Terms and Conditions


  1. Definitions
    1. Carrier is Universal Africa Lines LTD. registered at Corner Spyros Kyprianou & Kalliltheas 2 Office 202 4001 Limassol Cyprus
    2. Merchant shall include the shipper, the receiver, the consignee, the holder of this bill of lading and the owner of the cargo.
    3. Goods include vehicles, trailers, containers or other equipment carried together with their contents, if any, which hereinafter shall be collectively called ‘the goods”.
  2. Applicable law and Clause Paramount
    The law of The Netherlands, in which The Hague-Visby Rules are incorporated, shall apply. Nevertheless, if the law of any other country would be compulsory applicable, The Hague-Visby Rules as laid down in the Treaty of Brussels of the 25th of August 1924 and amended as the Protocol of Brussels of the 23rd of February 1968 shall apply, save where the Hamburg Rules of the UN Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea of 1978 would apply compulsorily, in which case the Hamburg Rules shall apply. If any stipulation, exception and condition of these conditions would be found inconsistent with The Hague-Visby Rules or Hamburg Rules, or any compulsory law, only such stipulation, exception and condition or part thereof, as the case may be, shall be invalid. In case of carriage by sea from or to a port of the USA, this bill of lading shall have effect subject to the provisions of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of the United States, approved 16 April 1936, which shall be deemed to be incorporated herein, and nothing herein contained shall be deemed a surrender by the carrier of any of its rights or immunities or an increase of any of its responsibilities or liabilities under said Act. The provisions stated in said Act shall ‘except as may be otherwise specifically provided herein’ govern before the goods are loaded on and after they are discharged from the ship and throughout the entire time the goods are in custody of the carrier. The carrier shall not be liable in any capacity whatsoever for any delay, non-delivery or mis-delivery, or loss of or damage to the goods occurring while the goods are not in the actual custody of the carrier.
  3. Jurisdiction
    Any claim or dispute arising under these conditions shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the District Court of Rotterdam at first instance and no other Court shall have jurisdiction.
  4. Responsibility
    1. Port to Port shipment.
      Where the carriage embodied in these conditions is a port to port shipment, then the carrier shall not be liable for loss of or damage to the goods during the period before loading into and after discharge from the vessel, howsoever such loss or damage may arise. Loading and discharge take place when the goods pass the vessel’s rail or ramp. When the goods are in the custody of the carrier and/or his subcontractors before loading and after discharge, they are in such custody for the risk and account of the merchant without any liability of the carrier. When the place of origin or final destination of the goods is other than the port of loading or port of discharge, the carrier may take care of the forwarding to the port of loading and/or from the port of discharge, but the carrier shall perform this service only as forwarding agent for the merchant without accepting any liability for loss damage or delay.
    2. Combined transport.
      Where the carriage embodied in these conditions is combined transport, then the liability of the carrier shall be governed by the rules of law applicable to each part of the transport, in particular as follows by sea and inland waterway: the Hague-Visby Rules; by road: the CMR Convention of Geneva, 19th of May 1956 with the Geneva Protocol dated 5th of July 1978; by rail: the CIM Convention of Bern, dated the 7th of February 1970.
      These rules will be set aside in case they are inconsistent with the conditions of carriage, unless the rules are mandatory law.
      The merchant is liable towards the carrier for all damage and loss sustained by the carrier and/or his subcontractors, which may be caused by the merchant’s cargo.
  5. Loading, Discharging and Delivery
    of the cargo shall be arranged by the carrier or his agent, unless otherwise agreed. Landing, storing and taking delivery shall be for the merchant’s account. Any lighterage in or off the ports of loading or discharge shall be for the merchant’s account. Loading and discharging may commence without previous notice. The merchant shall tender the goods when the vessel is ready to load and as fast as the vessel can receive and – but only if required by the carrier – also outside ordinary working hours notwithstanding any custom of the port. Otherwise the carrier shall be at liberty to discharge the goods and any discharge to be deemed as true fulfillment of the contract. The merchant shall bear all overtime charges in connection with tendering and taking delivery of the goods as above. If the goods are not applied for within a reasonable time, the carrier shall be entitled to proceed to sell and dispose of the goods privately or by auction. The merchant shall accept his reasonable proportion of unidentified loose cargo. The cargo for this Bill of Lading has been accepted on the understanding that immediate clearance and direct delivery will be effected at the port of discharge or at the place of delivery. Failure to comply may result in payment of additional charges for double handling and storage. In case of combined transport by rail to the final destination, delivery shall be deemed to have been fulfilled, if and when the railway wagon has arrived at the station of the final destination and has been duty tendered to the merchant.
