Said to weigh. Under the Hague Rules or Hague-Visby Rules, the carriers issue bills of lading showing either the quantity or weight, as the case may be, as furnished in writing by the shipper on the understanding that the carrier is not bound to state or show in the bills of lading arty quantity or weight which he has reasonable ground to suspect is not accurate or which he cannot reasonably check.
In many cases, especially when bulk cargo is shipped under a charterparty, bills of lading stipulate “Said to weigh” whilst bills of lading under some charterparties stipulate “Weight, measure, quality and value unknown”. This reflects the difficulty of weighing the cargo as loaded.
The weight of the loaded bulk cargo can be estimated by an independent draft survey after allowing for bunkers, water, stores, provisions, spare pans, dunnage and the “ship’s constant”. While the qualification “said to weigh” or “weight unknown” may seem to give sufficient protection to shipowners as far as the quantity of cargo is concerned, the question of payment of freight may also be involved, particularly if freight is payable on bill of lading weight. If charterers are not prepared to make any alteration to the original weight, as shown in the bills of lading, the stipulation “signed under protest” should be included in the bills of lading before signing by the master.