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CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA ACT !

1. What is the perspective period for actions involving lost or damaged cargo under the Carriage of
Goods by Sea Act? (1995 Bar)!
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One (1) year after delivery of the goods or the date when the goods should have been
delivered. (Sec. 3 [6], COGSA)!

2. Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, the action to enforce the carriers liability in respect to
loads or damage must be brought within the prescriptive period of one year. Does the said period
of prescription apply to actions for damages arising from misdelivery or conversion of the goods
involved? Why? (1969 Bar)!
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No, the one year period of prescription under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act does not
apply to cases of misdelivery or conversion of goods, but to instances where the goods were lost
or damaged in transit as a consequence of maritime hazards.!

3. Under the provisions of Sec. 3 of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, notice must be given of loss
or damage to the goods. Within what period must notice be given, if the loss or damage is not
apparent? Does the term loss in this Act cover delivery to the wrong person? Explain. (1975 Bar)!
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If the loads or damage is not apparent at the time of the receipt of the goods, then notice of
the loss will have to be given within three days from the receipt of the last package. !
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The term loss does not include a situation where there was delivery but to the wrong
person, because in misdelivery, the goods are still in existence and can be recovered.!

4. Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, what is the effect of a provision inserted in the bill of
lading that the carrier shall not be liable for loss or damage to the cargo unless written notice
thereof is given to the carrier within 30 days after receipt of the cargo by the shipper or consignee?
(1967 Bar)!
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The provision is null and void. Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, the lack of notice is
not a bar to the filing of a suit for damages within one year from receipt of the cargo, and any
provision in a contract reducing said one year period is null and void and of no effect.!

5. While in Hongkong, X shipped on the S/S Burma Maru for Manila 500 cages of fine yellow
coloured canaries which he intended to sell in his pet shop here. The shipment is worth P4,000.00.
Due to the lack of proper facilities in the hold of the ship, all the birds died during the trip. Under the
provisions of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, what is the liability of the carrier to X? (1967 Bar)!
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The S/S Burma Maru is liable to X for the death of the birds. The obligation of the carrier
to make the ship seaworthy includes the making of the holds, refrigerating and cooling chambers,
fit and safe for the carriage and preservation of the goods. The vessel failed to provide this, hence,
it is liable for damages incurred by X arising from the death of the birds. !

6. A local consignee sought to enforce judicially a claim against the carrier for loss of a shipment of
drums of lubricating oil from Japan under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) after the
carrier had rejected its demand. The carrier pleaded in its Answer the affirmative defense of
prescription under the provisions of said Act inasmuch as the suit was brought by the consignee
after one (1) year from the delivery of the goods. In turn, the consignee contended that the period
of prescription was suspended by the written extrajudicial demand it had made against the carrier
within the one-year period, pursuant to Article 1155 of the Civil Code providing that the prescription
of actions is interrupted when there is a written extrajudicial demand by the creditors.!
a) Has the action in fact prescribed? Why? !

b) If the consignees action were predicated on misdelivery or conversion of the goods, would your
answer be the same? Explain briefly. (1992 Bar)!

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(a) Yes, the action had prescribed. The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) requires
the consignee to file suit within one year from receipt of the last package. This period is not
interrupted by the sending of a letter of demand to the carrier. !
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(b) My answer would not be the same. If the action is predicated on misdelivery or
conversion of the goods, the one year period will not apply. The ten year prescriptive period under
the Civil Code may be invoked. !

7. AA entered into a contract with BB thru CC to transport ladies' wear from Manila to France with
transhipment at Taiwan. Somehow the goods were not loaded at Taiwan on time. Hence, when the
goods arrived in France, they arrived "off-season" and AA was paid only for one-half the value by
the buyer. AA claimed damages from the shipping company and its agent. The defense of the
respondents was prescription. Considering that the ladies' wear suffered "loss of value," as claimed
by AA, should the prescriptive period be one year under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, or ten
years under the Civil Code? Explain briefly. (2004 Bar)!

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The prescriptive period should be ten (10) years under the Civil Code. The one year period
under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) does not apply because there was no loss in
this case. There was actual delivery. The loss in the value of the goods is not the loss referred to
in the law. !

8. A, in Holland, shipped on board a vessel owned by B, 500 cases of canned milk to consignee C
in Iloilo. Upon arrival, the vessel discharged the canned milk into the custody and possession of
the arrastre operator appointed by the Bureau of Customs. In the Bill of Lading, it was stipulated
that the vessel is no longer liable for the cargo upon its delivery to the hands of the custom
authorities. The cargo checker of the arrastre operator found the cargo to be in good order. Upon
delivery to the consignee, a marine surveyor found twenty (20) cases of milk missing. C sued B for
the value of the 20 missing cases on the ground that under the contract of carriage, B was obliged
to deliver the cargo safely to the consignee and that the stipulation limiting the liability of the carrier
is contrary to morals and public policy. B disclaims liability for short delivery. Decide the dispute,
with reasons. (1979 Bar)!

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B, the carrier, is not liable. Under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, delivery is the
discharge or landing of the cargo, and because the Philippine Tariff and Customs Code prevents
direct delivery of the cargo by the vessel to the consignee, delivery of the goods to the arrastre
operator is considered as delivery to the consignee. !
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Where the goods are delivered to the arrastre operator in good order, the liability of the
carrier under the contract terminates, and it canon the sued for short delivery or damage to the
same goods subsequently delivered by, or withdrawn from the arrastre operators custody. The
provisions of the contract limiting the liability of the carrier for shortages or damages to the goods
as delivered to the arrastre operator is in accord with the law, and is therefore not contrary to
morals and public policy. !

9. RC imported computer motherboards from the United States and had them shipped to Manila
aboard an oceangoing cargo ship owned by BC Shipping Company. When the cargo arrived at
Manila seaport and delivered to RC, the crate appeared intact; but upon inspection of the contents,
RC discovered that the items inside had all been badly damaged. He did not file any notice of
damage or anything with anyone, least of all with BC Shipping Company. What he did was to
proceed directly to your office to consult you about whether he should have given a notice of

damage and how long a time he had to initiate a suit under the provisions of the Carriage of Goods
by Sea Act (CA 65). What would your advice be?!
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I would advice RC to give notice of the damage. Whether or not the notice is filed on time, I
would advice RC to file a suit within 1 year from date of delivery to him. !

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