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《装卸时间与滞期费》第二章——装卸时间条款-连载(三十二)

发布者:海员网|更新时间:2018-06-11 17:23:22|咨询可以加微信:cyfu01 | 133人评论)

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  《装卸时间与滞期费》第6版

  Laytime Clauses 装卸时间条款

  2.212 Shortly after these two cases, the whole question was considered by the House of Lords in Postlethwaite v. Freeland.[ Postlethwaite v. Freeland (1880) 5 App Cas 599.] The facts of the case were that a vessel, the Cumberland Lassie, was chartered for the carriage of a cargo of steel rails and fastenings from Barrow-in-Furness to East London, South Africa. The charterparty provided for the ‘‘cargo to be discharged with all dispatch according to the custom of the port’’. At East London, it was customary for such vessels to anchor some distance outside the harbour and for their cargo to be discharged into lighters, which were then manually warped into the harbour. The whole operation was under the control of a private company, which discharged each ship in turn, except that mail steamers were given priority. Due to a shortage of suitable lighters and congestion at the port, the Cumberland Lassie had to wait some 31 working days before discharge was commenced.

  2.212这两个案子之后不久,上议院在审理Postlethwaite v. Freeland—案中,全面讨论了这个问题。该案的情况是:Cumberland Lassie 轮被租赁由英国的Barrow-in-Furness港到南非的东伦敦港运输钢轨及紧固机件。租船合同规定:‘货物按港口习惯的速率尽快卸下’。在东伦敦港,这类船舶往往习惯上要在港外一定距离锚泊并将货物卸到驳船上,然后再由人工拉进港。所有这些作业均由一家私人公司控制,各轮要依次卸货,除非是邮船优先。由于缺少合适的驳船以及港口拥挤,在卸货开始前,Cumberland Lassie轮不得不等了大约31个工作日。

  2.213 The House of Lords held that the claim for demurrage failed. The Lord Chancellor, Lord Selborne, put it this way:[ Ibid., at p. 608.]

  There is no doubt that the duty of providing and making proper use of suf?cient means for the discharge of cargo, when a ship which has been chartered arrives at its destination and is ready to discharge, lies (generally) upon the charterer. If, by the terms of the charterparty, he has agreed to discharge it within a ?xed period of time, that is an absolute and unconditional engagement, for the non-performance of which he is answerable, whatever may be the nature of the impediments which prevent him from performing it and which cause the ship to be detained in his service beyond the time stipulated. If, on the other hand, there is no ?xed time, the law implies an agreement on his part to discharge the cargo within a reasonable time; that is (as was said by Mr Justice Blackburn in Ford v. Cotesworth[ Ford and others v. Cotesworth and another (1868) 4 LR QB 127.] ‘‘a reasonable time under the circumstances’’). Dif?cult questions may sometimes arise as to the circumstances which ought to be taken into consideration in determining what time is reasonable. If (as in the present case) an obligation, inde?nite as to time, is quali?ed or partially de?ned by express or implied reference to the custom or practice of a particular port, every impediment arising from or out of that custom or practice, which the charterer could not have overcome by the use of any reasonable diligence, ought (I think) to be taken into consideration.

  2.213上议院判决:关于滞期费的索赔失败。上议院首席大法官Selborne勋爵这样说:

  毫无疑问,当某轮按照租船合同抵达其目的地并已做好了卸货准备时,(在通常情况下)承租人有义务为其提供和使用一切适于卸货的方式。如果,根据租船合同条款的规定,他已经同意在一段固定的时间内卸完货物,这是一个绝对和无条件的义务约定,无法做到就要负责损失赔偿,不论什么性质的阻碍导致他无法履行和致使船舶在超出规定的装卸时间之后仍被延误滞留。相反,如果没有订明固定的时间,法律上则默示存在一方应该在合理的时间内完成卸货的协议,这也就是Blackburn法官曾在Ford v. Cotesworth案中所说的‘在具体情况下的合理时间’。困难的问题在于,有时往往不知道要考虑哪些情况来确定什么样的时间才算合理。(如同本案)如果时间没确定的话,这一责任/义务都要明示或默示参照特定港口的习惯或常规来限制或部分限定,而对于每一个由于这些习惯或常规所造成的,而且是承租人经过合理尽职仍然不能克服的阻碍,我认为,都应予以考虑。
  


  2.214 Blackburn J, who had by now become Lord Blackburn, was also a member of the court and, perhaps not surprisingly, he reiterated his earlier views basing himself in part on a railway case, Taylor v. Great Northern Railway,[ Taylor v. Great Northern Railway (1866) LR 1 CP 385.] where it was held that ‘‘a reasonable time’’ meant what was reasonable in the circumstances. He also distinguished Ashcroft v. Crow Orchard Colliery Co[ Ashcroft v. Crow Orchard Colliery Co (1874) LR 9 QB 540.] and suggested a way around Wright v. New Zealand Shipping Co.[ Wright v. New Zealand Shipping Co (1879) 4 Ex D 165. It is possible, however, that the thinking behind these cases is what gave rise to the phrase ‘‘customary quick despatch’’. ]

  2.214 对此,或许Blackburn法官不会感到吃惊,目前已成为勋爵,也是上议院法庭的成员之一。他又重申了他本人早期所审理的铁路案件Taylor v. Great Northern Railway案中的观点。当时他判定:‘合理的时间’是针对当时的条件下合理而言的。他还指出了与Ashcroft v. Crow Orchard Colliery Co—案的差异,并谈到了关于Wright v. New Zealand Shipping Co案的处理方法。

