指定装卸港延误造成的索赔问题
日期:2018-11-25 阅读:1142


  【摘要】在程租合同下,为了避免绕航等不必要的损失,通常会约定承租人必须在抵港前多少天指定装货港或卸货港。但有时候因为市场变化,在船舶抵达可能的装卸港,可能货物贸易还未最终确定下来,因此难免产生延误问题。在这种情况下,由于承租人宣港延误给出租人造成了损失,那么出租人是否可以索赔损失?本文从日常实务争议说起,谈谈关于宣港的相关问题。

  【关键词】宣港、延误、索赔、不可撤销

  在航运实务中,尤其是市场波动比较厉害的情况下,承租人往往无法在船舶抵达装港前就指定卸货港;有时候甚至在船舶快抵达卸港的时候都无法指定最终的卸货港。这个时候就面临因为指定卸港给船舶造成延误的问题,那么这个延误该由谁来承担呢?关于指定卸港的问题,GENCON94格式的第一条中第7-14行对此有如下规定:

  The said Vessel shall, as soon as her prior commitments have been completed, proceed

  to the loading port(s) or place(s) stated in Box 10 or so near thereto as she may safely get and lie always afloat, and there load a full and complete cargo (if shipment of deck cargo agreed same to be at the Charterers' risk and responsibility

  ) as stated in Box 12, which the Charterers bind themselves to ship, and being so loaded the Vessel shall proceed to the discharging port(s) or place(s) stated in Box 11 as ordered on signing Bills of Lading, or so near thereto as she may safely get and lie always afloat, and there deliver the cargo.

  上述船舶在其先前义务履行完毕后,应立即驶往第10栏所列的装货港口或地点,或船舶能安全抵达并始终浮泊的附近地点,装载第12栏所列的货物,满舱满载。(如协议装运甲板货,则由承租人承担风险和责任)。承租人须自己负责装运该货。船舶经装载后,应驶往第11栏所列,在签发提单时指定的卸货港口或地点,或船舶能安全抵达并始终浮泊的附近地点,交付货物。

  但在实务中,以散货板块到中国卸的货载为例,卸港往往都不固定;而提单上的卸货港,也仅仅写“One main Chinese port”或“Any Chinese ports”,承租人可以在船舶开往卸港的途中再来指定最终的卸货港或轮次。当然这么写对出租人是有很大的风险,因为在提单下,将不得不去挂靠承租人指定(收货人提名)的港口;而如果因为这些港口有吃水限制或需要等较长时间的潮汐,导致船舶无法靠泊,那么很可能出租人得自己自行承担该风险,因为没有安全港口保证。如在Eurico S.p.A. v. Philipp Bros [1987] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 215 (C.A.),The “Epaphus”案中,买卖合同规定的是“one main Italian port”。商事法院的Staughton法官及上诉法院认为,这种措辞相当于承诺在正常情况下船舶能够在意大利所有主要港口卸货,因此出租人不能依靠主要港口的永久性特征,即吃水限制等,使其有权拒绝在那里卸货。如果在制定租船合同之后吃水限制得到了监督,那将会有所不同;如果没有“主要”一词,可能会有一个隐含的术语,即可能指定一个可能的港口。因此提单上这类卸港描述最好修改为“One main Chinese safe port”,一个主要的中国安全港口,明确了港口安全保证,情况将有所不同。

  话说回来如果根据租船合同签发的提单写明了具体的卸货港,则出租人必须受其船长授权代理所签发的提单的约束,而同时承租人通常不能再命令船舶到其他港口卸货,因为这将是违反提单合同的非法命令。如果承租人希望保留改变船舶到其它港口卸货的权力,必须在租船合同中明确规定,提单上标有目的地的提单不应被视为最终目的地,以便他保留重新指定卸货港的权利。如果他希望事后重新指定的与提单中指定的港口不同的港口,为规避风险,承租人则必须交出所有事前签发的全部正本提单以进行更正。如果不是这样的话,重新指定卸货港可能会使出租人承担租约和提单规定的相互冲突的义务,通常情况下这种做法都不会获得法院支持。如果承租人有权指定两个港口并且这样做,那么此后仅提及其中一个港口的提单的问题将不会取代原始指定权,至少就运费计算而言。国内港口使费金额巨大,如果卸港的港口使费由出租人来支付的话,那么安排一个港口卸货和两个港口卸,对于出租人而言,成本是完全不一样的。如果承租人安排了两个港口卸货,那么运价就必须作对应的调整。

