The Hague and Hague-Visby Rules
THE ROLE OF THE RULES IN RELATION TO CHARTERPARTIES
The Paramount Clause
The Hague Rules, and the later amendments to them incorporated in the Hague-Visby Rules, were principally drafted to govern the carriage of goods by sea under bills of lading or similar documents of title, and either or both sets of the Rules have been incorporated into the law of many countries involved in maritime trade, such that under designated circumstances they are compulsorily applicable to such voyages. However, they are not compulsorily applicable to charterparties and they must be incorporated expressly if it is intended that they should apply as between shipowners and charterers. The standard Gencon form does not incorporate either set of Rules, but other standard forms do, such as the Asbatankvoy. It is quite common for parties specifically to agree their incorporation into the charterparty by means of a so-called “Paramount Clause”.
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