Author: Iesha Sharma


Under Indian law, a general rule of there is several acts which under several legislation and principle of law are applicable to contract of carriage. The delivery of goods is the most notable obligation of carrier and is one of the core issues about the carriage of goods by Sea. As shipping is one of the most focused practices in today’s world it needs to have the separate provisions and rule that governs the shipment laws. The Indian rule is till governed by the Bill of Lading act1, Carriage of Goods by Sea Act2, and multimodal Transportation of goods act3 that contains the general statues as contact laws, etc. the constitution of Indian being the supreme law also get the functioning done by the contract law rules4.

The globalization of the foreign economies gives the big competition to India in the foreign market with the increase in trade barriers, increasing competition, and wit the increase in the transport dependency of the goods. This is where the carriage of goods comes to place whether it is water or road transport of goods transfers the network goods. The moment of the cargo through two or more of transport is called multimodal transport. The carriage purpose can be for the different purposes shall be for the individuals, organizations, or association.

History of India carriage goods by sea

Shipping and sea trade in India is one of the oldest forms of the international commercial and India has also considered as the foremost maritime countries in India.5 the history of the carriage of goods act is long from the Vedic period as well and there are some instances seen in the rules related to maritime transport, and Kautalyas’s Arthsastra dealt with shipping and related matters where the text of many elucidates the rules. There is various text in the ancient codes reflect the Martine laws and its existence6. There are various laws, conventions, rules, and regulations that govern the contracts, rights, and liabilities of the carrier in India. The code of Macassar and Malacca are the two important texts which were discovered and have the texts related to maritime law wherein its provisions were borrowed from the Indian texts.

The Indian carriage goods by sea good act in the year 1925 which was adopted from the Brussels convention on maritime laws which contain the uniform rules of lading derived from The Hague rules 1924. The carriage of goods act, 1925 is the act which is valid now for the transport of the goods from one place to another and for the international transports7.

Significance of the Indian carriage goods by sea act

The act provides the responsibilities and liabilities which induces the carriers to exercise diligence while shipping and to ensure that the ship is securely manned and equipped and supplied with all the necessary things requires. To make the chances of the when the goods are transferred from one place to another the risk of damages is a lot to put the end of the damages and o to ascertain as to who is liable in the case of the damages. In addition, the provisions of the carriage goods by sea in India are also found in the contract act, the Indian evidence act, the transfer of property act, the code of civil procedure. The constitution of India, the criminal procedure act, and the companies act8. The carrier can be clearly aid to be the owner of the charter which is being made. There are still many laws lagging in the case to identify who will be liable if there is a loss of or who can be sued if there is the loss of the cargo.


There are several in the development in the field of international trade in India. The national-level measures have been taken to improve the situation and enhance the laws related to it. The Indian ministry of shipping mentioned that ‘new greenfield ports will be coming up at Vadhavan, near Duhana in Maharashtra, Colachal near Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu and Sagar lake island in West Bengal, with the estimation of the investment of rs.20 crores’11.


Since, in the 21st century, India has finally retained one of the largest fleets in the world’s economy and is also in the position to make a substantial difference in the world’s trade and it will be surely helpful to country in numerous ways. In the effect, the carriage of goods acts, 1975 in India to any other ports in India and outside India, it also tells the importance of the rule to make in the carriage of goods area. Also on focusing on the basic elements of the regime of this act there are still some loophole on the part of the carrier liabilities which need the amendments. It is necessary to have the ground reality of the transportation industry to make it effective with the coming of the era. Having the 21st century India must include adopting the Rotterdam rules.

As per my thinking the Indian carriage goods act, 1975 of India should be more proactive about the carriage goods in international borders and its contracts which shall also strength the principle f the carrier liabilities in the Indian jurisdictions and the courts will not be restrained towards confined and the limited interpretation of the laws related to it. Indian has been counted under the 20 maritime countries of the worlds10 but, looking at the future effects must be taken to ratify the rules related to the merge in creating the awareness and development in the way of the uninterrupted trade.


The carrier undertakes against the payment of freight of carrying goods by sea and therefore, any legal liability that is incorporated in legal status is usually found with a clutch of provisions with integral elements that undertake the matter like the definition of duties of the parties, title to be used by the parties, a notice of the loss is how to make, the burden of proof lies on whom, right of the limited liabilities on whom, who is liable to pay the compensation of all the losses in between. It also determines the provisions of the risk and balances the rights and obligations of the parties in the contract. The carriage is the goods act is seen as the most significant leg of the transportation of today’s world and an urgent reform is needed for the countries which are lagging behind with this law.

The shipowner contract is old and it’s been used since the 19th century onwards for the interest of the cargo businesses9. This may be because of the continuous flow of international trade to make the economy of the country good and with the changing time, the need for international business is important. Furthermore, there is some of the obligation the country towards its people for those who have invested their money and are planning to do, for there a continued process of the work in the country.


1. The bill of lading act, 1885

2. The carriage of goods by sea act, 1925

3. The multimodal transportation of goods at, 1993

4. The Indian contract act, 1872

5. R. Gopalakrishna, “The law of liberty from maritime accidents in India “ (2015)

6. Soumik Chakraborty, ‘multimodal transport contracts: a critique’ 2014

7. Dr. ram N. Sharma, ‘An introductory note on the carriage of goods act, 1925 (2015) vol 4, issue 5 US, 688’

8. CA Rajkumar S. Adukis, ’A brief study on carriage law and multimodal transportation of goods’

9. The Hague-Visby Rules and thai carriage of goods by sea act.

10. K J h, ‘The Rotterdam Rules- should India ratify?’(2014)

11. ‘Indian maritime development can create 10’ (marine line)

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