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What should a master do if asked to accept a letter of indemnity in return for signing “clean” bills of lading, when these were not justified?

Refuse in all cases. 

If the master signed “clean” bills of lading where they were not justified he would become party to a fraud (by the shipper or carrier or both) on the consignee or another innocent third party to whom the bill of lading may be endorsed, and the owners’ P&I club would not cover any claim arising in connection with the matter. On no account should the master issue clean bills of lading in return for a letter of indemnity in these circumstances.

 

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