  2.215 In Pantland Hick v. Raymond & Reid,[ Pantland Hick v. Raymond & Reid [1893] AC 22 (reported in the Court of Appeal as Hick v. Rodocanachi [1891] 2 QB 626).] the House of Lords again had a chance to consider whether reasonable meant reasonable in ordinary or actual circumstances. In this case, a cargo was shipped under bills of lading which did not specify any discharge time. Upon arrival, the dock company began to unload the cargo, but work was held up by a strike of dock labourers. It was not possible for the consignees to provide their own or any other labour, and the court therefore held that the consignees were not liable for the delay. Attempts to distinguish Postlethwaite v. Freeland,[ Postlethwaite v. Freeland (1880) 5 App Cas 599.] as applying only where a custom of the port was referred to, were rejected. In the course of his speech, Lord Herschell said:[ Pantland Hick v. Raymond & Reid, supra, at p. 48.]

  . . . I would observe, in the ?rst place, that there is of course no such thing as a reasonable time in the abstract. It must always depend upon circumstances. Upon ‘‘the ordinary circumstances’’ say the learned counsel for the appellant. But what may without impropriety be termed the ordinary circumstances differ in particular ports at different times of the year . . . It appears to me that the appellant’s contention would involve constant dif?culty and dispute and that the only sound principle is that the ‘‘reasonable time’’ should depend on the circumstances that actually exist. If the cargo has been taken with all reasonable despatch under those circumstances I think the obligation of the consignee has been ful?lled.

  2.215 在审理Pantland Hick v. Raymond & Reid案,上议院借机再一次讨论了所谓的合理所指的究竟是在通常的情况下还是在实际的情况下的问题。在该案中,货物根据提单运输,其上并没有任何关于卸货时间的规定。当船舶抵达之后,码头公司即开始了卸货,但卸货作业由于码头工人的罢工而中止。对于收货人来讲,他们既不能自己去卸货,也不可能找到其他的工人。法院由此判定收货人对这一延迟不负责任。原告试图提出该案是区别于Postlethwaite v. Freeland—案,因为后者仅根据港口的习惯。但是这一主张却被驳回了。Herschell勋爵在他的判词中说:

  ……首先,我要评述说的是,这当然,合理的时间在理论上并不是抽象的东西。这始终是要遵循具体情况具体分析。按照原告(船东)辩护律师的说法,应该根据‘一般正常的环境情况’来定。但是,正常来讲,在具体港口,被称之为一般正常的环境情况在一年当中不同的时间也会有差别……依我看,显然,原告的这一观点始终存在着困难和争议,所以唯一正确原则是‘合理的时间’应该根据当时实际存在的情况来定。如果在当时条件下,货物能够在真正存在的环境下合理速遣地被卸下接受的话,我想收货人已经履行了他们应尽的义务。
  


  2.216 A similar view was expressed by Lord Herschell in Carlton SS Co Ltd v. Castle Mail Packets Co, again in the House of Lords, where he said:[ Carlton Steamship Co Ltd v. Castle Mail Packets Co Ltd [1898] AC 486, at p. 491]

  There is no such thing as reasonable time in the abstract. The question is whether, having regard to all the obligations of the contract, to its conditions, to its restrictions and to its limitations, more than a reasonable time has been taken in the performance of any one of these obligations in respect of which the parties have not, by their contract, expressed any limit of time for its performance.

  2.216 在另一个上议院的案例Carlton SS Co Ltd v. Castle Mail Packets Co案,Herschell勋爵也表明了类似的观点,说:

  从理论上讲,并没有什么合理的时间。问题是,在合同中当事双方并没对履行合同义务规定有明确的时间限制的情况下,鉴于所有的合同责任/义务、条件、限制和时效,当执行合同其中任何一项义务时,是否超出了合理的时间。

  2.217 In Lyle Shipping Co Ltd v. Corporation of Cardiff, Romer LJ said:

  The ?rst question we have to consider is as to the meaning of the not uncommon provision in a charterparty as to the ship being discharged ‘‘with all dispatch as customary’’. I think it is now settled that such a provision means that the discharge shall take place with all reasonable dispatch, and that in considering what is reasonable you must have regard, not to a hypothetical state of things (that is, to what would be reasonable in an ordinary state of circumstances), but to the actual state of things at the time of discharge and in particular to the customs of the port of discharge.

  2.217 在Lyle Shipping Co v. Corporation of Cardiff案中,Romer大法官说:

  我们要考虑的第一个问题就是在租船合同中被广泛使用的条款的含义——船舶‘按习惯性尽力速遣’卸货。我认为,目前应将这一条款的含义理解为尽所有的努力尽力速遣进行卸货作业,而且,在考虑什么才算合理时,您不仅要注意一切前提条件(也就是说,在通常情形状态下何谓是‘合理的’),而且还要注意到在卸货当时的实际情况和该卸货港特殊的习惯。

  2.218 Later authorities only con?rmed that ‘‘reasonable must be reasonable under all the circumstances of the case’’.

  2.218 后来的一些判例仅仅是确认:‘合理’必须是在具体案情的所有情况下的‘合理’。

  

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