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Does the one yr time bar in Hague (Visby) Rules apply to ‘misdelivery’ claims?

Does the one yr time bar in Hague rules apply to ‘misdelivery’ claims? What if the claimant commences proceedings in a foreign court in breach of the exclusive jurisdiction clause within the one yr limit. Is Article III Rule 6 of Hague rules satisfied?

These two questions came up in The Alhani [2018] where cargo of fuel oil was discharged via STS without production of B/L. Cargo interests brought proceedings in Tunisia within the 1yr time limit. The B/L had a English jurisdiction clause. Claim was brought in English court but this was well outside the one year limit.

First question was answered in ‘yes’, as long as the misdelivery occurred during the Hague rules period of responsibility, as agreed between the parties (either in B/L or C/P). Moreover pumping the cargo to the wrong party was a breach of Art.III Rule 2 obligation to “properly and carefully load……and discharge the goods…” Besides other sources, Court notably also made reference to Voyage Charters, 4th edn. As for the second question, the court held the Tunisian proceedings to be in breach of exclusive jurisdiction clause and therefore could not be relied upon by the cargo interests in English courts.

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