Key points for the filing of maritime disputes

Update:Dec,03,2019 Views:2040

I. How to deal with cases concerning disputes over liability for damage arising from collision of vessels? 

1. The subject is generally the owner of the ship or the charterer of the bareboat.

2. Jurisdiction: Jurisdiction by the maritime court of the places where the collision occurs, the collision ship first arrives, the injuring ship is detained, and the defendant resides.

3. Required materials of prosecution (the remaining materials are the same as those for general maritime cases):

(1) Complaint. The indictment shall include information such as the collision ship information, the collision accident and the consequences, the manner of liability for damages caused by the collision accident, and the statement of the calculation basis.

(2) Relevant evidence materials. The plaintiff shall provide evidence materials such as maritime declarations, maritime accident reports, etc., which may reflect the collision accidents. Insurance assessment reports reflecting the damage results and the ship information such as certifications of ownership and the bareboat charter registration shall also be submitted.

II. How to deal with cases concerning disputes over contracts on employment of seamen and service contracts? 

1. The maritime court accepts the following scope of the contracts on employment of seamen and service contracts: disputes over payment of remunerations and compensation relating to seaman boarding, services on board, and repatriation upon disembarking.

2. Jurisdiction: The lawsuit brought by the seafarers crew labor contract dispute shall be under the jurisdiction of the maritime court of the places where the plaintiff resides, the contract is signed, the crews boarding port or the ships port is located, and the defendant resides.

3. If a crew files a lawsuit as the plaintiff, he/she shall submit personal identification materials (such as household registration card, ID card, etc.), crew identification (crew certification of competency, crew service book, etc.) and evidence of labor contractual relationship between the parties.

Ⅲ. How to deal with cases of disputes over contracts of carriage of goods by sea? 

1. Jurisdiction: Such cases shall be under the jurisdiction of the maritime court at the place of: (1) departure of transportation or (2) destination of transportation or (3) domicile of the defendant or (4) port of re-transportation.

2. Materials to be filed to initiate such an action: (1) evidence on contract of carriage of goods by sea between the parties, such as bill of lading, waybill, affreightment contract, etc.; (2) evidence on facts of the defendants breach of contract, such as evidence on goods taken away at the port of destination in cases about delivery of goods without an original bill of lading; (3) evidence on losses resulted from defendants breach of contract, such as customs declaration, cargo damage inspection report, freight invoice, etc..

3. Plaintiff of a container demurrage case should: (1) identify the defendant as a shipper, consignee or other subjects with payment obligations, and (2) identify the container demurrage standard charged by the plaintiff and the overdue occupation time of the container involved.

4. In cases about delivery of goods without an original bill of lading, the holder of an original bill of lading shall, as the plaintiff, require the carrier to bear the civil liability arising therefrom. The plaintiff shall file the evidence on goods delivered or taken at the port of destination, and the losses resulted therefrom.

Ⅳ. How to deal with cases of disputes over contracts of maritime freight forwarding?

1. Jurisdiction: Where the parties have agreed on a place of performance in a contract, such a place of performance shall be the place where the contract is performed (jurisdiction agreements shall not violate the provisions of laws regarding hierarchical jurisdiction and exclusive jurisdiction). Where the parties fail to agree on or clearly agree on a place of performance in a contract, and the subject matter of dispute is the payment of money, the place where the recipient of money is located shall be the place where the contract is performed; for any other subject matter, the place of the party performing the agreed obligations shall be the place where the contract is performed. Where a contract is not actually performed, and the place of domicile of either party is not the place of performance as agreed on in the contract, the peoples court at the place of domicile of the defendant shall have the jurisdiction.

2. Disputes over contracts of maritime freight forwarding include disputes arising from: (1) the rendering of services, such as booking space, customs declaration, quarantine declaration, inspection declaration and insurance services; (2) the rendering of services, such as packaging, loading inspection, unloading inspection, container packing and unpacking, allocation and transshipping; (3) the making or delivery of documents or the settlement of expenses; (4) the rendering of storage and overland transport services; and (5) the handling of other marine freight forwarding affairs.  

3. If a freight forwarding enterprise, as the plaintiff, brings an action against the consignor for payment of freight forwarding charges, such plaintiff should file evidence regarding: (1) the existence of entrustment relationship between the two parties (such as a booking order, a contract of freight forwarding); (2) the plaintiff has fulfilled the contractual obligation (such as a bill of lading, a custom declaration); (3) the defendants overdue of freight forwarding charges.