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Gard Guidance Masters

3.1.12.1 ISSUING A PROTEST

The issue of a protest may serve the purpose of either

  • recording a disagreement with another party, e.g. rough handling of cargo by the stevedores
  • reporting a specific event, such as heavy weather.

    Issuing a protest may be required either

  • by the flag State’s law, or
  • by national law, i.e. the place of the incident or the vessel’s next port of call.

    Issuing a protest may be appropriate and required either

  • after an incident has occurred
  • to pursue a claim against a third party.

    It is required to hold another party responsible in writing to protect the Company’s, the Master’s, the crew’s, and the insurer’s legal position. Examples of instances where such notices should be issued would include when

  • a collision has occurred
  • a tug has damaged the vessel or third party property
  • a stevedore has damaged the vessel, its equipment or cargo
  • the vessel has suffered damage due to the berth being unsuitable
  • and in any other instances where acts or omissions of another party may expose the Company to any liability, cost or expense.

    Different forms, formalities and procedures may be required depending upon where the protest is issued. Issuing a simple protest is sufficient in some jurisdictions, whilst in others the protest may be required to be sworn before a court of law or a notary public. The Master is therefore advised to contact the local correspondents or the instructed lawyers for assistance and advice.

    If an incident has occurred where the Master considers noting a protest, he/she should do so and, for the protest to be effective, he/she should do so as soon as practicable.