494. Application of Hague-Visby Rules to contracts and defined terms.

Subject to the provisions relating to the freedom to enter into a special agreement1, under every contract of carriage of goods2 by sea, in relation to the loading, handling, stowage, carriage, custody, care and discharge of such goods, the carrier3 is subject to the responsibilities and liabilities4 and entitled to the rights and immunities5, set forth in the Hague-Visby Rules6.

The expression 'contract of carriage' applies only to contracts of carriage covered by a bill of lading7 or any similar document of title8, in so far as such document relates to the carriage of goods by sea, including any bill