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Where the Hague- Visby Rules apply, what are the carrier's obligations regarding looking after the cargo?

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The carrier must "properly and carefully load, handle, stow, carry, keep, care for and discharge any goods carried". 

Unlike seaworthiness, this duty extends throughout the voyage and implies greater care than "due diligence". The courts do not expect perfection from the carrier, but it has been held that stowage was improper where contamination of other goods occurred; there was inadequate or no ventilation; dry cargo was damaged by liquid goods; and vehicles were secured only by their own brakes. The carrier must have a sound system for looking after the cargo when stowed. He has a duty to use all reasonable means to ascertain the nature and characteristics of the cargo and to care for it accordingly, though the shipper should give special instructions where special care is required. (Where water in tractor radiators froze, it was held that the carrier should have been told of the risks.)

 

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