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Guiding Case No. 108: Zhejiang Longda Stainless Steel Co., Ltd. v. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S (dispute over a contract for the carriage of goods by sea)
指导案例108号:浙江隆达不锈钢有限公司诉A.P.穆勒-马士基有限公司海上货物运输合同纠纷案
【法宝引证码】
  • Type of Dispute: Civil-->Maritime
  • Legal document: Judgment
  • Judgment date: 12-29-2017
  • Procedural status: Trial at First Instance
  • Date issued: 02-25-2019

Guiding Case No. 108: Zhejiang Longda Stainless Steel Co., Ltd. v. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S (dispute over a contract for the carriage of goods by sea) 指导案例108号:浙江隆达不锈钢有限公司诉A.P.穆勒-马士基有限公司海上货物运输合同纠纷案
(Issued on February 25, 2019 as deliberated and adopted by the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court) (最高人民法院审判委员会讨论通过 2019年2月25日发布)
Guiding Case No. 108 指导案例108号
Keywords 关键词
Civil; a contract for the carriage of goods by sea; alteration of contract; alteration of port; withdrawal of goods; right of defense 民事/海上货物运输合同/合同变更/改港/退运/抗辩权
Key Points of Judgment 裁判要点
In a contract for the carriage of goods by sea, in accordance with the provisions of Article 308 of the Contract Law of the People's Republic of China (hereinafter referred to as the “Contract Law”), before the carrier delivers the goods to the consignee, the consignor enjoys the right to claim for alternation of the carriage contract. However, both parties should still observe the principle of fairness as prescribed in Article 5 of the Contract Law to determine the rights and obligations of all parties. When the consignor exercises such right, the carrier may correspondingly exercise some right of defense. If it is difficult to realize the alternation of the carriage contract or alternation of the carriage contract will seriously affect the normal operation of the carrier, the carrier may reject the consignor's claim for alteration of port or withdrawal of goods, but it should, in a timely manner, notify the consignor of the reasons therefor. 在海上货物运输合同中,依据合同法三百零八条的规定,承运人将货物交付收货人之前,托运人享有要求变更运输合同的权利,但双方当事人仍要遵循合同法五条规定的公平原则确定各方的权利和义务。托运人行使此项权利时,承运人也可相应行使一定的抗辩权。如果变更海上货物运输合同难以实现或者将严重影响承运人正常营运,承运人可以拒绝托运人改港或者退运的请求,但应当及时通知托运人不能变更的原因。
Legal Provisions 相关法条
Article 308 of the Contract Law of the People's Republic of China 中华人民共和国合同法》第308条
Article 86 of the Maritime Law of the People's Republic of China 中华人民共和国海商法》第86条
Basic Facts 基本案情
In June 2014, Zhejiang Longda Stainless Steel Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Longda Company”) exported a batch of stainless steel seamless products to Colombo Port of Sri Lanka from Ningbo Port of China, with the customs value of USD366,918.97. Longda Company booked cargo space from A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S (hereinafter referred to as “Maersk A/S”). The goods invovled were loaded in four containers and the shipment started on June 28 of the same year. Longda Compnay required telex-release in the shipment. On July 9, 2014, through the freight forwarder, Longda Company sent an email to Maersk A/S and claimed for alteration of port or withdrawal of goods since the destination of the goods invovled was erroneous. On the same day, Maersk A/S made a reply that since there were less than two days before the arrival of the goods involved, it was impossible to arrange alteration of port. If withdrawal of goods was necessary, Maersk A/S needed to make a reply after confirmation with the destination port. On the subsequent day, the freight forwarder of Longda Company inquired whether the goods invovled could be brought back in the same ship. On the same day, Maersk A/S replied that “It is not operational to bright the goods back in the same ship. After the discharge of the goods at the destination port, the consignee should conduct customs clearance at the destination port and then apply for withdrawal of goods to the local Customs. With the approval of the Customs, the withdrawal of goods may be arranged.” On July 10, 2014, Longda Company claimed that “The withdrawal of goods should be arranged. Since the customs clearance failed, they should be returned to Ningbo City. Is there any other option?” Afterwards, Maersk A/S did not reply any emails any more. 2014年6月,浙江隆达不锈钢有限公司(以下简称隆达公司)由中国宁波港出口一批不锈钢无缝产品至斯里兰卡科伦坡港,货物报关价值为366918.97美元。