44 - 04/98 - Container Shortages/Fines
We have heard from our Syrian correspondent that clausing a B/L 'Shipper's Load and Count' and/or ' Said to contain' is insufficent when defending claims and customs fines for shortages where containers are delivered with seals intact. It would appear both the lower courts and the Court of Cassation in Syria find the clauses insufficient proof that the shipowner has not had the opportunity to check the cargo.
Correspondents recommend that shipowners shipping containers in this region should ensure that the following clauses or similar be used for cargo imported into Syria.
"Vessel is not responsible for contents or weight declared by shipper"
"Container loaded and sealed by shipper in absence of the sea carrier. Master unable to check contents due to a lack of adequate means and for the sake of prompt sailing from load port"
Source of Information:
P Whitehouse through M Bowen (A1)