Ship Stowage Plan

General cargo is frequently loaded and discharged at several ports during one voyage; indeed goods may be discharged at one port simultaneously with separate cargo being loaded. Since it is labor intensive and time-consuming to unload items alongside, only to rest ow them after other items have been located and discharged, much care must be taken over the order in which goods are stowed, their location being carefully marked on a stowage plan and/or a cargo manifest. Articles properly recorded in such a way should rarely be forgotten and thus less prone to over carriage, whereby goods for a particular port are missed during tallying of unladen cargo and mistakenly carried forward. Unless the charterparty contains an express provision to the contrary, the obligation to load and discharge the cargo is on the ship owners (The Filikos [1983]). Both under the Hague Rules and the Hague-Visby Rules, as respectively enacted in England in 1924 and 1971, ship owners and charterers are free to determine what part if any either shall play in the stowage of the cargo. NYPE 1946 form. Clause 8 (at line 78) of the NYPE 1946 form provides: ‘and Charterers are to load, stow and trim the cargo at their expense under the supervision of the Captain’. The effect of the unamended Clause 8 of the NYPE 1946 form is to transfer responsibility to the charterers from whom the owners would be entitled to an indemnity. Even if the charterers’ stowage renders the vessel unseaworthy the owner does not have any responsibility in law to the charterer for damages consequent on the charterers’ improper stowage. The parties can (and often do) add the words ‘and discharge’ after the word ‘trim’ in clause 8 so that the primary responsibility for discharge is also put on the charterers. However, where the words ‘and discharge’ are not added the position will be the same if it is usual in the trade for the charterers, their servants and agents to provide and pay for stevedores at ports of discharge. Where parties wish the owners to be primarily responsible for the loading, stowing and trimming and discharging of the cargo they amend clause 8 of the NYPE 1946 form to include the words ‘and responsibility’ after the word ‘supervision’. Thus, under an amended Clause 8 of the NYPE 1946 form, the responsibility for loading, stowing and trimming rests with the owners unless it can be shown that the charterers have intervened and in intervening have caused the relevant loss or damage. The amended clause 8 covers loss and damage to the ship as well as loss and damage to the cargo, so that the owner remains liable for all loss and damage arising from bad loading and stowage (and where included discharge). NYPE 1993 form. Clause 8 of the NYPE 1993 form provides (inter alia):, … the Charterers shall perform all cargo handling, including but not limited to loading, stowing, trimming, lashing, securing, dunnaging, unlashing, discharging, and tallying, at their risk and expense; under the supervision of the Master.’ Thus the primary responsibility for loading and discharging the cargo is on the charterers under the NYPE 1993 form. Baltime Form. Clause 4 of the Baltime Form provides that the charterers are to ‘arrange and pay for’ loading, trimming, stowing and unloading. Thus responsibility for these operations rests on the charterers irrespective of whether the Hague Rules are incorporated into the charterparty or not.