  和递交NOR一样,这种港口的指定并不需要特别的形式。在租船合同中没有明确规定的情况下,指定港口无需以书面形式提出,但必须以合理预期在正常业务过程中收到货主或其代理人的方式提供。此外,虽然并不一定要书面形式,但必须确保出租人或船东实际收到该装卸港的指定通知。对于船长而言,必须有明确的装卸港,才知道船舶往哪开。这非常重要,如果承租人未能通知到出租人或船长,那么承租人将得承担损失,除非是在租船合同中有特殊的条款保护,否则承租人都得为此承担责任。

  比如前段时间有人说代理发了封电邮,通知船长靠泊时间,但是第二天引水拖轮抵达的时候发现船舶并未起锚,从而造成了时间上的延误。很多人以为延误都是船长的责任,损失得出租人承担。但是笔者认为代理做的还远远不够,至少没有确保该靠泊信息已经确实传达给船长,因此代理的电邮并不是完全有效的通知,通知并未完成,船长或出租人可以不承担责任。承租人的代理完全可以让船长回复邮件确认收到该靠泊计划,或者电话通知一下,或者用VHF高频喊一下,确保船长确实知道靠泊计划,做好相应的靠泊准备。如果想找出租人索赔延误损失,除非是,船长刻意关闭了传真机,或电传或断开所有邮件系统,电话等等导致代理或承租人无法联系到船长,那么这种情况下将构成出租人违约,延误损失将得由出租人自行承担。但是很难去证明船长有这种刻意或故意。另外一种情况下,如果长时间抛锚等泊,该轮船长又长时间未收到代理电邮或电话通知靠泊计划,那么船长将有默示的责任义务,采取合理的措施,比如主动发电邮和代理查询相关靠泊计划,以尽量避免可能的损失。

  关于指定装卸港的情况也一样,船长在装完货后,驶往意向的卸港,在没有收到承租人指定卸港的情况下,应该及时将抵达意向的卸港或转向点的时间通知承租人,以便承租人全盘考虑。船长在这种情况下有默示的责任义务,及时通知承租人以便承租人采取适当的措辞减少损失,比如先漂航;避免最终卸港在南方,船开到北方再绕回来,产生不必要的燃油消耗损失。类似地可参《Voyage Charters》Chatper 5- Loading and Discharging Ports, Places and Berths, 5.15如下:

  5.15 No particular form is required for the making of a nomination. In the absence of express stipulation in the charterparty, it is submitted that it need not be made in writing but that it must be given in a manner in which the owner or his agent would reasonably be expected to receive it in the normal course of business.36 Must it also, in addition, be actually received by the shipowner? This may be important where, for example, the shipowner suffers loss as a result of not knowing where to sail his ship and asserts a claim for damages against the charterer for a breach of the latter’s obligation to nominate. It is submitted that the charterer would not be in breach of his duty to nominate as long as he takes steps which in the ordinary course would bring the nomination to the owner’s attention within the time required.37 This would have the result, however, that a charterer may not (in the absence of special terms) lawfully change a nomination thus given, even though it has not actually come to the owner’s attention. An alternative analysis would require actual receipt by the owner for the nomination to be complete, but there would be an implied duty on the owner to take reasonable steps to ensure that he can receive it; turning off a fax or telex machine or disconnecting the telephone in such a case would be a breach by the owner which would defeat his claim. By virtue of the general duty to take reasonable steps to mitigate damage, the owner would be required to notify the charterer of his non-receipt of a nomination at an early stage so as to minimise his losses.

  现在结合实务中发生的关于未能及时指定卸港从而导致船舶延误的情况来说说指定卸港的相关问题。

  一条30万吨的VLOC船(以下称N轮)于2018年2月12日在巴西的PDM港装了大约292,606吨货物;承租人使用的是电子提单,其中一部分货物的电子提单如下,显示卸港为“Main Chinese Ports”。
  


  众所周知,出租人在提单下有额外的责任问题,必须前往提单上所列明的卸港去交付货物,凭正本提单或承租人的保函交付货物。如果未列明卸港名称,那么船舶必须驶往这种货物通常所卸货的港口或位置。参第二版权威著作《Bills of Lading》的12.13描述如下:

  12.13 Where no place for delivery is specified, under usual circumstances the vessel ought to proceed to the place in the port where cargo such as she carries is ordinarily discharged.

