Examining Transport Documents (Bill of Lading) in Carriage of Goods by Sea: Domestic and International Law Practices in Mainland Tanzania

Moh'd Masoud Khartoum


All over the world, the shipping practice has become an evolving landscape and common issues, particularly in carriage of goods by sea.  Again, the diversity of transport documents, bill of lading for example, has become a source of confusion and dispute among the shipping companies, bankers, carriers and cargo receivers. In advent and the rise of containerization system as a means of transporting goods from one place to another, it is a common practice, in some occasion that goods are transported and shipped with multimodal transport documents involved. Stakeholders in shipping sectors have been asking themselves with a number of questions on the matter in question without proper answers. One of the interesting questions, which are normally asked, is, for instance, on whether consignee who is named in such a multimodal transport documents covering goods carried partly by sea, may make use of the statutory provisions on the receipt function of bills of lading if any difficulty arises, and possibilities of such documents to be treated as a bill of lading in the eyes of the existing laws. The next alarming and puzzling question among shipping companies is on different parcels of cargo, which is intended to be loaded at different destination, what particulars in relation to such cargo should be shown in such consolidated bill of lading and what will be its evidential effects as per laws. Another puzzling issue which has raised eye brows among shipping stakeholders is on the problem of presence of defects in goods under consolidated bill of lading practice in as far as laws are concerned. Here, such confusion is possible since the determination of the dispute may seem to be difficulty under prevailing circumstances. This research article therefore, intends to unearth the issue of diversity of the of transportation documents including bill lading in carriage of goods by sea with a special focus on domestic and international law practice in Mainland Tanzania. To make all what have been stated above possible, there is a need of having a strong legal framework built by coherence of both domestic and international law rules.


Examination, Bill of lading, Carriage, Goods, Sea, Domestic, International, and Mainland Tanzania

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