NAVIGATION AND SHIPPING ENGAGEMENT IN COASTING TRADE: GOODS ON THROUGH BILL OF LADING TO OR FROM PORT BEYOND AUSTRALIA NOT INCLUDED: POSITION WHERE SHIPMENT TO PORT IN AUSTRALIA IS SUBSEQUENTLY EXTENDED TO ANOTHER PORT
NAVIGATION ACT 1912, s. 7
The Comptroller-General of Customs has forwarded me the following memorandum for advice:
With reference to the Secretary's memorandum of 22 July, advising that, in his opinion, the term 'through ticket' would include a ticket issued from a port outside Australia to a port within Australia, and extended from that port to another port, whether on the payment of an additional fare or not, if the person had not finally left the ship at the port to which the ticket was originally issued, I shall be glad of advice as to whether the same principle may be applied to cargo consigned to a Commonwealth port.
In the following examples, would the cargo be regarded as 'consigned on a through bill of lading' within the meaning of section 7 (b) of the Navigation Act:
- consigned from London to Fremantle; carried on in original vessel, at request of consignee, and without being landed, to Melbourne;
- same as (A), but temporarily landed on wharf at Fremantle for convenience of ship, in order to get at cargo stowed beneath;
- same as (A), but trans-shipped at Fremantle to an unlicensed ship of same line not trading exclusively in Australian waters?
It is assumed that, as in the case of 'extended' passenger tickets, the question of whether additional payment is or is not made for the service is not a factor for consideration in determining the matter.
As the above question has arisen in connection with a vessel now in port, and by which it is desired to forward cargo, originally consigned to Melbourne, on to Sydney, I shall be glad if the Secretary will kindly treat the matter as urgent.
The considerations expressed in my minute of 22 July in relation to the carriage
of passengers on through tickets apply equally to the carriage of cargo on through
bills of lading.
If a vessel takes on board, at a port in a State or Territory of the Commonwealth,
cargo to be landed at another port in the same State or Territory or in another
State or Territory the taking on board and carriage of the cargo constitutes engaging
in the coasting trade unless the cargo is carried on a through bill of lading.
A through bill of lading includes one which has been extended from the original
port of destination to some further port if the cargo to which it relates had not
been landed at the port to which the bill originally referred.
A temporary landing for the purpose of restowage and not as a completion of
the original contract of carriage would not be 'landing' within the meaning of the
As regards the specific cases cited I think that the circumstances mentioned in
paragraphs (A) and (B) do not amount to engaging in the coasting trade.
Whether case (C) amounts to engaging in the coasting trade depends upon the
circumstances. Evidence would be necessary to show that the carriage from Fremantle
to Melbourne did not amount to a new contract but was an extension of the
original one effected prior to its termination.
As stated in my minute of 22 July 1921, the question whether additional
payment is required in respect of the extension of a through ticket does not affect
the question dealt with in that minute.
[Vol. 17, p. 490]