Northern Ireland

Where the cargo is damaged during the course of loading or discharging the carrier would be liable under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules and the only question would be whether it could rely on the limit of liability or the time bar. In such a case a stevedore should have no difficulty in claiming the equivalent immunity. The Himalaya clause enables a sub-contractor to defend a claim by the cargo-owner. Most clauses simply extend to the sub-contractor every right, exemption limitation, condition defence and immunity to which the carrier is entitled.  Under the Himalaya clause the carrier is deemed to be acting as agent or trustee on behalf of its servants or agents and they are deemed to be parties to the contract of carriage. The consideration is the performance by the stevedores of the loading and discharging operations and it does not matter that the stevedores may already be under an obligation to the carrier to perform the operations. Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1924, section 3, every bill of lading issued in Britain or Northern Ireland to which the Hague Rules applied had to contain an express statement that “it is to have effect subject to the provisions of the said Rules as applied by this Act”. That express statement was usually known as a Clause Paramount since it recorded that there was a set of rules which would have supremacy under the terms of the contract. The 1924 Act applied only to outward shipments from Britain so that the Clause Paramount was effective to incorporate the Rules contractually in other voyages. Most states enacting the Hague Rules include a similar requirement that bills should have a clause paramount. An example is the United States Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1986, and it applies to contracts of carriage to or from U.S. ports in foreign trades.