||Erasmus Iniversity Rotterdam
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Delivery of goods by the carrier is an indispensable part in contract of carriage of goods by sea. At first sight, delivery often seems to have been executed by transferring goods from the carrier to consignee(s) at the destination or other place(s). In a legal sense however, delivery of goods is an essential part of the obligations imposed on the carrier under the contract, and it contains more comprehensive implications. It may be said that the issues in regard to delivery of goods came when the vessel operators were separated from merchant traders and that the contract of carriage of goods by sea emerged. To whom shall the goods be delivered has been, since then, one of the central topics in the shipping practice. Disputes concerning delivery are common in maritime field for years worldwide, and particularly, in China. Statistics shows that more than 75% of the litigation cases brought in Chinese maritime courts, which deal with the contract of carriage of goods by sea. are concerned with the delivery, especially deliveries to wrong person. In addition, we have reasons to believe that a certain number of disputes or legal problems on this topic may not yet at all, have been brought to courts. The hits around the delivery of goods continue. Issues such as liabilities of delivery without bill of lading or delivery under straight bills of lading, relationship between delivery and the end of carrier's responsibility period, the right of suit for delivery, the resolution for the carrier when no taking over of the goods, so on and so forth, have drawn large attention and provoked hot discussions among scholars, judges and practitioners.