544. Kyokuyo Ltd v AP Møller – Maersk A/S t/a “Maersk Line” [2017] EWHC 654 (Comm)

Hague/Hague Visby Rules – limitation as applied to containerized frozen fish.

The Facts

Twelve containers of frozen tuna were shipped on Maersk Tangier on 24 November 2012.

The vessel sailed from Cartagena, Spain to Yokohama. En route, at Valencia, nine of the twelve containers were transshipped onto Maersk Emden.

The three remaining containers A, B and C were transshipped onto Maersk Eindhoven which left Valencia only a month later.

At Barcelona, container C was de-stuffed, its contents re-stuffed into a Replacement Container and shipped on Maersk Tangier.

Container B and the Replacement Container were carried by road from Yokohama to Shimizu.

All twelve containers were shipped pursuant to the Maersk terms containing an implied term entitling shippers to demand that Bills of Lading be issued by Maersk Line.

Maersk Line issued a draft Bill of Lading to the Claimant who was named in the draft bill as the consignee.

No Bills of Lading were issued for the three containers in question.

To avoid delay, Maersk Line agreed to issue three sea waybills, one for each of the containers, A, B and Replacement Container, to the Claimant.

Container A contained 206 frozen tuna loins and 460 bags of tuna parts. The frozen loins were enumerated on the sea waybill but the bags were not.

Container B and the Replacement Container contained 520 and 500 frozen loins respectively, both quantities enumerated on the relevant sea waybills.

On arrival in Japan, the tuna in all three containers was found to be damaged.

Findings

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