An Act to make provisions for the development and regulation of warehouses, negotiability of warehouse receipts, establishment of a Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Registration of warehouses.
- No person shall commence or carry on the warehousing business unless he has obtained a registration certificate in respect of the concerned warehouse granted by the Authority under this Act.
- The Authority may, grant a certificate of registration of the warehouse bearing a registration number.
- The Authority shall, determine the number of accreditation agencies to issue certificate of accreditation to warehouses issuing negotiable warehouse receipts.
Liabilities of warehousemen.
A warehouseman is liable for loss of, or injury to, goods caused by his failure to exercise his duties.
In the absence of a lawful excuse, a warehouseman shall deliver the goods referred to in a negotiable receipt, to the holder of the receipt on demand made by the holder and on the holder fulfilling all the following conditions, namely:-
- satisfying the warehouse lien; (amount of the storage and maintenance charges).
- surrendering the receipt in case of non-negotiable receipt and surrendering the receipt with endorsements in case of negotiable receipt.
- acknowledging in writing the receipt of the goods.
- Every warehouseman shall keep in place a complete and accurate set of records and accounts of all transactions pertaining to the operation of a warehouse.
- Every warehouseman has a lien on goods deposited with him for storage, whether deposited by the owner of the goods or by his authority.
A warehouse receipt, shall be a document of title to goods in writing if it contains all the following particulars, namely:-
- receipt number and date of issue.
- warehouse registration number and date up to which it is valid.
- name of the warehouse and the person by whom or on whose behalf the goods are deposited.
- statement that the goods received shall be delivered to the holder thereof, or that the goods shall be delivered to the order of a named person.
- rates of storage charges and handling charges.
- description of the goods or of the packages containing them with particulars of quantity and quality or grade;
- market value of the goods at the time of deposit.
- private marks of depositor on the goods or packages, if any, except in the case of fungible goods.
- name of the insurance company indemnifying for fire, flood, theft, burglary, misappropriation, riots, strikes or terrorism.
- whether the warehouse receipt is negotiable or non-negotiable.
- the fact that the warehouseman holds the lien on the goods deposited for his storage and handling charges; and(q) that the receipt would be valid only till the date of expiry of declared shelf- life of the goods for which it is issued.
- A person who, negotiates a negotiable warehouse receipt by endorsement and delivery, including one who assigns for valuable consideration, a claim secured by a receipt, unless a contrary intention appears, warrants the following:-
- that the receipt is genuine.
- that the goods are merchantable or fit for a particular purpose when those warranties would have been implied, if the contract of the parties had been to transfer without a receipt the goods represented by it.
In a dispute between an endorser of a negotiable warehouse receipt and his endorsee unless it is proved otherwise, it shall be presumed that:-
- the endorsement has been made voluntarily
- the endorsement has been made for full consideration
- the endorser had full legal title in the goods represented by the receipt.
- the endorsement has extinguished all the rights, title and interest of the endorser in the goods.
Establishment and incorporation of Authority.
With effect from the Central Government, there shall be an authority to be called the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority to exercise the powers conferred on, and to perform the functions assigned to it by or under this Act.
The Authority shall consist of a Chairperson; and not more than two other members, to be appointed by the Central Government.
- The powers and functions of the Authority shall include the following, namely: –
- to issue to the applicants a certificate of registration in respect of warehouses, or renew, modify, withdraw, suspend or cancel such registration.
- to regulate the registration and functioning of accreditation agency, renew, modify, withdraw, suspend or cancel such registration, and specify the code of conduct for officials of accreditation agencies for accreditation of the warehouses.
- to specify the qualifications, code of conduct and practical training for warehousemen and staff engaged in the warehousing business.
- to regulate the process of pledge, creation of charges and enforcement thereof in respect of goods deposited with the warehouse.
- to promote efficiency in conduct of warehouse business.
- to regulate the rates, advantages, terms and conditions that may be offered by warehousemen in respect of warehousing business.
- to specify the duties and responsibilities of the warehouseman.
- to exercise such other powers and perform other such functions as may be prescribed.
There shall constitute a fund called the Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority Fund and there shall be credited thereto:-
- all Central Government grants, fees and charges received by the Authority.
- all sums received by the Authority from such other source as may be decided upon by the Central Government.
- all sums realised by way of penalties under this Act.
- The Authority shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts in such form and manner as prescribed by the Central Government.
- The Authority shall furnish returns, statements and other particulars in regard to any proposed or existing programme for the promotion and development of the warehousing industry.
Protection of action taken in good faith.
No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Central Government or any officer of the Central Government or any member, officer or other employee of the Authority for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or the rules or regulations made there under: Provided that nothing in this Act shall exempt any person any suit or other proceedings which might, apart from this Act, be brought against him.