Cargo Damage Surveys
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We establish the extent of the damage and give an estimate of the cost of repairs. Our surveyors work in liaison with the insured, the repair facility, and all the relevant parties.
Investigations of cargo damage or loss claims on behalf of P&I Clubs, carriers, shippers, consignees are performed to determine the possible cause and/or extent of any damage that may have occurred during shipment and to assist in mitigating further losses.
If cargo damage has transpired or is presumed, the shipmaster should immediately notify the charterer and the P&I Club. The main concern is when the receiver rejects to accept delivery of the damaged cargo, ending in a loss to the vessel.
The first intention is to persuade the receiver to accept the cargo. However, this can only be done by agreement between the carrier and the receiver.
The receiver and the carrier may select a joint surveyor to reach an agreement on the extent of the damage. However, for ship officers, the facts must be reported in the appropriate logbook as soon as the damage has been found.
To support a claim, the surveyor may petition that the ship provide the following documents:
B/L and charter party (if any)
draught survey reports
shipper's declaration along with any special instructions or observations about the cargo
copies of ship's logbooks, sounding record book, ballast record book, and maintenance record
record of any correspondence between the ship, charterers, and stevedores
cargo stowage plan
ship's particulars including copies of ship's plans.
Before any documentation is handed over, the authority of the ship's operator is required. The surveyor may also ask for additional documentation, depending upon the nature of the cargo and the trade area.
It must be kept in mind that the carrier must show that the ship has been maintained in a seaworthy condition, that due diligence has been exercised for the safe carriage of the cargo, and that any damage to the cargo has been due to circumstances beyond the control of shipboard officers. If these can be proven by documentary evidence a claim can be avoided.