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Sea-Carriage of Goods Act 1924

Act No. 22 of 1924 as amended, taking into account amendments up to Act No. 101 or 1979
Registered 07 Dec 2009
Start Date 31 Jan 1971
End Date 31 Oct 1991
Date of repeal 31 Oct 1991
Repealed by Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1991

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924
- Reprinted as at 31 December 1982 (HISTACT CHAP 167 #DATE 31:12:1982)

*1* The Sea-Carriage of Goods Act 1924 as shown in this reprint comprises Act No. 22, 1924 amended as indicated in the Tables below.
(The citation "Sea-Carriage of Goods Act 1924" is provided for by the Amendments Incorporation Act 1905 and the Acts Citation Act 1976.)
Table of Acts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Application,
saving
Number Date Date of or
transitional
Act and year of Assent commencement provisions
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sea-Carriage of
Goods Act 1924 22, 1924 17 Sept
1924 1 Jan 1925
(see Gazette
1924, p. 2125)
Statute Law
Revision Act 1973 216, 1973 19 Dec
1973 31 Dec 1973 Ss. 9 (1)
and 10
Sea-Carriage of
Goods Amendment
Act 1979 101, 1979 22 Oct
1979 31 Jan 1981
(see s. 2 and
Gazette 1981,
No. S7, p. 1) -
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Amendments
ad. = added or inserted am. = amended rep. =
repealed rs. = repealed and substituted
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Provision affected How affected
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
S. 3. . . . . . . . . rep. No. 216, 1973
S. 10 . . . . . . . . am. No. 101, 1979
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - TABLE OF PROVISIONS

TABLE

TABLE OF PROVISIONS

Section

1. Short title

2. Commencement

4. Application of Rules in Schedule

5. Absolute warranty of seaworthiness not implied

6. Provisions as to bills of lading

7. Received-for-shipment bills of lading

8. Bulk cargoes

9. Construction and jurisdiction

10. Saving

THE SCHEDULE

RULES RELATING TO BILLS OF LADING

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SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - LONG TITLE

SECT

An Act relating to the Sea-Carriage of Goods

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 1
Short title

SECT

1. This Act may be cited as the Sea-Carriage of Goods Act 1924. *1*

SEE NOTES TO FIRST ARTICLE OF THIS CHAPTER .

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 2
Commencement

SECT

2. This Act shall commence on a date to be fixed by Proclamation.*1*

SEE NOTES TO FIRST ARTICLE OF THIS CHAPTER .

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 4
Application of Rules in Schedule

SECT

4. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Rules contained in the Schedule to this Act (in this Act referred to as "the Rules") shall have effect in relation to and in connexion with the carriage of goods by sea in ships carrying goods from any port in the Commonwealth to any other port whether in or outside the Commonwealth.

(2) The Rules shall not by virtue of this Act apply to the carriage of goods by sea from a port in any State to any other port in the same State.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 5
Absolute warranty of seaworthiness not implied

SECT

5. There shall not be implied in any contract for the carriage of goods by sea to which this Act applies any absolute undertaking by the carrier of the goods to provide a seaworthy ship.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 6
Provisions as to bills of lading

SECT

6. Every bill of lading or similar document of title issued in the Commonwealth which contains or is evidence of any contract to which the Rules apply shall contain an express statement that it is to have effect subject to the provisions of the Rules as applied by this Act.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 7
Received-for-shipment bills of lading

SECT

7. A bill of lading issued in accordance with paragraph 3 of Article III of the Rules shall for all purposes be deemed to be a valid bill of lading with the like effect, and capable of negotiation in all respects and with the like consequences, as if it were a shipped bill of lading.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 8
Bulk cargoes

SECT

8. Where, under the custom of any trade, the weight of any bulk cargo inserted in the bill of lading is a weight ascertained or accepted by a third party other than the carrier or the shipper, and the fact that the weight is so ascertained or accepted is stated in the bill of lading, then, notwithstanding anything in the Rules, the bill of lading shall not be deemed to be prima facie evidence against the carrier of the receipt of goods of the weight so inserted in the bill of lading, and the accuracy thereof at the time of shipment shall not be deemed to have been guaranteed by the shipper.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 9
Construction and jurisdiction

SECT

9. (1) All parties to any bill of lading or document relating to the carriage of goods from any place in Australia to any place outside Australia shall be deemed to have intended to contract according to the laws in force at the place of shipment, and any stipulation or agreement to the contrary, or purporting to oust or lessen the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Commonwealth or of a State in respect of the bill of lading or document, shall be illegal, null and void, and of no effect.

