Before commencement of the voyage, before loading and before discharge the charterparty should be read carefully (also these "GOLDEN RULES").
Be especially carefull, if the vessel according to the charterparty is obliged to use charterers´, shippers´or receivers´Agents and / or stevedores. Make special arrangements in respect of the collection of the freight if the solvency of the Agents is not out of doubt.
Notify shippers promptly in writing that the vessel is loadready and order the required cargo quantity (including dunnage).
If timber cargo shall be loaded the required quantity of dunnage has to be ordered together with the notice of readiness. Refuse to take more dunnage then ordered, make a protest, if necessary and ask not only for full freight for all dunnage in excess but claim also damages because of loss of stowage, higher costs, loss of time etc.
If shippers are not ascertainable or refuse to ship the cargo, notify the charterers immedidely (§ 577 HGB).
Accept only the cargo mentioned in the charterparty or with the agreement of the charterer such substitute cargo, the carriage of which is with regard to the freight, loading and discharging time etc. not disadvantageous to the ship (§ 562 HGB).
Make notarial protest whenever there is not enough cargo delivered and if possible establish by an independend expert how much additional cargo the vessel can load.
If the loading time is not agreed (for example "so fast as possible" or "as usually used at the place"), give - after a reasonable time has expired - written notice to the shippers at what time the free time ends and as from when demurrage is payable. (§ 569 HGB).
The bills of lading should be read carefully before signing. Make sure that they show the richt date. Sign the bills of lading only, when the cargo is really on board at the time of issue. Sign only those bills of lading which conform with the charterparty and refer to all the stipulations and exceptions of the charterparty of which the date and place of issue must be mentioned.
Make sure that the bills of lading do not contain stipulations in regard to possible general average which are contrary to the terms of the charterparty.
Make sure that the correct meassures and / or weights are mentioned in the bills of lading. The remark in the bill of lading "measures and weights unknown" does not exclude all responsibility of the master. Are the details obviously wrong, make a remark in the bill of lading or make if necessary a notarial protest.
Do not sign clean bills of lading when the visual condition or the packing of the cargo gives reason to complaints. Be better exaggerated careful.
Make notarial protest to shippers and all others who may be involved in case the shippers refuse the remarks to be put in the bill of lading regarding demurrage, deadfreight and the like incurred.
Inform the charterers and if possible also the receivers telegraphically that besides the bill of lading a notarial protest in respect of demurrage, deadfreight etc. has been made.
At the port of discharge give notice of readness immediatly and in the case that the receivers are unknown, do what is customary at that port.
Deliver the cargo only against return of the - if necessary endorsed - bills of lading or against depositing of the full marked-value of the cargo including the freight. Ask the receivers to confirm the receipt of the cargo on the original bill of lading (§ 653 HGB).
If no fixed discharging time has been agreed give written notice to the receivers that the free laytime has ended after a reasonable time has expired (§ 596 HGB).
Before the agreed discharging time has expired inform the shippers and receivers that a higher remuneration as the agreed demurrage in the charterparty will be claimed (damages according to § 602 HGB) in case of any further possible delay.
Make exact notes of the reasons for delayed commencement of loading or discharging and of all other interruptions. If possible have same confirmed by an independent third person.
In case the charterparty does not clearly state that the charterer can also load and / or discharge on sundays and holidays and also at night or before the agreed or legal laytime commences, demand shippers respectively receivers to confirm in writing that the time used counts as laytime and that all expenses are for shippers or receivers account.
If the charterparty does not clearly stipulate that the loading and / or discharging shall be made by mechanical equipment, for example grabs, or if the use of such equipment is not customary at that port accept loading and / or discharging by such means only when the charterers or the stevedores agree to keep the ownwers free - irrespective of the question of responsibility - from any damages caused to the vessel during loading or discharging.
Use only one loading or discharging place including the waiting place, for your own account unless anything else is agreed in the charterparty (or custom of the port). Agree to shift provided the charterers, shippers or receivers bear the expenses and that the laytime counting is not interrupted.
At the loading / discharging port the cargo should exactly be tallied. Keep the tally books safely in your custody. In case the cargo is weighed the figures have to be controlled. If the freight is to be paid on delivered weight or measurement the vessel has to prove the weight respectivly the measures.
By signing invoices the correctness of same will be accepted: therefore be careful!
Under a time charter notify the agents, stevedores, bunker suppliers etc. that the ship is under time charter of Messrs."X" and that they - and not the owner - are liable for all the expenses.
The confidential agents nominated by Schutzverein Deutscher Rheder are placed at the disposal of the members and their masters for information and advice at any time. The assistance of the correspondents (lawyers) of the Association should only be asked for in urgent matters.