无AGM证书是否是有效交还船的先决条件
日期:2018-07-28 阅读:1224


  【摘要】在雌亚洲型舞毒蛾迁徙期间,该飞蛾的侵扰是困扰航行在远东地区船舶的问题。这种问题常常存在于韩国、日本、北中国和俄罗斯远东地区。许多国家都对这种侵入性、破坏性的物种十分警觉,尤其美国、加拿大、智利、澳大利亚和新西兰。这些国家通常要求会要求到达本国港口的船舶报告其是否在两年内高危期进入过高风险区域,往往会要求船舶提供无AGM的证书。那么此证书的费用由谁承担,是否影响交还船?本文通过对一些合同条款的分析来说明和AGM相关的一些问题。

  【关键词】AGM、亚洲型舞毒蛾、交船、还船

  前段时间有人讨论在国内北方港口卸完货后,谁该为无亚洲型舞毒蛾证书买单的问题。作为合约的恰当解释,应该将合约前后条款结合起来当作一个整体来解释;如果租约中对此费用没有作明确的规定,那么应该具体情况具体分析。因此一切还得看合同条款是如何约定的。在分析之前,先来了解一下亚洲型舞毒蛾的相关信息。

  亚洲型舞毒蛾(AsianGypsy Moth,AGM),是一种对林业破坏性很强的害虫,主要分布在俄罗斯远东地区,也包括中、日、韩部分地区。为了防止害虫随船舶传播入, 危害当地林业, 美国、加拿大、澳大利亚、新西兰、智利等国家, 对一定期限内挂靠过上诉地区的船舶重点监控。要求挂靠船舶提交认证检验师开具的“无亚洲型舞毒蛾证书”(AGM Free Certificate), 证明已对全船进行彻底检查, 船上无亚洲型舞毒蛾、蛾卵等。如果没有这份证书, 船舶可能被拒绝入港, 在港外锚地接受相关检查, 从而造成船期和费用的损失。在这些国家一旦被拒绝进港,需要采取熏蒸等手段的话,费用高昂。

  参West of England,Gard等协会可知,雌性AGM的颜色为白色/淡黄色,翅膀上有明显的黑色斑点,体型大于雄性AGM,翅展40-70毫米。在船舶运输过程中有可能发现AGM卵块,而非遇到活体AGM。雌性AGM善于飞行,并具有趋光性,因此常常在船上外部灯或探照灯附近发现AGM卵。如果岸上强光直接投射到船上,可能会使船舶和货物上到处都寄生AGM卵。在安全可行的情况下,应关闭船上外部灯光。AGM卵质地柔软,颜色为浅棕色到深棕色之间。典型的卵块包含500到1000个卵,大小在20毫米乘40毫米左右。AGM卵特别顽强,能够忍受温度和湿度变化。卵块通常堆积在一些庇荫处所,例如,在帆布下面、在照明固定器周围、在舱口围板等框架下方、在驾驶室两翼下方。卵块还经常附着在缆绳、集装箱外部和车轮拱板等工具上。幼虫通常在早春孵化,该段时期被认为是高风险期,所以希望避免该种生物入侵的国家对曾在迁徙期停靠远东,随后在孵化期抵港的船舶特别关注。孵卵的高峰时间是早上;分散的幼虫纵向移动,快速爬到高点,借助风力可以大面积分散,直到他们找到适合寄宿的树木,这一过程被称“Ballooning”。

  澳大利亚在2018年1月19日发布的第06-2018号行业告知书中宣布,该国港口已进入对船舶加强监测期。每年一月到五月是澳大利亚各港对船舶加强AGM监测的时期。过去24个月内曾在此类飞蛾的婚飞季期间到访过俄罗斯东部AGM疫区的船舶将接受澳大利亚主管当局的风险评估,以确定是否需要在到达时进行有针对性的AGM检查。

  新西兰曾在亚洲型舞毒蛾2016爆发之前,扩充了其亚太地区AGM疫区名单,且现已通过2018年2月1日生效的《船舶类航行器风险管理标准》(CRMS标准),使其AGM方面的要求成为正式规定。该CRMS标准将继续要求过去12个月内曾在AGM季节期间到访过中国、俄罗斯东部、日本或韩国AGM疫区的船舶,在到达新西兰时提供有效的无AGM证明。但针对2018年AGM婚飞季的新规定是:出发前证明必须由初级产业部(MPI)认可的检验机构出具。对于曾在2017年AGM季节期间到访过AGM疫区的船舶而言,MPI将继续接受其“致航运业通告:新西兰针对船舶携带亚洲型舞毒蛾的措施”中列出的检验机构之一所出具的出发前证明。

  加拿大、美国和智利继续规定,过去24个月内曾在AGM季节期间到访过中国、俄罗斯东部、日本或韩国的AGM疫区之一的船舶,应在到达时提供有效的无AGM证明。但值得注意的是,智利所定义的疫区包括位于北纬20°至60°之间的港口,因此可能包括亚太地区南部的港口,而这些港口并不属于其他一些国家所定义的疫区。

