As a Master how will you safeguard the owners interest with respect to cargo claims?

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Asked on June 9, 2021
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It is the responsibility of the carrier to properly load, stow, carry, care for and discharge the cargo. It is the responsibility of the Master to ensure that owners rights are always reserved with respect to cargo claims by ensuring below -

1. Master should be well familiar with the nature, properties, hazards and care instructions for the cargo
2. Master shall go through the Shipper's declaration of the cargo tendered prior loading and ensure that the properties such as Moisture Content, TML etc are within limits
3. Above should be compounded with checks by ship's staff while loading that the cargo is being loaded in suitable condition. Such eg may include - checking temperature of coal cargo being loaded, Random can test during loading of iron ore or visual inspection of steel cargo / grain cargo etc.
4. If the cargo being loaded in not found to be in suitable condition - Master has to inform the owners, charters, agents and issue a Notice of protest at the same time contacting P and I club after consultation with the Owners. Such NOP shall be accompanied with Photographs, videos, log book entries.
5. Master should reject such cargo and ask the stevedores to replace it
6. During transit, the Master, in accordance with the care instructions of the cargo shall ensure that all precautions shall be taken timely and in accordance with instructions provided by the Shipper. Such eg could include - ventilation in case of Grain.
7. If the weather experienced is adverse and Master assumes any possibility for damage to cargo OR because of the inclement weather he is not able to take precautions which is required by the ordinary practice of seamanship such as carrying out ventilation, he should bring this to the notice of Owners, Charters and issue a Note of Protest. Such events shall be recorded in the log book, supported by photographs, videos and temperature / weather / dew point records if applicable.
8. Similarly, Master shall ensure that the cargo is discharged in a condition in which it was loaded.
Master, in case of any doubt, should always consult the owners, charters in such matters.

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Posted by seawizard
Answered on June 11, 2021