affreightment



affreightment defined in 1939 year

affreightment - Affreightment (Fr. affreteinent, the hiring of a ship);
affreightment - Term used to describe the contract under which a shipowner agrees, for hire, to carry goods in his ship. The remuneration is called freight. When a shipowner lets the whole of his ship in one contract, it is called chartering the ship; the hirer is called the charterer; and the document is called the charter-party. A charter-party may be for a voyage or voyages, as for the round voyage to Rio de Janeiro and back; or for a period, as for a year, in which case it is spoken of as a time charter. When the shipowner does not charter his ship, but carries goods for a number of persons, the contract of affreightment is called a bill of lading.

By the common law of England, founded, in this case, on old maritime custom common to all seafarers in Europe, a shipowner who agrees to carry goods in his ship is liable for their safety at all hazards, except: (1) Act of God. Act of the king's enemies. Loss occasioned by the inherent defect of the thing carried: as where a horse, while being carried, plunges and kicks and hurts itself; or where combustible goods, owing to the rolling of the ship, ignite; or where goods are defectively packed. But not where he has notice, of the dangerous character of the goods, or their defective packing. (4) Where goods are jettisoned, i. e. are thrown overboard to lighten the ship when it is in danger.

For long, however, shipowners have introduced special clauses limiting very severely their Common Law liability. They may still include such clauses in any charter-parties and in bills of lading outside the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1924. This Act applies only to shipments abroad from a port in this country. Special agreements may still be made for goods not " ordinary commercial shipments made in the ordinary course of trade. " The present British law now conforms with the recommendations of an International Conference held at Brussels in 1922.

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