  美国农业部(USDA)对于亚洲型舞毒蛾的描述是,AGM包括Lymantria dispar asiatica,Lymantria dispar japonica,Lymantriaalbescens,Lymantria umbrosa和Lymantriapostalba,是一种在美国未知的外来害虫。虽然AGM幼虫在许多方面与欧洲型舞毒蛾类似,但它们以更广泛的植物物种为食,覆盖了100多个植物科。这种广泛的可能寄主植物,加上雌性长距离飞行的能力,可以使AGM迅速传播。AGM的大量侵染可以使树木完全脱叶,使它们变得脆弱,更容易受到疾病或其他昆虫的攻击。如果落叶重复2年或更长时间,它可能导致大片森林,果园和景观的死亡。AGM在任何美国港口入侵都将对环境以及城市,郊区和乡村景观构成重大威胁。自2009年以来,美国农业部(USDA)与加拿大食品检验局合作,与外国贸易伙伴合作监测AGM的数量并在船舶离开之前检查船舶,证明船舶没有携带AGM虫卵。当船舶到达美国港口时,船舶也会接受AGM检查。虽然这些预防措施是有效的,但偶尔也会导致AGM入侵。当检测到AGM时,USDA与其他联邦和州机构合作评估虫害并采取适当措施防止蔓延。

  加拿大的食品检验局也针对AGM规定了一系列的措施,以防止AGM入侵。
  


  AGM最早于1991年底在加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚省温哥华港附近首次发现。此后不久,在华盛顿州,俄勒冈州和不列颠哥伦比亚省发现了此飞蛾。来自俄罗斯东部港口的AGM卵块受到侵染,可能在访问西海岸的港口时将害虫引入北美。科学家认为,当船舶停靠时,幼虫会从卵中孵化并被吹到岸上。1993年,另一次在北卡罗来纳州,从一艘载有来自德国的受感染货物集装箱的船上出现后飞入周围地区。直到回溯之前,AGM才在欧洲出现。在1991年至2014年期间,AGM在美国各地至少被发现并根除了20次,最近的AGM检测发生在2015年。 这些州和俄克拉荷马州正在进行的调查将有助于确定是否存在虫害,以及可能需要采取哪些后续行动来解决这些问题。多年来美国农业部的几项有害生物风险评估得出的结论是,由于亚洲和北美生态系统之间的相似性,未得到解决,AGM在美国北方的森林具有很大的殖民化潜力。AGM可能会对景观和自然资源造成严重的,广泛的破坏。每个AGM雌性可以在模糊的卵块中产下数百个卵,这反过来会产生数百只可能以数百种树木和灌木为食的贪婪毛虫。AGM毛虫可以以惊人的速度对植物进行侵害并导致落叶。这种落叶会严重削弱树木和灌木,杀死它们或使它们更容易受到疾病和其他害虫的侵害,并破坏哺乳动物和鸟类的栖息地。在家庭,庭院和公园中,毛毛虫的丝线,粪便,被摧毁的树叶和死蛾也会令人讨厌。AGM类似于在美国东北部和加拿大东南部发现的欧洲吉普赛蛾。与欧洲舞毒蛾一样,AGM喜欢森林栖息地,可能导致严重的树木落叶,导致灌木的退化。AGM具有更广泛的寄主范围,包括落叶松,橡树,杨树,桤木,柳树和一些常绿植物。雌性AGM长距离飞行的能力使得AGM很可能迅速在美国各地传播。相比之下,欧洲舞毒蛾花了140多年(自1869年以来)才从东北到东南和中西部地区传播到美国各地。AGM的破坏性比欧洲舞毒蛾强大许多。

  再来看看AGM雌性飞蛾迁徙期,船舶在远东、韩国、中国北部(上海以北; 31-15N以北),以及俄罗斯远东和日本等地区;如果船舶在此期间挂靠这些地区的港口,将面临AGM在船上大量产卵的危险。
  


  因此在此期间挂靠这些区域内港口的船舶,将面临一个很现实的问题,到底需要不要作检验,离港前获得无亚洲型舞毒蛾证书?如果需要,费用该由谁来承担?

  接下来,本文通过日常中常见的租约条款来分析这方面的问题。

  一、租约明确规定必须有无AGM证书

  首先来看,租约中已经作明确规定的,船东在交船的时候,必须提供无亚洲型舞毒蛾证书,条款如下:

  TRADED TO AN AREA WHERE THERE IS A RISK OF INFESTATION BY AGM, THE OWNERS SHALL, ON DELIVERY, PROVIDE AN INSPECTION CERTIFICATE STATING THAT THE VESSEL IS FREE FROM INFESTATION BY AGM ISSUED BY AN APPROPRIATE AND RECOGNISED CERTIFICATION BODY (AN AGM FREE CERTIFICATE) DATED NO EARLIER THAN THE DATE OF DEPARTURE FROM THE LAST PORT OF CALL IN SUCH AREA.

