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In Admiralty law, any unreasonable variation in the conduct of a vessel in the carriage of goods whereby the risk of damage to the shipment could be increased; e.g. a vessel straying from the customary course of the voyage to call at an unscheduled port, overcarrying the goods beyond the port of discharge stated in the bill of lading, delay in carrying the goods, or carrying cargo on deck of a vessel not designed for carriage of containers on deck. Such a deviation causes the carrier and the ship to lose their Cogsa defenses and limitations for loss or damage to the cargo. Any deviation to save life or property at sea is not unreasonable and does not make the carrier liable for any resulting loss or damage to cargo. A Marine Cargo Policy generally includes a Deviation Clause to protect the cargo owner in case of deviation or change of voyage or, in case of an error in the description of the interest, vessel or voyage.
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