  6. Deck cargo
    The carrier shall be entitled to stow any goods either on deck or below deck at his option.
  7. Substitute of vessel
    The carrier shall be at liberty to carry out the transport wholly or partly by a nominated vessel or substitute thereof or by other means of transport, proceeding either directly or indirectly from the port of loading to the port of discharge and to transship the goods.
  8. Exceptions
    The carrier shall not be liable for any damages and/or losses resulting from delay, howsoever and whensoever caused. Furthermore the carrier shall not be liable for any damages to and/or losses of goods, which are carried on deck and thus stated at the front side hereof, as well as live animals.
  9. Indemnification
    The merchant agrees to indemnify the carrier against at claims relating to liability for loss and/or damage to the goods from third parties. The merchant furthermore shall indemnify the carrier against all consequences, liabilities and fines of whatsoever nature and by whomsoever imposed, arising out of the carriage of stowaways, refugees, fugitives, illegal immigrants and other passengers in vehicles or goods.
  10. Ship’s power supply
    Upon request by or on behalf of the merchant, the carrier shall use his best endeavors to connect any vehicle or trailer or container to the vessel’s supply of power and to maintain such supply in accordance with such request but the carrier shall not be liable in any circumstances whatsoever for any failure to do so or for any breakdown of the supply howsoever caused and whether by negligence of the carrier, including his servants, agents and independent contractors.
  11. Delivery of goods
    The merchant authorizes the carrier to deliver the goods to the representative of the consignee or to any other person whom the carrier reasonably believes to be authorized to take delivery on behalf of the consignee. Such delivery shall constitute due fulfillment of the carrier’s obligations as to delivery of the goods. The consignee shall take delivery of the goods promptly after discharge from the vessel. When it is necessary for the carrier to store the goods both before loading and after discharge, the carrier is entitled to do so for the risk and account of the merchant.
  12. Freights
    Freight, whether prepayable or payable at destination shall be due as fully earned upon shipment and non-returnable in any event even if the goods are lost and/or damaged. The carrier shall be entitled to demand payment of the freight before shipment. In case freight is not paid promptly, interest shall be due from the date that payment is due and payable, such at the rate of 12% per year. The shipper, receiver, consignee, holder of the Bill of Lading and the Owner of the goods are jointly and severally responsible for payment of freight without any deduction whatsoever. Any dues, duties, taxes, charges or surcharges which under any denomination may be levied on any basis such as amount of freight and weight of cargo shall be for the account of the merchant.
  13. Lien
    The carrier shall have a lien on the goods for all freight, charges and/or other sums which are or may become due to the carrier in respect of the goods, as well as for all other moneys which are or become due to the carrier from the merchant in respect of previous transports for account of the merchant.
  14. Claims
    Unless notice of loss or damage is given in writing to the carrier or his agent at the port of discharge or at the place of delivery before or at the time of the transfer of the goods into the custody of the person entitled to delivery thereof under these conditions, such transfer shall be prima facie evidence of the delivery by the carrier of the goods in the same order and condition as received. If the loss or damage is not apparent the notice must be given within three days after delivery. In any event the carrier shall be discharged from all liability for any loss or damage with respect to the goods, freight and charges and any other claim, unless suit is brought within one year after delivery of the goods or the date when the goods should have been delivered.
  15. Both to blame collision clause
    If the vessel comes into collision with another vessel as a result of the negligence of the other vessel and any act, negligence or default of the master, mariner, pilot or the servants of the carrier in the navigation or in the management of the vessel, the merchant will indemnify the carrier against all loss or liability to the other or non-carrying vessel or her owner insofar as such loss or liability represents loss of or damage to or any claim whatsoever of the owner of the said goods paid or payable by the other or non-carrying vessel or her owner to the owner of said cargo and set-off or recouped or recovered by the other or non-carrying vessel or her owner as part of his claim against the carrying vessel or carrier. The foregoing provisions shall also apply where the owner, operator or those in charge of any vessel or vessels or objects other than, or in addition to, the colliding vessel or objects are at fault in respect of a collision or contact.
  16. New Jason Clause
    General average to be payable according to York-Antwerp Rules, 1994 but where the adjustment is made in accordance with the law and practice of the United States of America, the following clause shall apply.
    “In the case of accident, danger, damage or disaster, before or after the commencement of the voyage, resulting from any cause whatsoever whether due to negligence or not, for which, or for the consequence of which the ship owner is not responsible by statute, contract or otherwise, the goods, shippers, consignees or owners of the goods shall contribute with the carrier in general average to the payment of any sacrifices, losses or expenses of a general average nature that may be made or incurred and shall pay salvage and special charges incurred in respect of the goods. If a salving ship is owned or operated by the carrier, salvage shall be paid for as fully as if the said salving ship or ships belonged to strangers. Such deposit as the carrier or his agents may deem sufficient to cover the estimated contribution of the goods and any salvage and special charges thereon shall, if required, be made by the goods, shippers, consignees or owners of the goods before delivery.”