  涉及此条款的船舶,之前航次在日照港卸货;下个航次为航次期租,交船点在日照;租家拟安排到董家口装货到土耳其卸。船东认为,依此航次任务,租家有责任必须在董家口安排AGM检查,在离港前获得无AGM证书。但是由于合同中有该条款的规定,船东有责任在交船时提供相关无AGM的有效证书,但是如果船东在日照办了该证书后,船再到董家口装货,那么在日照安排的证书就马上无效,会造成浪费。最后经过与租家协商,租家同意由租家在董家口安排做检验,但费用船东和租家各承担一半。

  从表面上看,船东似乎占了点便宜,避免在日照港做检验,独自承担检验的费用。但实际上,经过查核发现,租家安排该轮到董家口装的货物是COKE,到土耳其卸;货物不是粮食。

  参前文介绍,首先需要明确的是,可能会查船舶无AGM证书的几个国家,美国,加拿大,智利,新西兰,澳大利亚。目前还没有听过其它国家有查过无AGM证书,而且针对的往往是装粮食的船。装铁矿,煤炭的船没听说过被查的;比如笔者所接触的散货板块,好望角型船常年跑巴西,南非,澳大利亚/北中国航线,这些国家从来不做AGM检查,也从来未要求舶提供无AGM证书。

  其次,在日照交船,该轮租家又安排到董家口装货,就算租家认为没有无AGM证书,不符合合同规定的交船条件;但船舶是否有无AGM证书,并不影响有效交船(因为在董家口或者日照港并没有这方面要求)。租家无论如何都得接船,不接船租家就违约;而如果租家想索赔,那么该租家得去证明有损失,即该轮没有无AGM证书给租家造成损失,才可以找船东索赔;在国内港口,并没有要求船舶离港的时候必须有无AGM证书才可离港,因此该租家将无法举证有损失,所以船东完全可以不做无AGM检验,也可以不和租家分摊这笔检验费用。之后就算挂靠土耳其港口卸货,需要无AGM证书,那么最直接的原因是租家安排该轮到董家口装货。关于这个交船证书,在下文介绍The“Madeleine”案将继续说明这方面的问题。

  在之前文章说过,船舶必须处于适当的状况,适合和准备就绪可为租约服务;同时船舶必须处于租约所规定的位置。如果船舶达不到合同所规定的交船条件,那么承租人有权拒绝交船。如果出租人在给予交船通知的时候,船舶事实上并未准备就绪,或者不在规定的位置,那么任何交船通知都是无效及没有效力的。如果想使准备就绪通知有效,该通知书必须是对事实的真实陈述,船舶必须在事实上已经准备就绪,否则就完全不是一准备就绪通知书。如果船舶未准备就绪就给予了准备就绪通知书,该通知书无效且没有效力。

  在定期租船合同中,通常对交船条件都作出了规定,比如NYPE93格式第2条:

  2. Delivery

  The vessel shall be placed at the disposal of the Charterers at xxxxxx the vessel on her delivery shall be ready to receive cargo with clean- swept holds and tight,staunch, strong and in every way fitted for ordinary cargo service, having water ballast and with sufficient power to operate all cargo- handling gear simultaneously.

  船舶在_____(地点)置于承租人控制之下。在交船时,船舶应作好接受货物的准备,货舱须打扫干净,船体紧密,坚实,牢固,并在各个方面适合于普通货物的运输。船舶应装备有压载水舱,同时具有启动所有装货设备的足够的动力。

  或波尔的姆格式(Baltime)第1条:

  1. Period/Port of Delivery/Time of Delivery

  …at the port stated in Box 15 insuch available berth where she can safely lie always afloat, as the Charterersmay direct, the Vessel being in every way fitted for ordinary cargo service.The Vessel shall be delivered at the time indicated in Box 16.

  在第15栏规定的港口,承租人所指定的船舶能始终安全浮泊并可使用的泊位交船,且将船舶置于承租人控制时起算,船舶在各方面适于货物运输;船舶应在第16栏规定的时间内交付。

  这些要求有两个功能,首先,履行这些要求通常是出租人将船舶交付给承租人以便履行租约服务的先决条件。因此,如果出租人在交船的时候,船舶没有达到租约所要求的条件,承租人就有权拒绝接船,租船期间不会开始起算。如果承租人在这种情况下选择拒绝接船,而出租人无法在解约日期之前纠正船舶状况,承租人可能有权取消租船合同。其次,如果承租人接受船舶的交付,这些条款构成出租人承诺船舶在交付时处于要求的状态。因此,如果船舶不符合租约规定的条件,出租人可能要承担赔偿责任。在极端情况下,如果出租人未能以适当的条件交付船舶,从根本上剥夺了承租人实际上合同所能获得的全部利益,动摇了合同根基,承租人可能有权终止租船合同。

  公认的是,出租人通过将船舶置于租船人的处置之下,并将船长,高级船员和普通船员的服务交给承租人处置,以便承租人可以对船长,高级船员和普通船员下达关于船舶任务的命令,而出租人需指示他们的雇员遵从即为交船。但是在这里并没有出现这方面的问题,承租人并没有反对接船。该条款,只是说船东应该提供无AGM证书,并没有明确规定无AGM证书是有效交船的先决条件;也未说明如果未提供无AGM证书的后果,比如租家可以拒绝接船。因此,承租人只能主张,船舶不符合租约规定的条件,没有无AGM证书;但是如果想索赔,承租人还必须去举证有损失;如果举证不了,将无法找出租人索赔。

