Cargo Law and Legal Definition

Cargo is the entire load of a ship or other vessel. The term is usually applied to goods rather than people. Cargo carried by sea is governed by Carriage of Goods by Sea Act which was written in 1936. In the 1920's, the Warsaw Convention was drafted to limit carrier liability for cargo and to establish uniformity in the aviation industry with regard to ``the procedure for dealing with claims arising out of international transportation and the substantive law applicable to such claims,'' as well as with regard to documentation such as tickets and waybills.

The U.S. bcame a party to the Warsaw Convention in 1929. The Montreal Protocol No. 4, which deals personal injury and baggage claims, became effective in the United States on March 4, 1999, and amends the Warsaw Convention.