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Bill of lading signed by captain as agent for charterers – effect

The facts

The time charterer sublet the vessel on a voyage charterparty.

A cargo of timber was shipped under bills of lading signed by the master “as agent for time charterers”.

The holders for value of the bills of lading sought to hold the owner of the vessel liable, relying on the authority of Baumwoll Manufactur von Carl Scheibler v Furness, that the captain remained the servant of the owners and ipso facto had actual authority to bind them despite the express disclaimer on the bills of lading.


The court (Walton J) found in a judgment of one paragraph that the owner was not liable as neither actual nor ostensible authority of the master had been proved.

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Charter Party Casebook