  结合这些,在该条款下,如果承租人无法举证因为船舶未有无AGM证书造成了损失,则承租人无权找出租人索赔,即出租人可不必在日照安排AGM检验以获得无AGM证书。

  二、租约中对AGM未作规定

  相反,另外一条船,租家安排船舶到日照卸货,然后还船;在这份合同中,没有任何关于AGM的条款。船东认为,由于船舶在AGM高风险期间挂靠了中国北方港口,因此离港前需要办理无AGM证书,但鉴于合同中没有相关条款,因此办理无AGM证书的费用船东自己承担,该检验费用约1万人民币左右。

  但是笔者查核后发现,该轮是在墨西哥的LAZARO CARDENAS港交船,交船港没有AGM方面的问题。但是租家安排到日照港卸货,然后还船,直接导致了该船舶有AGM风险,因此租家必须做了检验,获得无AGM证书后才可以还船。当然租家也可以选择强制还船,只是会违反还船条件。在定期期租合约下,还船的时候船舶的状况必须和交船的时候处于相同的良好状态(自然损耗除外),可以参《TimeCharter》Chapter15-Redelivery, 15.7如下:

  Charterers’ other duties with respect to redelivery

  15.7 The charterers are under three further duties in relation to the redelivery of the ship under the New York Produce form: (a) they undertake that the ship will be redelivered at the place (or within the range of places) stipulated in the charter; (b) they must serve notice of the expected time and port of redelivery, as required by Lines 56 to 57; and (c) they must procure that the ship is redelivered in the same good order and condition as she was in at delivery, ordinary wear and tear excepted.

  在NYPE租约格式下,关于还船承租人有额外三个责任,a,将船还在租约中约定的位置或范围内,b.按租约要求预计的还船通知,c.还船时船舶应该处于与交船时相同的良好状况,自然损耗除外。如果租家不安排检验而选择强行还船,那么他们违反了(c),还船状况与交船的时候不一样,作为船东事后如果有损失就可以找租家索赔;比如船舶接下来将到加拿大或美国等需要提供无AGM证书的国家装卸货。

  在定期期租合同,通常对还船条件也作出了规定,比如NYPE46格式第4条,NYPE93格式第10条:

  4.

  hire to continue until the hour of the day ofher re-delivery in like good order and condition, ordinary

  55 wear and tearexcepted,..

  10. Rate of Hire/Redelivery Areas and Notices

  …hire shall continue until the hour of the day of her redelivery in like good order and condition,ordinary wear and tear excepted, to the Owners (unless Vessel lost) at____unless otherwise mutually agreed.

  租金应付至船舶以交船时的同样良好状态(自然损耗除外),在_____还给出租人(除非已灭失)时为止,双方另有约定者除外。

  或波尔的姆格式(Baltime)第7条:

  7.Re-Delivery

  The Vessel shall be re-delivered on the expiration of the Charter in the same good order as when delivered to the Charterers (fair wear and tear excepted) at an ice-free port in the Charterers’ option at the placeor within the range state in Box 21,…

  租期届满时,承租人应该在第21栏规定的地点或范围内选择一不冻港,以船舶交付时同样的良好状态(自然损耗除外)…

  在Limerick v. Stott (1921)7 Ll.L.Rep. 69案中,租约为波尔的姆格式;承租人安排Inishboffin轮挂靠芬兰的Abo港,但是在航道中遭遇冰块,造成船舶损坏。Scrutton勋爵认为,但船舶遭遇厚厚的冰时,船长会做什么似乎是他的航行问题。承租人不会就这种情况给船长任何命令或“强迫”船长做任何事情,船长没有被迫去破冰。在这种特殊情况下,通过安排破冰船船舶可以安全通过而不会遭致损坏。在第71页判决书中说到如下,认为当有必要解释该条款时,最好考虑“自然磨损”所涵盖的内容,以及该条款是否适用于承租人不以任何方式造成的损害。

  The state of knowledge of shipowner and charterer may be material when the point has to be decided. The action was not based on Clause 7 of the Baltime Charter. It is not clear what this means as the clause is difficult to reconcile with the shipowners' obligation to maintain the ship efficient under Clause 2, to insure her under the same clause and with the last part of Clause 12. When it is necessary to construe the clause it will be desirable to consider what iscovered by "fair wear and tear," and whether the clause applies to damage not caused in any way by the charterers.

