The demand by shippers for the issue of a ‘Clean’ B/L by a shipowner/carrier, despite observed damage to cargo, is a global problem. It undoubtedly occurs hundreds of times or more each day. Such circumstances actually oblige the Master to state the nature of the observed damage on the face of the relevant B/L. However, if he does this, the B/L will become a ‘Dirty’ B/L and is effectively worthless to a seller/ shipper as the key to payment for the sale of the cargo. This article looks into the background and underlying reasons for the ‘Clean’ and ‘Dirty’ B/L problem together with the legality of the LOI’s commonly provided by shippers and charterers in an attempt to overcome it.
- Brief reviews of Bill of Lading (BOL) and principal functions
- Clean and dirty problem of BOLs
- The legality of the letters of indemnity (LOI) provided by shippers and charterers
- LOI enforceability and fraudulence
- Solutions and asset integrity
Capt. Robert Gordon is a Master Mariner and English Solicitor with over 20 years of sea-going experience on board tankers, bulk carriers, reefers and OSV’s. He practised as a Partner with maritime lawyers, Thomas Cooper in London and later established SEAsia P&I Services together with a network of 20 regional offices throughout Asia. After many years of experience as a maritime lawyer and leading P&I correspondent, he is now actively engaged in providing maritime executive education at NTU, Singapore, and the BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, as well as claims consultancy to several P&I Clubs.
Robert is IBC Asia’s course directors for a number of maritime and shipping training programmes. His seminars, Essentials of Shipping (Singapore, 1-2 April 2019) and Shipping Law and Contract (Hong Kong, 3-4 April 2019) will provide industry attendees both fundamental and advanced knowledge in the shipping business, trade routes, regulatory compliance and key issues in shipping contracts.
Part of the Training Programme: Shipping Law & Contract Fundamentals, HK (3-4 April)
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Time: 3 pm (Singapore time, +8 GMT)
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