By virtue of Article III (3)of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1971 the Bill of Lading is required to contain the number of goods and the actual condition of the goods.3 As such the Bill of Lading is an authentic receipt of the goods contained in a sale of goods contract. The Bill of lading is evidence of a contract of carriage.4 Until such time as the goods are physically delivered to and received by the buyer the Bill of Lading will function as constructive possession of the goods under any sale of goods contracts.5
Typically, in contracts for the sale of goods, especially in circumstances where the Bill of Lading is drafted in a manner consistent with the seller’s specification, title to the property or goods under the contract will pass when the documents are tendered. Implicit in this transaction is the residual duty of the seller to deliver good title to goods and to assume liability for damages in respect of defective goods. Once the goods are placed with the carrier the seller is absolved of further responsibility if the goods conform to the Bill of Lading. The contract also makes provision for limitation of liability and for remedies for breach of the terms and conditions contained in the Bill of Lading.6
As a result, once the goods have been dispatched to the carrier the seller’s responsibility for preserving the integrity of the goods will come to an end. Schmitoff explains that even though the buyer is under a duty to pay for the goods, freight and insurance the goods are dispatched at the buyer’s risk.8 Under contracts for the sale of goods in International Law, goods are presumed to pass pursuant to the intention of the contracting parties.9 The law presumes that the parties intend that the goods will fit the description as provided for .in the contract for the sale of goods.  .