  如果没有规定交货地点,在通常情况下,船舶应该前往所载运的货物通常卸货港口的地方。

  N轮在离港巴西的PDM港口后,在2月13日发了如下ETA通知给相关方,包括承租人,及其卸港的总代理。

  KINDLY BE NTD TT SUB VSL SAILED FM PDM ON 12-FEB-2018 AND ETA QINGDAO WL BE 0900LT/29-MAR-2018 IF AGW/WP,

  PLS FIND THE BELOW FOR YR REF, TKS!

  1.-PRESENT ETA SINGAPORE MERIDIAN (LONG 104-00E):

  1100LT/16-MAR-2018 IF AGW/WP.

   (VSL PROCEED TO CHINA VIA SUNDA STRAIT, NOT CALL AT SINGAPORE)

  2.-PRESENT ETA QINGDAO: 0900LT/29-MAR-2018 IF AGW/WP

   ESTIMATE ARRIVAL DRAFT F/21.43M EVENKEEL BSS SG/1.023

  3.-CARGO ON BOARD :292606MT IRON ORE MT(IOCJ/198000, PFCJ/94606) H1/47440MT IOCJ H2/50280MT IOCJ H3/46000MT PFCJ H4/50000MT IOCJ H5/48606MT PFCJ H6/50280MT IOCJ

  在这里已经非常明确船舶预计抵达新加坡及意向青岛的时间及抵港吃水。为了安全起见,出租人要求船长每天都给发货人,承租人及其代理发送ETA通知电邮,确保承租人一方能及时收到。装港的情况也一样,不管对船舶的ETA通知有何要求,出租人均要求船长每天给所有相关方发送ETA通知。需注意的是,有和合同,会规定如果船舶延误而没有给承租人及时发送更新的ETA通知,那么承租人将有权增加额外的24小时作为装卸货的准备时间(Turning Time),此时间不计算装卸货时间(laytime)。如果船长每天都给相关发送ETA通知,那么就可以很好地规避这个问题。

  航行途中类似的ETA通知电邮如下:

  KINDLY FIND THE BELOW ETA QINGDAO NOTICES, TKS!

  ====================================

  1.-FRESH ETA SINGAPORE MERIDIAN (LONG 104-00E):

   2330LT/21-MAR-2018 IF AGW/WP.

   (VSL PROCEED TO CHINA VIA SUNDA STRAIT, NOT CALL AT SINGAPORE)

  2.-PRESENT ETA QINGDAO: 1100LT/02-APR-2018 IF AGW/WP.

  KINDLY FIND THE BELOW ETA QINGDAO NOTICES, TKS!

  ====================================

  1.-FRESH ETA QINGDAO: 2300LT/02-APR-2018 IF AGW/WP.

  2.-AS VSL ARR CHINESE DISPORT SHORTLY, KINDLY DECLARE THE FINAL DISPORTS ASAP.

  这种30万吨的船,国内可去的港口不是很多,大连,曹妃甸,烟台,董家口,鼠浪湖,马迹山,湛江等可以无条件外,其它港口均需要采取额外的安全措施,需要减载或者安排额外的拖轮护航等。承租人初始想安排N轮到天津港卸,但是N轮的抵港吃水有问题,天津港无法作为第一卸港。如果要去天津港卸,出租人要求承租人先安排到大连,曹妃甸或者烟台等先减载。承租人于2018年4月1日答复如下,他们最想去的天津港,要求出租人再去查核一下天津港的限制及指示船长先往青岛方向开。

  Our Commercial Area is checking with client regarding the disport, however, the difficult is our receiver do not operate in Caofeidian, Dalian and Yantai. The best port would be Tianjin for their business.

  Kindly request Owners to recheck the restriction to call at Tianjin and on the same time pls, instruct Master to proceed to Qingdao Port and send the report when vessels pass Qingdao Port.

  Charterers will settle based on deviation cost.

  Second, pls confirm if vessel could discharge full cargo at Qingdao Port or discharge full cargo at Tianjin.

  We really need this information as soon as possible.

  但是董家口离港有18米的吃水限制,参其中承租人的代理如下电邮可知,按照承租人所安排的货量计划(需分舱卸,即在董家口只能卸空其中两个舱),离董家口的吃水为艏吃水19.28米,尾吃水为18.56米,超过了允许的离港吃水。

  As per our telcon a moment ago, just received master’s departure draft at 1st disport-Qingdao (Dongjiakou terminal).

