480. Extent of authority of master or other agent.

If the bill of lading is signed by an agent other than the master, such as a managing agent or a broker1, the existence of his authority to sign it is a question of fact, and the principal from whom his authority was derived, whether that principal is the shipowner or the charterer2, is liable on his signature, provided that the agent has not exceeded his actual or ostensible authority3.

Signature by the master is highly uncommon today, but seems to be subject to the following rules. He prima facie has a general implied authority to bind the shipowner