隆达公司通过货代向A.P.穆勒-马士基有限公司(以下简称马士基公司)订舱,涉案货物于同年6月28日装载于4个集装箱内装船出运,出运时隆达公司要求做电放处理。2014年7月9日,隆达公司通过货代向马士基公司发邮件称,发现货物运错目的地要求改港或者退运。马士基公司于同日回复,因货物距抵达目的港不足2天,无法安排改港,如需退运则需与目的港确认后回复。次日,隆达公司的货代询问货物退运是否可以原船带回,马士基公司于当日回复“原船退回不具有操作性,货物在目的港卸货后,需要由现在的收货人在目的港清关后,再向当地海关申请退运。海关批准后,才可以安排退运事宜”。2014年7月10日,隆达公司又提出“这个货要安排退运,就是因为清关清不了,所以才退回宁波的,有其他办法吗”。此后,马士基公司再未回复邮件。
Around July 12, 2014, the goods involved arrived at the destination port. On January 19, 2015, at the request of Longda Company, Maersk A/S issued the full set of original bill of lading (No. 603386880) to Longda Company. According to the bill of lading, Longda Company was the consignor, Venus Steel Pvt. Ltd. was the consignee and notifying party, Ningbo of China was the port of shipment, and Colombo of Sri Lanka was the port of unloading. On May 19, 2015, Longda Company sent to Maersk A/S an email that it has applied for withdrawal of goods according to the requirements of Maersk A/S. Soon afterwards, Maersk A/S notified Longda Company that the goods involved have been auctioned. 涉案货物于2014年7月12日左右到达目的港。马士基公司应隆达公司的要求于2015年1月29日向其签发了编号603386880的全套正本提单。根据提单记载,托运人为隆达公司,收货人及通知方均为VENUSSTEEL PVT LTD,起运港中国宁波,卸货港科伦坡。2015年5月19日,隆达公司向马士基公司发邮件表示已按马士基公司要求申请退运。马士基公司随后告知隆达公司涉案货物已被拍卖。
Judgment 裁判结果
On March 4, 2016, the Ningbo Maritime Court entered a Civil Judgment (No. 534 [2015], First, Commercial Division, Ningbo) that since Longda Company failed to voluntarily take delivery of the goods and adopt other effective measures, the goods involved were auctioned by the Customs and the corresponding risks of damage should be assumed by Longda Company. Therefore, the Ningbo Maritime Court dismissed the claims of Longda Company. After the judgment of first instance was pronounced, Longda Company appealed. On September 29, 2016, the Higher People's Court of Zhejiang Province entered a Civil Judgment (No. 222 [2016], Final, Civil Division, HPC, Zhejiang) that the judgment of first instance should be set aside; and Maersk A/S should, within ten days after this judgment was served, compensate Longda Company USD183,459.49 for damage of goods and the interest thereof. The court of second instance held that in accordance with Article 308 of the Contract Law, Longda Company had the right to claim for alteration of port or withdrawal of goods before Maersk A/S delivered the goods. After Longda Company raised a claim for withdrawal of goods, Maersk A/S neither expressly refused to arrange the withdrawal of goods nor notified Longda Company of handling such goods by itself. Therefore, Maersk A/S should assume the corresponding compensation liability for the damage of the goods involved and the proportion of liability should be determined as 50%. Maersk A/S refused to accept the judgment of second instance and filed an application for retrial with the Supreme People's Court. On December 29, 2017, the Supreme People's Court entered a Civil Judgment (No. 412 [2017], Retrial, Civil Division, SPC) to set aside the judgment of second instance and affirm the judgment of first instance. 宁波海事法院于2016年3月4日作出(2015)甬海法商初字第534号民事判决,认为隆达公司因未采取自行提货等有效措施导致涉案货物被海关拍卖,相应货损风险应由该公司承担,故驳回隆达公司的诉讼请求。一审判决后,隆达公司提出上诉。浙江省高级人民法院于2016年9月29日作出(2016)浙民终222号民事判决:撤销一审判决;马士基公司于判决送达之日起十日内赔偿隆达公司货物损失183459.49美元及利息。二审法院认为依据合同法三百零八条,隆达公司在马士基公司交付货物前享有请求改港或退运的权利。在隆达公司提出退运要求后,马士基公司既未明确拒绝安排退运,也未通知隆达公司自行处理,对涉案货损应承担相应的赔偿责任,酌定责任比例为50%。马士基公司不服二审判决,向最高人民法院申请再审。最高人民法院于2017年12月29日作出(2017)最高法民再412号民事判决:撤销二审判决;维持一审判决。
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