A written communication recording dissatisfaction on the part of one party concerning any operational matter over which the recipient or other party has control, and holding the other party responsible for any consequences of the matter being complained about.
Most commonly a protest is in connection with cargo, although one may be written about almost any matter. It may help to substantiate a claim by owners (or refute a claim by charterers, a harbor authority, etc.), and may prove useful, if properly filed, when a dispute is being resolved long after the related event. A Letter of Protest should not to be confused with a protest (or sea protest) noted or lodged with a notary public or consul.