  As per master’s, departure draft would be: F19.28 / M18.92 / A18.56mtrs.

  However, as per Dongjiakou terminal regulation, max departure draft need to be less than 18.00mtrs,

  Would you pls double check with master and ask master to reduce the sailing draft at your end ?

  出租人于2018年4月1日答复如下,记住声明无法直接靠天津港,并要求船长做好所有相关可能的绕航记录。

  Further to our conversation, Owners confirm full cargo could be discharged at Qingdao (Dongjiakou), but it's not suitable for our vessel calling Tianjin in full laden condition.

  The vessel's arrival draft exceed max draft 21.4M. On the other hand, As agent advise, Max draft may reduce, i.e physical draft may only about 21.3M or less. Therefore it's unsafe for the vessel.

  Master also reading this in copy, As per charterers' request, Please toward to QINGDAO and keep all parties concerned updated ETA Notice basis Qingdao. Meanwhile, Please keep full record in details, especially deviation point and bunker qtty.

  承租人4月2日答复如下,要求船长查核一下相关的卸货计划,在董家口卸94,606吨,其余货物到天津港卸。

  Thank you for Owners reply.

  In order to call at Tianjin Port, kindly check with Owners the quantity to be discharge at Qingdao ( quantity of 94,606 MT and the lightening quantity).

  出租人于4月2日转发电邮给船长,并要求船长做相应的卸货计划。

  Just got below from Vale, Please urgently double check from your side and advise est cargo to be discharged at Qingdao and then balance cargo at Tianjin.

  For Qingdao, As per agent's information, Max sailing draft should be less than 18M ( you may basis water density 1.023 ).

  Dear Agent also reading this in copy, Please keep Master updated water density at Qingdao, thanks.

  N轮于4月3日0936LT抵达青岛并递交NOR。因为在董家口离港吃水限制的问题,一直未能得到解决,卸港未确认,代理无法办理进港手续。最终,在4月5日承租人搞定离港吃水的问题,4月5日下午1742收到代理如下电邮,声明船舶刚被港口当局接受,但是由于4月5-7日是公共假期(清明节),无法购买船舶吨税,依据港口当局要求,完货后,船舶必须在锚地等买了吨税才能离开。因此N轮计划7日卸完货后移到锚地,等4月8日上上班后,购买完吨税后才能前往第二卸港天津。
  


  N轮在董家口卸完货后的事实记录部分如下,延误的时间栏那显示“waiting for sailing as per port arrangement”,按港口安排等待开航离港。结合代理之前发的电邮,可以清楚知道N轮是在锚地等港口的开航许可,而这需要购买中国吨税才能获得此许可。
  


  依据N轮船长的报文,事后出租人找承租人索赔此延误造成的损失:

  Further to Owners’ last, the details as below:

  Time and BROB basis DLOSP Qingdao(DJK): 1110LT/07-APR-2018, BROB: FO/1314.4MT, DO/208.2MT

  Time and BROB when commence sea passage: 1300LT/08-APR-2018, BROB: 1305.2MT, DO/202.7MT.

  Time lost 1.076389day, consumed FO 9.2mts+5.5mts DO.

  Basis demurrage rate usd23,500 and HSFO Price 378.77usd/mt, LSDO Price 367 usd/mt,

  Total usd30,798.32.

  Charterers please confirm they will add this to balance freight payment. Thanks.

  但是承租人认为,额外的因为购买中国吨税的费用及时间损失应该由出租人自行承担;而且按照合同,承租人已经支付了滞期费,滞期费条款并不包括燃油消耗,因此需从运费尾款发票中扣除此索赔。但事实上,在第一卸港董家口,承租人所计算的装卸时间仅计算到卸货完,在锚地等港口的开航许可并未计入装卸时间。

  Regarding the extra cost caused by delay purchase CHINESE TONNAGE DUE certificate has been paid by Vale in DA payment.

  The bunker consumption it is Owners account our CP is Consecutive Voyage Charter, Charterers is not responsible to bunker or cost for bunkering the vessel as per CP

  Please deducted the cost from balance freight invoice

  事后过了好久,经查核得知承租人仍然未安排支付尾款,出租人于是发了如下电邮,认为延误是由于承租人未能及时指定卸货港引起的;承租人违反合同相关条款,未能及时指定卸货港,所以承租人得承担所有由于承租人未及时指定卸货港所造成的延误的损失。

  We just note from our colleague in Guangzhou office, the balance for MV N V34 still not yet settled by now.

