Duquesne Law Review


For the fifty years since its enactment, the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act has provided a detailed legal regime governing the respective rights and duties of shippers and carriers engaged in international trade. Section 3(5) of the Act (the guarantee clause) requires the shipper to provide the carrier with accurate information regarding the quantity and weight of the cargo and enables the carrier to bring a suit for indemnity against the shipper should the information prove inaccurate and cause a third party to bring an action against the carrier for misrepresentation. This article discusses the guarantee clause in the context of international bills of lading and the general purposes of the Act. The author concludes that the guarantee clause should be amended to expand the carrier's right to indemnity from any third party which has provided the inaccurate information contained on the bill of lading. Expanding the carrier's protection under the guaranty clause, the author argues, would be more reflective of the Act's goal of balancing the rights and duties of shippers and carriers.

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