46 U.S. Code § 30503. Declaration of nature and value of goods

(a)In General.—
If a shipper of an item named in subsection (b), contained in a parcel, package, or trunk, loads the item as freight or baggage on a vessel, without at the time of loading giving to the person receiving the item a written notice of the true character and value of the item and having that information entered on the bill of lading, the owner and master of the vessel are not liable as carriers. The owner and master are not liable beyond the value entered on the bill of lading.
(b)Items.—
The items referred to in subsection (a) are precious metals, gold or silver plated articles, precious stones, jewelry, trinkets, watches, clocks, glass, china, coins, bills, securities, printings, engravings, pictures, stamps, maps, papers, silks, furs, lace, and similar items of high value and small size.

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

30503

46 App.:181.

R.S. § 4281.

In subsection (a), the words “load” and “loading” are substituted for “lade” and “lading” to use more common terminology. The words “person receiving the item” are substituted for “master, clerk, agent, or owner of such vessel receiving the same” to eliminate unnecessary words. The words “thereof in any form or manner” and “and according to the character thereof so notified and” are omitted as unnecessary.

In subsection (b), the words “precious metals” are substituted for “platina, gold, gold dust, silver, . . . or other precious metals, . . . gold or silver in a manufactured or unmanufactured state”, the words “precious stones” are substituted for “diamonds, or other precious stones”, the words “watches, clocks” are substituted for “watches, clocks, or timepieces of any description”, the words “coins, bills, securities” are substituted for “bullion, . . . coins, . . . bills of any bank or public body, . . . orders, notes, or securities for the payment of money”, the word “papers” is substituted for “writings, title deeds”, and the word “silks” is substituted for “silks in a manufactured or unmanufactured state, and whether wrought up or not wrought up with any other material”, to eliminate unnecessary words. The words “and similar items of high value and small size” are added to ensure that any of the items specifically named in the source but omitted in the revised section, or similar items, will be covered by this section.