(2) Any stipulation or agreement, whether made in the Commonwealth or elsewhere, purporting to oust or lessen the jurisdiction of the Courts of the Commonwealth or of a State in respect of any bill of lading or document relating to the carriage of goods from any place outside Australia to any place in Australia shall be illegal, null and void, and of no effect.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SECT 10
Saving

SECT

10. (1) Nothing in this Act shall affect the operation of Division 10 of Part IV, or Part VIII, of the Navigation Act 1912 or the operation of any other Act for the time being in force limiting the liability of the owners of sea-going vessels.

(2) The Rules shall not by virtue of this Act apply to any contract for the carriage of goods by sea made before the commencement of this Act.

SEA-CARRIAGE OF GOODS ACT 1924 - SCHEDULE 1

SCH

THE SCHEDULE
RULES RELATING TO BILLS OF LADING
ARTICLE I
Definitions
In these rules the following expressions have the meanings hereby assigned to
them respectively, that is to say-
(a) "Carrier" includes the owner or the charterer who enters into a
contract of carriage with a shipper;
(b) "Contract of carriage" applies only to contracts of carriage covered by
a bill of lading or any similar document of title, in so far as such document
relates to the carriage of goods by sea, including any bill of lading or any
similar document as aforesaid issued under or pursuant to a charter party from
the moment at which such bill of lading or similar document of title regulates
the relations between a carrier and a holder of the same;
(c) "Goods" includes goods, wares, merchandises, and articles of every kind
whatsoever, except live animals and cargo which by the contract of carriage is
stated as being carried on deck and is so carried;
(d) "Ship" means any vessel used for the carriage of goods by sea;
(e) "Carriage of goods" covers the period from the time when the goods are
loaded on to the time when they are discharged from the ship.

ARTICLE II
Risks
Subject to the provisions of Article VI, under every contract of carriage of
goods by sea, the carrier, in relation to the loading, handling, stowage,
carriage, custody, care and discharge of such goods, shall be subject to the
responsibilities and liabilities, and entitled to the rights and immunities
hereinafter set forth.

ARTICLE III
Responsibilities and Liabilities
1. The carrier shall be bound before and at the beginning of the voyage, to
exercise due diligence to-
(a) make the ship seaworthy;
(b) properly man, equip and supply the ship; and
(c) make the holds, refrigerating and cool chambers, and all other parts of
the ship in which goods are carried, fit and safe for their reception, carriage
and preservation.

2. Subject to the provisions of Article IV, the carrier shall properly and
carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for and discharge the goods
carried.

3. After receiving the goods into his charge, the carrier, or the master or
agent of the carrier, shall, on demand of the shipper, issue to the shipper a
bill of lading showing among other things-
(a) the leading marks necessary for identification of the goods as the same
are furnished in writing by the shipper before the loading of such goods starts,
provided such marks are stamped or otherwise shown clearly upon the goods if
uncovered, or on the cases or coverings in which such goods are contained, in
such a manner as should ordinarily remain legible until the end of the voyage;
(b) either the number of packages or pieces, or the quantity or weight, as
the case may be, as furnished in writing by the shipper;
(c) the apparent order and condition of the goods:
Provided that no carrier, master or agent of the carrier, shall be bound to
state or show in the bill of lading any marks, number, quantity or weight which
he has reasonable ground for suspecting not accurately to represent the goods
actually received or which he has had no reasonable means of checking.

4. Such a bill of lading shall be prima facie evidence of the receipt
by the carrier of the goods as therein described in accordance with paragraph 3
(a), (b), and (c).

