In lieu of weighting. In some charters for bulk commodities, such as for the carriage of coal, freight can be payable either on the quantity actually delivered by the ship, as ascertained by weighting, or by draft surveys, or on the quantity stated on a bill of lading as having been shipped less an agreed percentage (commonly 2 per cent) at receivers' option.
The option can be required to be declared in writing "before breaking bulk" (that is, before commencing discharge). If the receiver should choose to have the cargo weighed at the discharging port he should arrange anti pay for weighing. The shipowner can arrange for a check weighting to be carried out at his expense. If there is any discrepancy in the delivered weights it should affect the freight only. In any case, all disputes about unacceptable differences in weight should be preceded by an appropriate letter or notice of protest. Normally, no deduction should be made from the freight for alleged shortage of cargo, any custom of the port notwithstanding, because the shipowner is only obliged to deliver such cargo as was received on board the ship. The owners can be required to furnish, if required by the receivers, a statutory declaration by the master that all the cargo received on board has been delivered.
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