What are the basic legal obligations of all sea carriers, i. e. the “common law obligations”?

(1) To provide a vessel which is seaworthy for the purpose of the contract (at the time the contract is made). 

(2) The carrier’s vessel must not deviate from the contract route or the usual route unjustifiably. (3) To ensure that the vessel will be ready to load the cargo and proceed on the voyage with reasonable despatch. These obligations are implied conditions and need not be expressed in the contract, but they are often included in printed conditions of carriage on bills of lading, etc.


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