5. The shipper shall be deemed to have guaranteed to the carrier the accuracy
at the time of shipment of the marks, number, quantity and weight, as furnished
by him, and the shipper shall indemnify the carrier against all loss, damages
and expenses arising or resulting from inaccuracies in such particulars. The
right of the carrier to such indemnity shall in no way limit his responsibility
and liability under the contract of carriage to any person other than the
shipper.

6. Unless notice of loss or damage and the general nature of such loss or
damage be given in writing to the carrier or his agent at the port of discharge
before or at the time of the removal of the goods into the custody of the person
entitled to delivery thereof under the contract of carriage, or, if the loss or
damage be not apparent, within three days, such removal shall be prima facie
evidence of the delivery by the carrier of the goods as described in the
bill of lading.

The notice in writing need not be given if the state of the goods has at the
time of their receipt been the subject of joint survey or inspection.

In any event the carrier and the ship shall be discharged from all liability
in respect of loss or damage unless suit is brought within one year after
delivery of the goods or the date when the goods should have been delivered.

In the case of any actual or apprehended loss or damage the carrier and the
receiver shall give all reasonable facilities to each other for inspecting and
tallying the goods.

7. After the goods are loaded the bill of lading to be issued by the carrier,
master or agent of the carrier, to the shipper shall, if the shipper so demands,
be a "shipped" bill of lading, provided that if the shipper shall have
previously taken up any document of title to such goods, he shall surrender the
same as against the issue of the "shipped" bill of lading, but at the option
of the carrier such document of title may be noted at the port of shipment by
the carrier, master or agent with the name or names of the ship or ships upon
which the goods have been shipped and the date or dates of shipment, and when so
noted the same shall for the purpose of this Article be deemed to constitute a
"shipped" bill of lading.

8. Any clause, covenant or agreement in a contract of carriage relieving the
carrier or the ship from liability for loss or damage to or in connexion with
goods arising from negligence, fault or failure in the duties and obligations
provided in this Article or lessening such liability otherwise than as provided
in these Rules, shall be null and void and of no effect.

A benefit of insurance or similar clause shall be deemed to be a clause
relieving the carrier from liability.

ARTICLE IV
Rights and Immunities
1. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be liable for loss or damage arising
or resulting from unseaworthiness unless caused by want of due diligence on the
part of the carrier to make the ship seaworthy, and to secure that the ship is
properly manned, equipped and supplied, and to make the holds, refrigerating and
cool chambers and all other parts of the ship in which goods are carried fit and
safe for their reception, carriage and preservation in accordance with the
provisions of paragraph 1 of Article III.

Whenever loss or damage has resulted from unseaworthiness, the burden of
proving the exercise of due diligence shall be on the carrier or other person
claiming exemption under this section.

2. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible for loss or damage
arising or resulting from-
(a) act, neglect or default of the master, mariner, pilot or the servants of
the carrier in the navigation or in the management of the ship;
(b) fire, unless caused by the actual fault or privity of the carrier;
(c) perils, dangers and accidents of the sea or other navigable waters;
(d) act of God;
(e) act of war;
(f) act of public enemies;
(g) arrest or restraint of princes, rulers or people, or seizure under legal
process;
(h) quarantine restrictions;
(i) act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods, his agent or
representative;
(j) strikes or lock-outs or stoppage or restraint of labour from whatever
cause, whether partial or general;
(k) riots and civil commotions;
(l) saving or attempting to save life or property at sea;
(m) wastage in bulk or weight or any other loss or damage arising from
inherent defect, quality or vice of the goods;
(n) insufficiency of packing;
(o) insufficiency or inadequacy of marks;
(p) latent defects not discoverable by due diligence;
(q) any other cause arising without the actual fault or privity of the
carrier, or without the fault or neglect of the agents or servants of the
carrier, but the burden of proof shall be on the person claiming the benefit of
this exception to show that neither the actual fault or privity of the carrier
nor the fault or neglect of the agents or servants of the carrier contributed to
the loss or damage.

