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No.1 of Ten Model Cases in Maritime Trials: Granville Shipping Company, Chen Zhen, and Chen Chun v. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (Case of Disputes over Time Charter Parties and Compensation for Infringement Damages)
海事审判十大典型案例之一:中威轮船公司、陈震、陈春与商船三井株式会社定期租船合同及侵权损害赔偿纠纷案
【法宝引证码】
  • Type of Dispute: Civil-->Maritime ; Civil-->Tort
  • Legal document: Ruling
  • Judgment date: 08-06-2010
  • Procedural status: Retrial

No.1 of Ten Model Cases in Maritime Trials: Granville Shipping Company, Chen Zhen, and Chen Chun v. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (Case of Disputes over Time Charter Parties and Compensation for Infringement Damages)
(Case of Disputes over Time Charter Parties and Compensation for Infringement Damages)
海事审判十大典型案例之一:中威轮船公司、陈震、陈春与商船三井株式会社定期租船合同及侵权损害赔偿纠纷案
No.1 of Ten Model Cases in Maritime Trials: Granville Shipping Company, Chen Zhen, and Chen Chun v. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (Case of Disputes over Time Charter Parties and Compensation for Infringement Damages) 

海事审判十大典型案例之一:中威轮船公司、陈震、陈春与商船三井株式会社定期租船合同及侵权损害赔偿纠纷案

1. Case Summary (一)案情摘要
Granville Shipping Company (hereinafter referred to as “Granville Company”) was established by Chen Shuntong in the early 1930s and was shut down around 1940. Chen Shuntong was the owner of both “Shunfeng” and "Xintaiping” (hereinafter referred to as “two vessels”). The two vessels were operated by Granville Company and the ports of registry of the two vessels were Shanghai. The Company had no other capital contributors. 中威轮船公司(以下简称中威公司)由陈顺通于上世纪三十年代初在上海设立,1940年前后歇业。“顺丰”轮、“新太平”轮(以下简称两轮)的所有权人为陈顺通。两轮由中威公司经营,船籍港均为上海。该公司并无其他出资人。
On June 16 and October 14, 1936, Chen Shuntong, on behalf of Granville Company, entered into time charter parties on the two vessels with Tatung Shipping Co., Ltd. (predecessor of Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.) in Shanghai respectively, with the charter period of 12 calendar months. The payment method of charter hires, the place for redelivery, and other content were stipulated in the parties. It was stipulated in the exception accident clause of such time charter parties that the aforesaid vessels may not be required to enter any port in the status of embargo or any port where acts of hostility were undergoing, may not be loaded with any harmful material, may not conduct any voyage that was likely to cause such risks as confiscation, withholding, or punishment by the governor or government, and may not be shipped with this kind of goods. After these time charter parties were signed, the two vessels were delivered to Tatung Shipping Co., Ltd. at Shanghai port, respectively. In August 1937, the two vessels were withheld by the Japanese military in Osaka and Yawata, Japan and afterwards, the Teishinsho of Japan entrusted Tatung Shipping Co., Ltd. with the operations of the two vessels in the form of time charter parties. In 1938, one vessel struck on a rock and sank and in 1944, the other vessel was sunk by strokes. 1936年6月16日和10月14日,陈顺通代表中威公司与大同海运株式会社(商船三井株式会社的前身)分别在上海签订两轮的定期租船合同,租期均为12个日历月。合同约定了租金支付方式、还船地点等。合同例外事故条款约定,上述轮船不得被要求进入处于禁运状态的港口或正发生敌对行动的港口,不得装运有害物资,不得进行有可能引起统治者或政府没收、扣留或处罚风险的航行,亦不得装运此类货物等。合同签订后,两轮在上海港分别交付给大同海运株式会社使用。1937年8月,两轮在日本大阪和八幡被日本军方扣留,后日本递信省以定期租船契约的形式将两轮委托大同海运株式会社营运。1938年和1944年,两轮分别触礁沉没、被击沉。
On August 8, 1949, Chen Shuntong made a will, in which Chen Qiaqun, his son, should inherit all the rights and interests of the two vessels and the uncollected charter hire receivables. On December 31, 1987, Chen Qiaqun made a will, in which Chen Zhen and Chen Chun, his sons, should serve as the general agents for instituting a lawsuit against Japan. Granville Company, Chen Zhen, and Chen Chun instituted a lawsuit in the Shanghai Maritime Court against Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “MOL”) and claimed that the charter hires of the two vessels, the operating losses, and the vessel losses amounted to 2,916,477,260.80 yen in total. 陈顺通于1949年8月8日立下遗嘱,将两轮的权益及应收未收之租金应全部归其子陈洽群继承。1987年12月31日,陈洽群立下遗嘱,由其子陈震、陈春全权代理向日诉讼。中威公司、陈震、陈春向上海海事法院起诉商船三井株式会社(以下简称商船三井),主张两轮租金、营运损失、船舶损失等合计2916477260.80日元。
2. Judgment (二)裁判结果
After a hearing, the Shanghai Maritime Court held that: Granville Company established by Chen Qiaqun was the party that instituted the lawsuit under the identity of plaintiff, which neither was the signing party of the time charter parties involved, nor was the registered owner of the two vessels. Therefore, the Company had no right to claim the rights under the time charter parties and the rights of the property owner. The two vessels were individual properties owned by Chen Shuntong and there was legal basis for Chen Zhen and Chen Chun to exercise the claim rights to the two vessels. 上海海事法院审理认为,以原告身份提起诉讼的是陈洽群设立的中威公司,该公司不是涉案定期租船合同的签订方,也不是两轮的登记所有人,无权主张定期租船合同项下的权利和财产所有权人的权利。两轮是陈顺通个人所有的财产,陈震、陈春根据遗嘱,行使两轮的索赔权依法有据。
Paying charter hires was the contract obligation of the charterer. MOL should pay the vessel lessor the hires in arrears. The two vessels were not arranged to navigate in safe waters, which caused the withholding of the two vessels by the Japanese military. It was a consequence resulting from the violation of contract stipulations by Tatung Shipping Co., Ltd. In accordance with the provisions of the Maritime Law of the People's Republic of China, the lessor was entitled to terminate the contract and require compensation for the losses suffered therefrom. Knowing that Chen Shuntong was the vessel owner, Tatung Shipping Co., Ltd. continued to occupy the two vessels, did not inform the vessel owner of details on the two vessels, and failed to pay the contract costs, which constituted an infringement upon the rights of the property owner of the two vessels. Considering that the two vessels have been lost, Tatung Shipping Co., Ltd. should assume the liability of infringement compensation for the economic losses that were actually incurred to the vessel owner. 支付租金是承租人的合同义务。商船三井应当向船舶出租人支付欠付的租金。两轮并未被安排到安全的海域航行,导致被日本军方扣留,是大同海运株式会社违反合同约定所造成的后果,依照《中华人民共和国海商法》规定,出租人有权解除合同,并有权要求赔偿因此遭受的损失。大同海运株式会社明知船舶所有人为陈顺通,又继续占有两轮,既不及时告知船舶所有人详情,又不支付合同费用,构成对两轮财产权利人的侵权。鉴于两轮已经灭失,大同海运株式会社对船舶所有人实际发生的经济损失,应当承担侵权赔偿责任。
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