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The terminology 'cargo claims' can encompass financial losses?

As matter of ordinary language ‘cargo claims’ typically refer to physical loss of or damage to cargo. But can ‘financial losses’ suffered due to fall in cargo value resulting from deviation/delay also be forwarded as cargo claims? Well the answer quite depends on the terms of the contractual document.

In London Arbitration 4/19 a vessel was chartered in NYPE form which incorporated ICA. One of the C/P clauses stated that when trading between certain areas "charterers fully liable for all cargo claims howsoever caused, including unseaworthiness". Vessel had to deviate amounting to breach of charter and delivery of cargo was delayed. Sound arrived value of the cargo fell substantially resulting in the cargo receivers suffering a loss of nearly 300,000$, which the charterers settled. Later, the charterers deducted this from the hire amount, to which the owners objected.

Owners contended that as per C/P, the charterers were liable for the ‘financial loss’ as they had agreed to bear all cargo claims. Tribunal decided in owners’ favour since ICA had been incorporated in C/P. 1996 Agreement of ICA defined “cargo claims” as “claims for loss, damage ... overcarriage of or delay to cargo”. Had ICA not been incorporated, the outcome could have been different.

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