  In respect of delay at DJK, Owners wish to point out that the delay which was result from charterers’ failure to declare final discharge port(s).

  Pursuant to clause 7.D. & 7.G. which provided:

  7.D. …Charterers to declare the first discharging port in China at least 7 days prior to ETA at loading port…

  7.G. Charterers to declare whether vessel shall proceed to the second discharge port at least 10 days prior to ETA at first discharge port…

  It’s common that “Charterers to declarewhich was not charterers’ option, but impose on obligation on charterers, The Charterers MUST declare. Therefore, the concerned costs/expenses/time lost etc which should be for charterers’ sole account, Owners are entitled to claim damages for charterers their breach.

  Detail as below for charterers’ easy reference:

  Time and BROB basis DLOSP Qingdao(DJK): 1110LT/07-APR-2018, BROB: FO/1314.4MT, DO/208.2MT

  Time and BROB when commence sea passage: 1300LT/08-APR-2018, BROB: 1305.2MT, DO/202.7MT.

  Time lost 1.076389day, consumed FO 9.2mts+5.5mts DO.

  Basis demurrage rate usd23,500 and HSFO Price 378.77usd/mt, LSDO Price 367 usd/mt,

  Total usd30,798.32.

  Charterers should compensate usd30,798.32 to Owners together with balance freight.

  Hope above are clear and will be acceptable by charterers.

  最后,出租人怕承租人不明白,又发了如下电邮给承租人,指出依据权威,就算是合同未列明任何时间限制,承租人依然得在合理的时间内指定装卸港,确保不给船舶造成任何由于未指定而带来的延误。因此N轮由于未能购买吨税所造成的延误得承租人承担。

  Refer to Owners’ last, It’s clear that the delay was result from the charterers failure to nominate discharge port(s) which the charterers should hold whole responsible for such delay.

  Charterers may refer to 《Voyage Charters》Chapter 5-Loading and Discharging Ports, Places and Berths, 5.14, where provides:

  5.14 In the absence of any prescribed time limit, it is submitted that the nomination of a loading or discharging port must be made within a reasonable time and that it should be made early enough to ensure that the vessel suffers no delay resulting from the absence of nomination.

  Also see Aktieselskabet Olivebank v. Danske Svovlsyre Fabrik (The Springbank) [1919] 2 K.B. 162.

  Hope above are clear enough and Charterers will accept the same in order to close this issue.

  Awaiting for charterers’ positive confirmation by return.

  船舶延误的直接原因是船舶未能购买中国吨税,而未能购买中国吨税的直接原因是承租人未能依据合同相关条款,及时指定卸港造成的;而及时指定卸货港是承租人的责任和义务,而不是选择权。合同7.D. & 7.G.条款所规定的均是“Charterers to declare”,这里的措辞用的是to。关于这个to的解释问题,在贵族院判例Bunge Corporation v Tradax Export SA [1981] 2 Lloyd's Rep.1(H.L.)中,合同规定买家必须给予提前15天的通知:

  Buyers to give 15 days preadvice of readiness of steamer.

  贵族院的Roskill勋爵就该条款,认为两个重要条款之间没有实质性的区别,就这些条款提到的15天通知而言,很明显,这两个条款中的两个空白。合同范本119中的第7条必须在第一个空白处用“在1975年5月”和在第二个空白处用数字“15”处理,因此第7条,补充完整后是这样的:买方应至少连续15天通知船舶可能准备就绪以及需要装载的大概数量,如果船舶可能准备就绪日期的任何变化,买方应随时通知。

  Period of delivery - during May 1975 at Buyers' call. Buyers shall give at least 15 consecutive days' notice of probable readiness of vessel(s) and of the approximate quantity required to be loaded. Buyers shall keep Sellers informed of any changes in the date of probable readiness of the vessel(s).

