Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
(CHAPTER 33)

(Original Enactment: Act 30 of 1972)

REVISED EDITION 1985
(30th March 1987)
An Act to make further provision with respect to the carriage of goods by sea.
[16th January 1978]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act.
Application of Hague Rules as amended
2.  In this Act, “Rules” means the International Convention for the unification of certain rules of law relating to bills of lading made at Brussels on 25th August 1924, as amended by the Protocol made at Brussels on 23rd February 1968, and which are set out in the Schedule.
Application of Rules
3.—(1)  The provisions of the Rules, as set out in the Schedule to this Act, shall have the force of law.
(2)  Without prejudice to subsection (1), the provisions of the Rules shall also have effect (and have the force of law) in relation to and in connection with the carriage of goods by sea in ships where the port of shipment is a port in Singapore, whether or not the carriage is between ports in two different States within the meaning of Article X of the Rules.
(3)  Subject to subsection (4), nothing in this section shall be construed as applying anything in the Rules to any contract for the carriage of goods by sea, unless the contract expressly or by implication provides for the issue of a bill of lading or any similar document of title.
(4)  Without prejudice to paragraph (c) of Article X of the Rules, the Rules shall have the force of law in relation to —
(a)any bill of lading if the contract contained in or evidenced by it expressly provides that the Rules shall govern the contract; and
(b)any receipt which is a non-negotiable document marked as such if the contract contained in or evidenced by it is a contract for the carriage of goods by sea which expressly provides that the Rules are to govern the contract.
(5)  Where subsection (4)(b) applies, the Rules shall apply —
(a)as if the receipt referred to therein were a bill of lading; and
(b)subject to any necessary modifications and in particular with the omission of the second sentence of paragraph 4 and of paragraph 7 in Article III of the Rules.
(6)  If and so far as the contract contained in or evidenced by a bill of lading or receipt referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of subsection (4) applies to deck cargo or live animals, the Rules as given the force of law by that subsection shall have effect as if Article I (c) did not exclude deck cargo and live animals.
(7)  In subsection (6), “deck cargo” means cargo which by the contract of carriage is stated as being carried on deck and is so carried.
(8)  The Minister may, from time to time by order published in the Gazette, specify the respective amounts which, for the purposes of paragraph 5 of Article IV and of Article IV bis of the Rules, are to be taken as equivalent to the sums expressed in francs which are mentioned in paragraph 5(a) of Article IV.
[Act 6/95 wef 31/03/1995 vide S 140/95]
Absolute warranty seaworthiness not to be implied in contracts to which Rules apply
4.  There shall not be implied in any contract for the carriage of goods by sea to which the Rules apply any absolute undertaking by the carrier of the goods to provide a seaworthy ship.
Statement as to application of Rules to be included in bills of lading
5.  [Repealed by Act 6/95 wef 31/03/1995 vide S 140/95]
Modification of Article VI of Rules in relation to local trade
6.  [Repealed by Act 6/95 wef 31/03/1995 vide S 140/95]
Modification of paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article III of Rules in relation to bulk cargoes
7.  Where under the custom of any trade the weight of any bulk cargo inserted in the bill of lading is a weight ascertained or accepted by a third party other than the carrier or the shipper and the fact that the weight is so ascertained or accepted is stated in the bill of lading, then, notwithstanding anything in the Rules, the bill of lading shall not be deemed to be prima facie evidence against the carrier of the receipt of goods of the weight so inserted in the bill of lading, and the accuracy thereof at the time of shipment shall not be deemed to have been guaranteed by the shipper.
Saving and operation
8.  Nothing in this Act shall affect the operation of sections 293 and 294 of the Merchant Shipping Act [Cap. 179] as amended by any subsequent Act, or the operation of any other enactment for the time being in force limiting the liability of the owners of sea-going vessels.