Application of the Hague Visby Rules

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It is seen in the EU context that different countries have different rules governing carriage by sea and therefore it had become necessary to have a set of rules that could be applied uniformly for all countries. The Hague and the Hague/Visby rules are designed to serve this purpose. Moreover, law and contractual obligations to each other bind trade partners, and therefore, all trading have to be done within the ambit of such contractual obligations. In case of any transactions coming outside the scope of trading agreements, this needs to be ratified by the respective partners, otherwise, the implications of litigations cannot be ruled out.. In the normal course, it is agreed by member countries that Hague/Visby rules would apply for all cases, except certain exceptional circumstances, all contracts of carriage of goods by sea, whether performed by mouth, or written, and not including cases under Article. 6, which envisages the issue of non-negotiable receipts for the carriage of non-ordinary goods. (The Hague-Visby Rules1993).It is interesting to note that the Hague/Visby Rules also apply even in cases concerning the Bill of Lading, whether or not, a Bill of Lading has actually been issued or not. The main aspect that the courts consider is the intention of the parties to make it a straight bill of lading contract or not. Further, it is seen that the time of application of The Hague and Hague/Visby Rules is from the time the goods are loaded until the time they are discharged. The expression ‘tackle to tackle’ assumed significance since the liability begins when tackles are hooked on to the ship at the time of loading, until the time tackles are removed, or the ship had crossed the port’s rails at the destination port. This assumed significance in the case of Pyrene Co. v. Scindia Steam Navigation Co[1954] 2 QB. 402 at pp. 419-420, [1954] 1 Lloyds Rep. 321 at p. 329.