  很显然在N轮的合同中,指定卸港不是承租人的选择权,而且强加到承租人身上的一种责任义务,承租人必须在抵达装港7天指定第一卸港;在船舶抵达第一卸港前10天,指定第二卸港。反观N轮争议中,承租人明显违反了这两条,承租人甚至在N轮已经抵达青岛董家口抛锚,仍然未指定最终的卸货港。因此N轮的承租人得承担由于未及时指定卸货港给船舶造成延误所带来的所有损失。

  接下来来看看关于指定装卸港方面的几个相关问题。

  一、延迟指定装卸港的索赔

  关于索赔的问题,出租人在之前曾就N轮的情况发了如下电邮给承租人,声明如果有任何绕航,或任何别的由于承租人未能及时指定卸港所造成的费用/损害/支出均由承租人独自承担。中国有句俗话叫着丑话说在前头,万事先表明态度,同时要保留书面证据。

  Trust the charterers also safe receipt the Master's report, And now the vessel toward to Caofeidian with ETA o/a 4th/Apr at 0900hrs.

  For good order sake, Charterers are urgently requested to double check from their side and declare final discharge port(s) without further delay.

  If any deviation or any others expenses/damages/costs etc which were result from charterers' failure to declare final discharge ports will be for charterers' sole account.

  Thanks for charterers' keen attention and their prompt response will be appreciated.

  关于未能指定装卸港所造成延误的索赔问题,如果船舶在装货和卸货的时候因为承租人方面的原因而被延误或滞留超过合同规定的时间,则出租人有权收取滞期费,这是一种在规定的合同期限内未能完成装货或卸货的违约赔偿金。滞期费通常在提单中以明确的条款规定处理或参考租船合同条款。但是,如果船舶的滞留具有不属于滞期费规定的性质或程度,比如承租人未能指定最终的装卸港,结果导致延误或船舶绕航,则出租人可以找承租人追偿损害赔偿,该金额不是以当前市场利率损失船舶的收入能力。如果是在等承租人最终装卸港的指示,法院经常接受,市场盈利能力可以等同于相关航次租船合同中规定的滞期费率或相关定期租船合同中的每日租金率。这方面的损害赔偿可以参权威著作《Bills of Lading》第二版,13.30如下描述:

  13.30 If the vessel is detained in loading and discharging cargo beyond the laytime contracted for, the carrier becomes entitled to demurrage, which is a form of liquidated damages for failure to load or discharge within the contractual time provided. Demurrage will usually be dealt with in express terms in the bill of lading or by reference to charterparty terms. However, where the detention of the vessel is of such a nature or extent that it falls outside the demurrage provisions, unliquidated damages may be claimed, referable to the loss of earning capacity of the vessel at the current market rate. The courts have frequently accepted that the market earning capacity can be equated to the demurrage rate stipulated in a relevant voyage charterparty or the daily rate of hire of the vessel in a relevant time charterparty.

  又如在Johs.Thode v. VDA.De Gimeno Y Cia. S.L.-The “Steendiek”[1961] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.138 (C.A.)案中,Willmer勋爵在第148页判决书中说到,在我看来,在第3条的真正解释,船舶按指示前往瓦伦西亚公锚地的义务必须取决于承租人在她正在航行进行的过程中给予她指定装货港的命令的权利,只要承租人他们在合理的时间这样做。毫无疑问,如果在给予指示的时候承租人犯了无理拖延,那么出租人就要承担额外的费用,后者很可能会对承租人提出赔偿要求。

  It seems to me that, on the true construction of Clause 3, the obligation of the vessel to proceed to Valencia Roads for orders must be subject to the right of the charterers to give her orders for a loading port while she is in the course of the voyage, provided they do so at a reasonable time. No doubt if the charterers were guilty of unreasonable delay in giving such orders, so that the shipowners were put to additional expense, the latter might well have a good claim for damages against the charterers. But, in my judgment, they would have no right to disobey such an order, or to insist on completing their voyage to Valencia Roads before obeying it.

  因此一旦承租人未能依据合同要求,在约定的时间内指定装卸港,如果此延误给出租人造成了损失,那么出租人将可以找承租人索赔损害赔偿;该损害赔偿很显然包括时间损失及延误期间的燃油消耗。

  二、指定装卸港后的不可撤销性

  在Bulk Shipping v. Ipco Trading [1992] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 39-The “Jasmine B”案中,Diamond Q.C.法官在第42页判决书中说,如果租船合同中没有任何特殊条款规定,承租人指定装卸港的效果是,租船合同后必须视为指定港口最初写入租船合同,并且承租人既没有权利也没有义务改变该指定。

  In the absence of any special provision in a charter-party, the effect of the nomination of a loading or discharging port by the charterer is that the charter-party must thereafter be treated as if the nominated port had originally been written into the charter-party and that the charterer has neither the right nor the obligation to change that nomination. (See Anglo-Danubian Transport Co. Ltd. v. Ministry of Food (1949) 83 Ll.L.Rep. 137 and Reardon Smith Line Ltd. v. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, [1961] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 385; [1962] 1 Q.B. 42.)