  最终判承租人未违约,出租人上诉被驳回。

  在The“Pamphilos”案和The“Coral Seas”案中,都涉及船舶污底的情况。这两个案在之前关于船舶污底的文章有详细解释,不在此重复。前者,高等法院的Colman法官判,承租人不能主张航速油耗索赔;由于听从承租人的指示在港口等泊造成的污底是可归于船舶的自然磨损和消耗,出租人已经同意的风险,因此出租人也不能主张承租人的还船时的船舶状况与交船不一致。后者,高等法院的Phillips法官认为租约中的第29条(b)款的持续性履约保证其措辞清晰明确,因此没有必要将此不寻常的和不可预见的污底所引起的后果解释为保证条款的除外情况,该索赔权能以迂回的形式为出租人在保证条款下提供抗辩,出租人无法依赖默示赔偿权找承租人索赔损失。最终拒绝了出租人所主张的因在租约履行过程中由于正常的磨损和消耗导致了船舶航速油耗表现下滑而使得持续性履约保证不适用这一主张,判出租人得为航速油耗索赔负责。

  因此,如果一些通常可预见的风险,在租约签订的时候已经被出租人接受,那么出租人事后将无权找承租人索赔损失。然而,另一方便,还船的时候以与交船时良好的状况,自然磨损除外,将被视为强加到承租人身上的责任和义务。如在属于承租人所控制的情况下,因遵守承租人的命令而造成了船舶的任何损坏,不视为自然磨损,承租人得赔偿出租人,将船舶恢复到交船时的状态。在Chellew Navigation v. Appelquist (1933) 45 Ll.L.Rep. 190(The “Pencarrow”)案中,租约为波尔的姆格式,在装卸货过程中造成了货舱损坏。Acton法官拒绝了承租人的主张,在第194也判决中说到,虽然承租人没有任何疏忽,但是损坏并不在自然磨损的意义之内,判承租人得承担损坏的维修费用。

  I think that in the circumstances it would be for the charterers to show that substantial damage of the nature and extent of thatdescribed by the umpire in the special case, which certainly would not primafacie, I think, be attributed to "fair wear and tear" (especially having regard to the precautions found to have been taken by the master), wasin fact nothing more than "fair wear and tear"; and that there is nothing in the special case as stated which renders it obligatory upon the umpire to find that it was "fair wear and tear" and nothing else. I think that there may be things done to that which is hired or lent, as the casemay be, without any negligence, and such as may possibly have been in thecontemplation of the parties as things which might perhaps be done by a tenant or a hirer without any actual breach of the contract of letting or hiring,which may still not be within the words "fair wear and tear."Examples might be given by way of illustration if it were necessary orexpedient.

  毫无怀疑,这类工损问题,依据明示或者默示的赔偿权,也能达到一致的效果,承租人得赔偿出租人损失。在另一方面,损害是否算自然磨损,这跟特定船舶特定的航次有关,如《Time Charter》Chapter15-Redelivery, 15.29所说,如下:

  15.29 Whether damage is or is not “ordinary wear and tear” depends upon the particular trade for which the shipis chartered. In The Pamphilos [2002] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 681, arbitrators found that barnacle growth was ordinary wear and tear on the basis that such growth was “anordinary incident of trading in accordance with the charterers’ lawful orders”.Similarly, in Canadian Pacific Railway v. Board ofTrade (1925) 22 Ll.L.Rep. 1, where a ship was chartered for use asa troop carrier, the House of Lords construed the expression “expensesordinarily incurred in running the ship” as meaning “expenses ordinarily incurred in running the ship as atroop carrier” (emphasis added).

  接下来,再来看看与船舶证书有关的The “Madeleine”[1967] 2Lloyd’s Rep.224案。

  一、 基本案情

  在该案中,出租人与承租人以波尔的姆1939版本的格式,在1957年4月3日签订了一份租期为3个月,加减15天的合同。在4月25日的补充协议中,将初始解约日5月2日展到5月10日。但是在5月6日的时候,船舶的除鼠证书过期了;5月8日,承租人的代理要求港口卫生当局安排卫检;5月9日该轮在Calcutta港卸完货;在5月9日下午5点左右卫检检查完后拒绝签发新的除鼠证书,要求熏蒸。但需要至少两天时间,最快在5月10,11号左右才能完成。承租人的代理人在5月10日的上午0800口头声称承租人要求取消租约;承租人在伦敦的代理人在5月10日的下午3.18(Calcutta当地时间为下午8.18)收到承租人的电传解约通知,该解约通知及时传达给出租人的代理人。最终港口卫生当局在5月11日签发了新的除鼠证书,熏蒸在5月12日早上10点完成并检查合格。

  二、 争议焦点

  承租人认为船舶没有除鼠证书不能有效地交付;由于预期船舶未能在解约日之前完成熏蒸获得除鼠证书,因此在10日早上8点的解约通知有效,就算无效,在10日下午6点后的第二个解约通知也有效。但出租人认为,他们有权将船舶交付给承租人,不论其当时的自身状况是否与除鼠证书或其他方面有关:第1条中“在各个方面适用于普通货物运输”的字样仅指拥有足够的,承租人所要求的船舶运载设备;如果承租人确实有权根据第22条解除合同,则由于出租人必须在5月10日午夜之前交付船舶以避免被解除合同,因此承租人没有及时行使该权利。

  合同的相关主要条款如下:

  第1条:

  The Owners let, and the Charterers hire the Vessel for a period of three calendar months(15 days more or less in Charterers' option) from the time (not a Sunday or alegal Holiday unless taken over) the Vessel is delivered and placed at the disposal of the Charterers between 9 a.m.and 6 p.m., or between 9 a.m.and 2 p.m. if on Saturday, at CALCUTTA in such available berth where she can safely lie always afloat, she being in every way fitted for ordinary cargo service.

