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Quality and condition of the goods

Loading Certificate (Certificate of Quality)
Last updated: 06-Oct-2014

AIC Ltd v ITS Testing Services (UK) Ltd (The Kriti Palm) [2006] EWCA Civ 1601, per Lord Justice Rix:

337. If a loading certificate is known to be invalid after the vessel has loaded and left the loading port, what can be done? In my view, nothing - except own up. It is too late to provide a loading certificate. (By agreement, of course, anything can be done and other devices deployed, but that is another matter.) Whether withdrawn or not, the certificate is invalid. The certifier is in breach, irremediable breach, actual repudiatory breach. There may be remedies, but the time for performance is past. The sale contract which had been intended to be governed by a binding certificate of quality obtained at loading (in the present case at a pre-loading stage, for the certificate was to be on the fuel ex shore tanks), becomes uncertificated. The buyer is entitled to reject the documents, for he has bought inter alia a certificate. The goods may or may not be within specification, but the buyer has not only agreed to buy goods of a certain specification, but goods certified to be of a certain specification. Therefore, even if the buyer could be satisfied that the goods were in truth within specification at the critical moment under the sale contract (eg on loading or, as here, ex shore tanks), he would be entitled to reject the documents and/or the goods.

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