Societe De Distribution De Toutes Merchandises En Cote D'Ivoire (trading as "SDTM-CI") and others v Continental Lines N.V. and another

Shipping – Bill of lading. The claimants brought a claim against the defendants in respect of loss and damage caused to bags of rice shipped on a vessel by the first defendant carrier under bills of lading. The Commercial Court, in determining a preliminary issue, held that, construing the contracts of carriage as a whole and applying settled law, the charterparty incorporated in the bills of lading had imposed responsibility on the charterers or cargo interests for bad loading and discharge of the cargo. To the extent that it was established that damage to the bags of rice had been caused by bad loading and/or discharge, as opposed to bad stowage, that damage had been the responsibility of the cargo interests who could not recover in respect of such damage from the carrier.

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