the Bill of Lading and booking note

Booking note = document materializing the maritime transport contract in the same way as a bill of lading
Cass. Com., January 6, 2021, n° 18-15.228
The Court of Cassation recalls that a similar document for the carriage of goods by sea, such as a booking note, is equivalent to a bill of lading for the application of Article 1 (b) of the 1924-1968 Convention.

Delivery time in the absence of agreement of the parties

Sovereign assessment of judges
CA Douai, 25 March 2021, n° 18/03111
In the absence of a delivery period agreed between the parties, it is up to the judge to sovereignly assess the reasonable period beyond which the delay is proven. The nature, the destination of the goods and their knowledge by the transport operators constitute a cluster of clues for the judge in his sovereign assessment.
the Port handling

Deck loading

CA Montpellier, 19 January 2021, n° 18/01599
The Court considers that the fact that part of the cargo mentioned on the bills of lading was loaded on deck is not such as to exclude the application of the Brussels Convention of 1924 since that cargo was declared as laid on deck in the contract of carriage.
The Court rejected the presumption of delivery established by Article 3.6 of the Brussels Convention of 1924 in respect of the handling contractor (receiver) since the latter signed a statement of facts without establishing that he was acting as agent of the consignee of the goods designated in the BL.

– Exemption from liability of the shipping carrier

Charger fault
CA Aix-en-Provence, January 30, 2020, n° 17/14465
The Court recalls that the liability of the maritime carrier is presumed when it has undertaken to transport the goods at a temperature of 0° C and has taken them without reservation, unless it demonstrates an exoneration of liability. The shipping carrier reports proof of a case exonerating from its responsibility when it is characterized “a hot potting of the goods without which it would not have been damaged since the container reefer functioned correctly for the temperature blown”.

Compliant delivery

Liability of the shipping carrier: the presumption of compliant delivery is not irrefragable
Cass. Com, 6 January 2021, n° 18-22. 782
The Court recalls the principle according to which, the absence of regular written reservations has the sole effect of obliging the person who intends to engage the responsibility of the maritime carrier to prove that the losses and damages occurred during maritime transport (Article R. 5422-24 paragraph 1 of the Transport Code).

Chartering (crew fault)

CA Rouen, 30 January 2021, n° 17/01744
In the present case, the cause of the damage was the fault of the crew of the ship who alone was in charge of the positioning and stowage operations on behalf of the charterer in time, so that the responsibility of the freter, having all its certificates and armed by a competent crew, cannot be sought because of a defective load.

a Body insurance

Statements of the insured at the time of taking out the insurance contract
CA Toulouse, 21 January 2021, n° 19/01567
The insured may not be required to declare at the time of the subscription of the contract a fact that has not yet occurred, such as the use of a mortgage loan after the subscription. Since body insurance is insurance that compensates for damage and material loss to ships, the means of financing the body insured property and the economic activity of the company that owns the ship do not affect the insurer’s opinion of the risk of loss or damage.