  The Vessel to be delivered not before 18th April 1957.

  第22条:

  Should theVessel not be delivered by the 2nd day of May 1957 the Charterers to have the option of cancelling.

  If theVessel cannot be delivered by the cancelling date, the Charterers, if required,to declare within 48 hours after receiving notice thereof whether they cancel or will take delivery of the Vessel.

  三、 法官判决

  对于合约解释问题,Roskill法官(当时是)认为,租船合同中的条款不能

  相互孤立地解释,像任何其他合同一样的租船合同也必须合理解释。如果一个人有一系列标准形式的条款,这些条款已经使用了很多年,而且法院和仲裁员已多次解释,法院必须将所有条款当作一个整体来看待。

  It is well established that clauses in charter-parties cannot be construed in isolation from each other. A charter-party like any other contract must be construed sensibly and in its entirety. Where one has a series of clauses in a standard form which has been in use for a great many years, and which has been interpreted many times by the Courts and by arbitrators, the Court must look atthe provisions as a whole.

  关于交付问题,Roskill法官认为,在本案所涉及的定期租约中,不言自明的是交付不会涉及任何占有权的转移。出租人通过将船舶置于租船人的处置之下,并将船长,高级船员和普通船员的服务交给承租人处置,以便承租人可以对船长,高级船员和普通船员下达关于船舶任务的命令,而出租人需指示他们的雇员遵从即为交船。

  It is, of course, axiomatic that in a time charter of this description delivery does not import any transfer of possession. An owner delivers a ship to a time charterer under this form of charter-party by placing her at the charterers' disposal and by placing the services of her master, officers and crew at the charterers' disposal, so that the charterers may thenceforth give orders(within the terms of the charter-party) as to the employment of the vessel to the master, officers and crew, which orders the owners contract that their servants shall obey.

  Roskill法官认为,如果只考虑“交付”这个词,它本身并不比出租人代表律师所说的更重要,Roskill法官认为其余的义务可以在第1条中找到。问题是,在承租人可以取消之前,船舶是否不仅仅是在狭义上“交付”,而且必须在特定条件下及给定的时间内“交付”。

  I think that if one has regard merely to the word "delivered", it does not of itself import more than Mr. Staughton has said. I think the remainingobligations are to be found in Clause 1. The question is whether, before the charterers can cancel, the vessel has not merely to be "delivered" inthat narrow sense but must be "delivered" in a given condition and within a given time.

  Roskill法官认为他接受第6条第1款的明确提及,并且在第22条中没有这样的明确提及。但是,显然,作为合约解释问题,第22条正在回顾第1条,它是出租人未能按照第1条的规定交付,该条款赋予承租人根据第22条解约的的权利。重要的是要强调,承租人声称要行使的是第22条规定的明确合同权利。他们取消的权利绝不取决于出租人违反租船合同的情况。根据第22条解约的权利不取决于出租人的任何违约行为,而是取决于出租人是否及时履行了第1条规定的义务。如果有,则无权取消。如果没有,则有权取消。

  I accept, of course that there is an express reference to Clause 1 inClause 6 and that there is no such express reference in Clause 22. But,plainly, as a matter of construction, Clause 22 is looking back to Clause 1 and it is the owners' failure to deliver in accordance with the provisions ofClause 1 which gives the charterers the right to cancel under Clause 22.

  It is important to emphasize that that which the charterers are claiming to exercise is an express contractual right given byClause 22. Their right to cancel does not in any way depend upon any breach of the charter-party by the owners. Entitlement to cancel under Clause 22 depends not on any breach by the owners but upon whether the owners have timeously complied with their obligations under Clause 1. If they have, there is no right tocancel. If they have not, there is a right to cancel.

  Roskill法官引援了Hong Kong Fir Shipping Company, Ltd. v. Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd.(The Hong Kong Fir)[1961] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 478案。关于该案的情况,在之前文章有详细说明,不在此重复。在该案中,上诉法院的Sellers勋爵在第486也判决书中说到:

  By clause 1of the charterparty the shipowners contracted to deliver the vessel at Liverpool "she being in every way fitted for ordinary cargo service." She was not fit for ordinary cargo service when delivered because the engine room staff was incompetent and inadequate and this became apparent as the voyage proceeded. Itis commonplace language to say that the vessel was unseaworthy by reason of this inefficiency in the engine room.

  Upjohn勋爵在第489也判决书中说到:

  At first sight that would seem to be a basic term underlying the whole of the charterparty, for how could the vessel perform the tasks which the owners warranted that she was fit to perform unless she was in fact fit to meet the perils of the sea? So basic is this obligation in a charterparty that unless there is an express clause of exclusion, it will be implied where notexpressed.

