What is a shipmaster’s legal position in relation to time charterers?

The master should follow time charterers’ instructions insofar as they relate to the commercial activities of the ship, e. g. voyage orders, issuing bills of lading, sending messages, etc. 

There will usually be a clause in the charter party stating that: (1) the charterers are to give the master the necessary sailing instructions; (2) the master is to be under the orders of the charterers as regards employment, agency, or other arrangements; (3) the master is to prosecute the voyage with the utmost despatch and render customary assistance (to the charterers) with the vessel’s crew; (4) the master (and chief engineer) are to keep proper logs accessible to the charterers and their agents; and (5) if the charterers are dissatisfied with the conduct of the master (or other officers), the owners will investigate the matter and, if necessary and practicable, change the appointments.


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Who is the legal carrier under a time charter?

If a bill of lading is basically a receipt issued by the ship for cargo loaded, are time charterers’ agents allowed to sign bills of lading?