  17. Hindrance
    If for any reason whatsoever the carrier is of the opinion that the vessel is prevented or hindered from entering or leaving any port including the ports of loading and discharge or otherwise from proceeding with the voyage, or from loading or discharging or continuing to load or discharge any goods, then in his sole discretion he may abandon the voyage or proceed to any other port including returning to the port of loading and may there discharge or take such other steps with regard to the goods as he shall think fit. Such discharge or other steps shall be deemed to have been authorized by the merchant and shall be at their risk and expense and the carrier shall not by reason thereof incur any liability whatsoever. Any port at which the goods are discharged as aforesaid, may at the carrier’s option be deemed for all purposes to become the port of discharge hereunder in relation to such goods and the transport shall be deemed for purposes to be terminated there.
  18. Himalaya clause
    It is hereby expressly agreed that no servant or agent of the carrier or any other person for whom the carrier may be responsible, shall in any circumstances whatsoever be under any liability whatsoever to the merchant for any loss, damage or delay of whatsoever kind arising or resulting directly or indirectly from any act, neglect or default on his part, while acting in the course of, or in connection with his employment, and without prejudice to the generality of these conditions of carriage, every stipulation, exception and condition herein contained and every right, exemption from liability, defense and immunity of whatsoever nature applicable to the carrier or to which the carrier is entitled hereunder, shall also be available to and shall extend to protect every such servant or agent of the carrier acting as aforesaid, and for the purpose of all the foregoing provisions of this paragraph the carrier is, or shall be deemed acting on behalf of and for the benefit of all such persons who are or might be his servants or agents or for whom the carrier otherwise may be responsible and all such persons shall to this extent be deemed to be parties to these conditions of carriage. The merchant shall indemnity the carrier against any claim by third parties against whom the carrier cannot rely on these conditions in as far as the carrier’s liability would be accepted if said parties were bound by these conditions.
  19. Shipper packed containers
    If a container has not been packed by or on behalf of the carrier:

    1. The carrier shall not be liable for loss or damage to the goods caused by:
      1. the manner in which the container has been packed, or
      2. the unsuitability of the goods for carriage in container, or
      3. the unsuitability or defective condition of the container, provided that where the container has been provided by, or on behalf of, the carrier, this paragraph (cc) shall only apply if the unsuitability or defective condition could have been apparent upon inspection by the merchant at, or prior to the time when the container was packed.
    2. The merchant shall indemnify the carrier against any loss, damage, liability expense whatsoever and howsoever arising, caused by one or more of the matters referred to in sub clause (a) above, save that where the loss, damage, liability, expense was caused by a matter referred to in sub clause (a), (cc), the merchant shall not be liable to indemnify the carrier in respect thereof unless the provision referred to in that sub clause applies.
  20. Dangerous goods
    1. The merchant warrants the goods as lawful merchandise at the ports of loading and discharge and will indemnify the carrier against all costs, expenses, liabilities and any other consequences of the goods not being lawful merchandise at the said ports or at any other port or place where the goods may be.
    2. The merchant agrees to indemnify the carrier against all liability, loss and expenses which the carrier may incur if the goods when received by the carrier contain (whether or not the merchant or any other person interested in or connected with the goods is aware of such fact) any person(s) who are refused entry or permission to land at the port of discharge or whose entry or landing there is unlawful for any reason whatsoever.
    3. Hazardous or dangerous goods shall not be shipped or sent down for shipment without prior written permission from the carrier or its agent. The merchant agrees to indemnify the carrier against all consequences and liabilities arising out of the shipment or acceptance of hazardous or dangerous goods or substances forming part of goods whether or not the nature thereof is known to the carrier unless the merchant proves that such consequences or liabilities are or were caused directly by negligence of the carrier, his servants or agents.
    4. If for any reason whatsoever the master of the vessel on which hazardous or dangerous goods have been shipped (whether or not the nature thereof is known to the carrier) decides in his sole discretion that such goods have become an unacceptable danger to the vessel or to the rest of her cargo, passengers or crew, then he shall be entitled to discharge or destroy the goods or otherwise render them harmless at any time or place without liability on the part of the carrier.
    5. Petrol, diesel oil or other fuel present in reasonable quantities in the fuel tanks of vehicles shall not constitute hereunder dangerous goods for the purpose of this clause.

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