A note of protest is a declaration under oath by the master of the circumstances beyond his control leading to loss or damage to the ship or cargo. This declaration has to be made before a notary public, magistrate, a consular officer or other appropriate authority. A note of protest is a legal document.
The Master Should Issue A Note Of Protest In Any Of The Following Circumstances
- Whenever during the voyage, the ship has encountered condition of weather and sea which may result in damage to cargo.
- When any serious breach of Charter party terms is committed by the charterers or his agents.
- When from any cause, the ship is damaged or there is a reason to fear that damage may be sustained.
- In all cases of general average losses.
- When because of the weather, it has not been practicable to carry out ventilation or other precautions in case of perishable cargoes.
- If consignees fail to take delivery and pay freight in accordance to the charter party or Bill of Lading terms.
- When cargo is shipped in such a condition that it is likely to deteriorate during the voyage.
Important Things To Be Kept In Mind While Issuing A Note Of Protest
- The protest should be positively noted within 24 hours of arrival in port.
- In case of cargo related protests, it should be noted prior commencing cargo operations.
- The master should reserve the right to extend the protest which means that initially at the time of noting the protest, sometimes the master might not be aware of the extent and details of the damage and hence he should insert a clause “reserve the right to extend the protest at the time and place convenient”. This clause then allows the results of the investigation to be inserted at a later stage.
- The Note of Protest must be issued by the Master in front of one or more crew members who will act as witness in relation to the Note of Protest.
Documents To Be Submitted While Noting Protest In Case Of Suspected Cargo Damage During The Voyage
- Details of damage to cargo and ship.
- Records of weather actually encountered.
- Copies of weather forecast relied upon by the ship.
- Details of stowage and lashing of cargo.
- The stability data.
- VDR data.
- All navigation records such as charts, GPS, ECDIS downloads etc which shows the course and speed of the vessel and master’s response in the bad weather.
So, these are some of the important things which one should be aware of about note of protest. Do you have anything else in mind which we missed? If so, feel free to share your valuable feedback in the comments section.