  Diplock勋爵在第494也判决书中说到:

  As my brethren have already pointed out, the shipowners' undertaking to tender a seaworthy ship has, as a result of numerous decisions as to what can amount to"unseaworthiness," become one of the most complex of contractual undertakings. It embraces obligations with respect to every part of the hull and machinery, stores and equipment and the crew itself. It can be broken by the presence of trivial defects easily and rapidly remediable as well as by defects which must inevitably result in a total loss of the vessel.

  Roskill法官认为,很明显,无论这些义务来自明确的措辞还是必然的暗示,都会达到同样的结果。但重点是,博学的审判法官和博学的上议院法官都清楚地看到了1939年巴尔的姆租船合同中的字样,在这里,“以各种方式适合普通货物运输服务”,相当于明确的适航性保证。

  I think it is clear that the same result would be reached whether those obligations arose from express words or by necessary implication. But the pointis that the learned trial Judge and all the learned Lords Justices clearly regarded the words in the Baltime 1939 charter-party, there as here, "inevery way fitted for ordinary cargo service", as the equivalent of an express warranty of seaworthiness.

  

  Roskill法官认为在本案中有适航性的明确保证,除非船舶在适航条件下及时交付,包括港口卫生当局所要求的必要证书,否则承租人有权解约。Roskill法官认为,承租人拥有了这一权利,仲裁员裁定承租人没有此权利有误。最终判因为船舶没有除鼠证书,无法离港构成了不适航,承租人有权利解除合同。

  That was agreed to be a conclusion of law and not a finding of fact. In my judgment, theumpire, with all respect to him, has erred in reaching that conclusion. There was here an express warranty of seaworthiness and unless the ship was timeously delivered in a seaworthy condition, including the necessary certificate from the port health authority, the charterers had the right to cancel. That right, in my judgment, they possessed, and I think that the umpire was wrong in holding that they did not possess it.

  对于解约权的问题,Roskill法官认为出租人没有权利要求承租在解约日期来临之前作出选择,并引援了权威著作《Scrutton on Charterparties 》一书中,Scurtton勋爵所说。

  That that is so is, I think, supported by a passage and a note in Scrutton on Charterparties in the 10th ed. (1921), for which Lord Justice Scrutton was still responsible,at p. 115:

  It was firstheld in America that the shipowner cannot, when the cancelling date is past,call upon the charterer to declare whether he will load the vessel or not; and the English Courts in Moel Tryvan(Owners) v. Weir, came to the same conclusion.

  Then footnote (m):

  An express clause is sometimes inserted in a charter whereby the shipowner on arrival ofthe cancelling date can call upon the charterer to elect whether he will cancel or not.

  但是,在另一方面,Roskill法官认为,作为租约及权威的解释问题,承租人在解约日来临之前不得取消合同,即使非常清晰出租人无法在解约日前交付船舶。

  A charterer is not entitled to cancel (sembleunder the clause as distinct from any right he may have to rescind at common law) before the cancelling date even though it is clear that the owner will be unable to tender the ship in time. (Christie & Vesey, Ltd. v. Helvetia [1960] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 540).

  In my judgment, both as a matter of construction of the charter-party and as a matter of authority, it is clear law that there is no contractual right to rescind a charter-party under the cancelling clause unless and until the date specified in that clause has been reached.

  Roskill法官认为,根据解约条款,在指定的解约日期之前承租人没有提前解约的权利。因此承租人在5月10日上午8时发出的解约通知为时过早;但是在10日下午8时48分发出的解约通知,是一个良好而有效的通知。

  Accordingly it follows that in m yjudgment there is under the cancelling clause no anticipatory right to cancel in advance of the specified cancelling date.

  The effect of that upon the present caseis that the notice of cancellation purporting to have been given at 8 a.m. on May 10 was premature. The notice given at 8 48 p.m. (that is, after 6 p.m. on May 10) was, for the reasons which I have endeavoured to give, a good and valid notice.

  最终,Roskill法官判承租人有权利解除合同。

  当然,通常情况下,船舶缺少这类证书并不赋予承租人解约的权利,但是如在本案中,因为缺少除鼠证书而被港口卫生当局拒接离港,在Roskill法官看来,直接导致了船舶不适航,从而赋予承租人解约的权利。如果能够豁免,在下一个合适的港口再做检查,那么情况将不一样。

  总结:

  关于合约的解释,已经在之前多篇文章作了详细的说明。合约应该作为一个整体,而不能单独看某个条款;如果租约的措辞足够清晰明确,那么不管结局荒谬与否,都将不得不接受。因此,当事人的真实意图,应该并入租约,在条款中体现。如本文所列举的关于AGM证书的条款,如果想表明,船舶有无AGM证书是有效交船的先决条件,那么措辞还应该更明白,比如加上如下类似的措辞:“AGM free certificate is a condition precedent of valid delivery. In absence of this certificate, The Charterers have option to cancel this charter.

