437. The bill of lading and the terms of the contract of carriage.

The contract of affreightment need not necessarily be expressed in writing1. In the absence of a charterparty2 or bill of lading, the terms on which the parties have agreed may be ascertained by reference not only to documents of a more or less informal character, such as advice notes3, freight notes4, mate's receipts5, handbills6, sea waybills7, delivery orders8 or booking notes9, but also to advertisements10, and even to conversations11 or oral promises12, and the general course of business followed on previous occasions by the parties13.

Where, as is usually the case, there is a bill of lading relating to the