3. The shipper shall not be responsible for loss or damage sustained by the
carrier or the ship arising or resulting from any cause without the act, fault
or neglect of the shipper, his agents or his servants.

4. Any deviation in saving or attempting to save life or property at sea, or
any reasonable deviation shall not be deemed to be an infringement or breach of
these Rules or of the contract of carriage, and the carrier shall not be liable
for any loss or damage resulting therefrom.

5. Neither the carrier nor the ship shall in any event be or become liable for
any loss or damage to or in connexion with goods in an amount exceeding One
hundred pounds per package or unit, or the equivalent of that sum in other
currency, unless the nature and value of such goods have been declared by the
shipper before shipment and inserted in the bill of lading.

This declaration if embodied in the bill of lading shall be prima facie
evidence, but shall not be binding or conclusive on the carrier.

By agreement between the carrier, master or agent of the carrier and the
shipper another maximum amount than that mentioned in this paragraph may be
fixed, provided that such maximum shall not be less than the figure above named.

Neither the carrier nor the ship shall be responsible in any event for loss or
damage to or in connexion with goods if the nature or value thereof has been
knowingly misstated by the shipper in the bill of lading.

6. Goods of an inflammable, explosive or dangerous nature to the shipment
whereof the carrier, master or agent of the carrier, has not consented, with
knowledge of their nature and character, may at any time before discharge be
landed at any place or destroyed or rendered innocuous by the carrier without
compensation, and the shipper of such goods shall be liable for all damages and
expenses directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from such shipment.

If any such goods shipped with such knowledge and consent shall become a
danger to the ship or cargo, they may in like manner be landed at any place or
destroyed or rendered innocuous by the carrier without liability on the part of
the carrier except to general average, if any.

ARTICLE V
Surrender of Rights and Immunities, and Increase of Responsibilities and
Liabilities
A carrier shall be at liberty to surrender in whole or in part all or any of
his rights and immunities or to increase any of his responsibilities and
liabilities under the Rules contained in any of these articles, provided such
surrender or increase shall be embodied in the bill of lading issued to the
shipper.

The provisions of these Rules shall not be applicable to charterparties, but
if bills of lading are issued in the case of a ship under a charterparty they
shall comply with the terms of these Rules. Nothing in these Rules shall be held
to prevent the insertion in a bill of lading of any lawful provision regarding
general average.

ARTICLE VI
Special Conditions
Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding Articles, a carrier, master or
agent of the carrier, and a shipper shall in regard to any particular goods be
at liberty to enter into any agreement in any terms as to the responsibility and
liability of the carrier for such goods, and as to the rights and immunities of
the carrier in respect of such goods, or his obligation as to seaworthiness, so
far as this stipulation is not contrary to public policy, or the care or
diligence of his servants or agents in regard to the loading, handling, stowage,
carriage, custody, care and discharge of the goods carried by sea, provided that
in this case no bill of lading has been or shall be issued and that the terms
agreed shall be embodied in a receipt which shall be a non-negotiable document
and shall be marked as such.

Any agreement so entered into shall have full legal effect:
Provided that this Article shall not apply to ordinary commercial shipments
made in the ordinary course of trade, but only to other shipments where the
character or condition of the property to be carried or the circumstances, terms
and conditions under which the carriage is to be performed, are such as
reasonably to justify a special agreement.

ARTICLE VII
Limitations on the Application of the Rules
Nothing herein contained shall prevent a carrier or a shipper from entering
into any agreement, stipulation, condition, reservation or exemption as to the
responsibility and liability of the carrier or the ship for the loss or damage
to or in connexion with the custody and care and handling of goods prior to the
loading on and subsequent to the discharge from the ship on which the goods are
carried by sea.

ARTICLE VIII
Limitation of Liability
The provisions of these Rules shall not affect the rights and obligations of
the carrier under any statute for the time being in force relating to the
limitation of the liability of owners of sea-going vessels.

ARTICLE IX
The monetary units mentioned in these Rules are to be taken to be gold value.