  那么在这种措辞下,语义就变得非常清晰明确,无AGM证书是有效交付的先决条件;如果没有该证书,承租人有权取消租约。

  关于亚洲型舞毒蛾(Asian Gypsy Moth,AGM)的问题,当事人在租船合同中可以自由约定。但是鉴于租约起草者的水平高低,可能起草的这些条款模糊不清,具有很多不确定性。为了解决这一问题,波罗的海国际海运理事会(BIMCO)一直都致力于为定期租船制定一套通用的AGM条款,旨在为这一问题提供一个商业解决方案,重点关注出租人和承租人有关的基本责任和义务。BIMCO 在2015年发布的通函(No. 4-22 January 2015)中,所拟定的标准条款设置了严格履约义务,要求出租人在交船时需要持有AGM-free certificate;该义务同样适用于承租人还船时,双方必须在对应的时间内提供证书。BIMCO该AGM条款显然能够适用大部分租约,如个别情况无法满足,在订约自由的前提下,相关当事人可根据具体情况在具体分析,修改条款。

  在履行租约期间,承租人有义务尽量避免航次中的AGM的风险。此项义务不仅将延伸至承租人拟挂靠的港口,同时也涉及船舶装载的可能产生AGM风险的货物。定期租船期间,无论是船舶证实抑或疑似存在AGM侵扰的风险,承租人都须负责提供货物的消毒等类似证书。相比于当前使用的各种各样的AGM租约条款,BIMCO起草该条款的目的是将很多现存的条款简单一般化。该条款中未涉及特定严控港口和地理区域,有效避免了将来可能产生的新肆扰国家或区域而导致条款的适用范围缩小。除此之外,BIMCO在其官方网站还发布并不断更新大量有关亚洲型舞毒蛾的相关资料,包括飞行季节、存在地理区域、植物检疫及离港前检查认证的许可机构,以及澳大利亚、加拿大、智利、新西兰、美国等国家有关亚洲型舞毒蛾控制规定等详细信息。应当注意的是,上述信息仅向BIMCO的会员开放提供。免费公开信息也可从船舶预计停靠港口国家的农业部门官方网站获取,比如前文提到的加拿大食品检验局(CFIA-Canadian Food InspectionAgency)和美国农业部(USDA-United State Departmentof Agriculture)。

  BIMCO的该条款,包括三个分条款,如下:

  (a)款规定了出租人交付无AGM船舶的义务。如果船舶已经航行到可能有AGM侵染风险的区域,则需提供无AGM证书。该子条款规定了出租人在交付之前的24个月贸易期间(船舶贸易到有侵染风险的区域),在交付时提供无AGM证书的义务。这一时期符合美国和加拿大等国家严格的认证要求。

  (b)款涵盖了承租人在期租期间的义务。承租人可以命令船舶去AGM风险区,但是将承担由此产生的一切实际或预计的时间损失和费用。在整个租约期间,承租人应减少此风险,减少AGM对船舶的任何侵扰,并在AGM风险区的最后一挂靠港口,提供无AGM证书。

  (c)款确保承租人还船像出租人交船一样,船舶不受亚洲型舞毒蛾入侵,附带有无AGM证书。

  BIMCO具体的AGM条款如下:

  Asia Gypsy Moth Clause for Time CharterParties

  aThe Owners shall deliver the vessel free of Asia Gypsy Moth(AGM). If the Vessel has within the last twenty-four(24)months prior to delivery traded to an area where there is a risk of infestation by AGM, the Owners shall, on delivery, provide an inspection by an appropriate and recognised certification body (an AGM Free Certificate) dated no earlier than the date of departure from the last port of call in such area.

  bShould the Charterers order the Vessel to an area where there is a risk of infestation by AGM, the Charterers shall take all reasonable steps at their expense to mitigate the risk of infestation. If infestation should nevertheless occur, the Charterers shall ensure that such infestation is removed from the Vessel. Without prejudice to this obligation, the Charterers shall provide an AGM Free Certificate from the last port of call in the aforementioned area. Notwithstanding the issuing of such a certificate, should an infestation of AGM be found or suspected, the Charterers shall be responsible for any consequences whatsoever, including but not limited to costs and third party liabilities. The Vessel shall remain on hire throughout.

  cThe Charterers shall redeliver the Vessel free of AGM. If the Vessel has traded to an area where there is a risk of infestation by AGM the Charterers shall, on redelivery, provide an AGM Free Certificate dated no earlier than the date of departure from the last port of call in such area.

  因此,为了避免纠纷,当事人在恰定租约的时候,应该尽量并入该条款,以明确当事人双方的责任义务。当然,该条款仅仅是中间条款或者保证条款,并非条件条款,因此即使出租人或承租人无法提供无AGM证书,并不影响船舶有效交船或者还船。在英国法下,如果中间条款或保证条款被违反,如果有损失的话,那么无辜的一方可以索赔损失。

  基于以上所给的理由,如果合约中没有相反的条款规定,通常情况下,无AGM证书并不影响交还船的有效性,即并非交还船的先决条件。但作为合同的解释问题,不能单独看某个条款,应该将所有合约当作一个整体来解读。

  参考资料:

  1、《TimeCharter》

  海运圈聚焦专栏作者 Alex (微信公众号 航运佬)
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