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COGSA Defenses Explained: Acts of War

The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, also known as COGSA, was developed to protect vessel owners against legal liability and lawsuits in situations that they could prevent or anticipate. Specifically, officials outlined 17 different COGSA defenses to clarify explicit situations in which vessel owners are not responsible for lost or damaged cargo. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the fifth of the 17 COGSA defenses, acts of war.

What, legally, is considered an act of war? Generally, an act of war is an act of aggression by one country toward another that disrupts and threatens the peace. Acts of war normally involve military action.

How could an act of war damage a shipper’s cargo? You may imagine that the only way an act of war could ruin cargo is if a torpedo struck your ship and sunk it. However, there are a number of different ways that a ship can be affected by war that doesn’t involve a battle at sea. For example, your ship could be taken over by one of the countries at war or a warring party could confiscate or destroy your cargo. Or, more commonly, your ship could be unable to leave a port due to acts of war or unable to navigate through normally friendly waters.

What should you do if you are a vessel owner who could not deliver cargo due to an act of war? Speak with a marine insurance claim attorney from Voss Law Firm today. Call us at 888-614-7730.

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