cause unreasonable delay. A list of dangerous goods is contained in the IMDG Code (1990 ed) published by the IMO and most maritime nations have incorporated the code into statutes.  In the UK, statutory safety regulations taking effect under s. 85 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 currently include the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990 No 2605) and the Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Cargoes) Regulations 1997 (SI 1997 No 19).