Voyage Clause allows the ship to sail with or without pilots or tugs, to tow or to be towed and to call at any port in any order both on and off the advertised route and to carry certain goods on deck.
Hague-Visby Rules (Article 1c) excludes live animals and goods carried on deck from the definition of goods to which the Hague-Visby Rules apply. For deck cargo, the exclusion is only effective where the contract of carriage specifically states that the goods are carried on deck. A voyage clause which stated that cargo may be carried on deck does not have the effect of excluding the Hague-Visby Rules. Hague-Visby Rules may only be excluded by a precise statement in the Bill of Lading (B/L) that the particular cargo is actually being carried on deck. Such a statement in the Bill of Lading (B/L) would serve as a warning to consignees and endorsees of the Bill of Lading (B/L) that the goods which they were to take were being shipped as deck cargo. Consignees would thus have full knowledge of the facts when accepting the documents and would know that the carriage of these goods on deck was not subject to the obligations imposed on the carrier by the Hague-Visby Rules. In the absence of deck cargo statement in the Bill of Lading (B/L), the consignees or endorsees of the bill of lading would be entitled to assume that Hague-Visby Rules’ obligations were so imposed.