Steel Shipments to Australia-Seaworthiness Obligations

13 October 2006 No.536
From a report presented by Holman Fenwick & Willan, our correspondent in Australia

Attached please find a report from our correspondents in Melbourne, Australia, Holman Fenwick & Willan about a recent decision handed down by the Federal Court of Australia on the matter of corrosion damage to the steel coils caused by condensation within the cargo hold. This judgement may have significant implications for shipping lines carrying steel products to Australia, because the Court held the Carriers liable since the Carrier had failed to exercise due diligence to make the ships seaworthy and to make the holds fit and safe for the carriage and preservation of the coils. The decision of the Court is presently under Appeal, and we will keep you informed of further developments. In the meantime, we wish to recommend members to pay special attention to prevention of condensation for steel cargo exported to Australia.