  该案的情况也可以参《Voyage Charters》Chapter 5-Loading and Discharging Ports, Places and Berths, 5.20,如下:如上所述,装货或卸货港口或地点的指定可以通过在租船合同本身中命名,或随后根据承租人提出的指定义务进行。在任何一种情况下,如果没有某些特殊规定,有效的指定一旦完成,就完成了当事人合同义务,因此该指定是不可撤销的。

  The irrevocable effect of a valid nomination

  5.20 As indicated above, a nomination of a loading or discharge port or place may be made by naming it in the charter itself, or subsequently, pursuant to an obligation on the charterer to make the nomination. In either case, in the absence of some special provision, a valid nomination once made completes the definition of the parties’ contractual obligation and is accordingly irrevocable.

  在实务中经常涉及到这类争议,承租人在指定了卸港后,因为多种原因要求改港,但又不确认相关改港费用,比如运价调整。碰到这种情况,出租人可以凭这一点来拒绝承租人改港请求,一旦指定装卸港,该指定便不可撤销。当然为了良好客户关系,可以配合,但严格来讲,完全有权利拒绝承租人改港要求。那么就涉及到原先指定的港口是否真正变得不可行,比如港口发生地震或者爆炸,导致港口无法继续使用,或者变得不安全。

  然而,针对特定的租约条款,完全可能作出相反的解释。比如在Bulk Shipping v. Ipco Trading [1992] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 39-The “Jasmine B”案中,有如下额外的条款:

  Discharging port(s): One or two safe port(s), United Kingdom, Eire, Continent, Gibraltar/Hamburg range, Sardinia including Denmark . . . or

  Charterers' option one or two safe port(s) European Mediterranean not east of but including Greece . . . or

  Charterers' option one or two safe port(s) United States Atlantic coast and/or

  Charterers' option one or two safe port(s) United States Gulf and/or

  Charterers' option one or two safe port(s) Caribbean . . .

  Always maximum three ports total load and discharge.

  Disports on trans-atlantic option always to be in Geographical rotation.

  6. Ipco terms dated 7th July 1986, Nos. 1-27 as attached/amended, are to be incorporated herein.

  额外相关的一系列条款如下:

  M.1 Diversion

  A. Notwithstanding anything else to the contrary in this Charter Party and not withstanding what loading and/or discharging ports may have been nominated and Bills of Lading issued, Charterer shall have the right to change at any time its nomination of the loading and/or discharging ports in accordance with Part 1 of this Charter Party.

  B. Charterer shall have the right to order the vessel to interrupt her voyage at any time during the laden transit and await further orders.

  C. Charterer shall have the right to order the vessel to call at a port en route from loading port to discharging port(s) for sampling purposes.

  D. Any extra time and expense incurred by Owners in complying with Charterer's orders shall be for Charterer's account and calculated in accordance with Part 1, Clause 1 plus any proven expense of this Charter Party.

  E. Freight shall be based on the voyage actually performed.

  F. Charterer shall have the right to make as many changes as it deems necessary.

  Diamond Q.C.法官认为条款M.1是特殊条款第6条中提到的“Ipco条款”之一。因此,它可以被广义地描述为承租人条款,因为它是承租人设计的条款,以实现他们认为理想的商业目的,该条款措辞以广义表达。Diamond Q.C.法官认为,像这样的条款应该得到广泛的商业解释,而不是可以称之为律师心灵所产生的巧妙限制。如果或多或少具有相同议价能力的当事方就一项旨在达到某一商业目的的条款达成一致,法院通常会解释该条款的措辞,以便实现该目标。法院不会精明地发现当事人本身不太可能发生的隐藏限制。

  In my view, a clause such as this ought to receive a broad commercial interpretation free of what I may call ingenious limitations conjured up by the minds of lawyers. Where parties of more or less equal bargaining power have agreed upon a clause which is designed to achieve a certain commercial objective, a Court will normally construe the words of the clause so that it achieves that objective. A Court will not be astute to find hidden limitations that are unlikely to have occurred to the parties themselves.

  Diamond Q.C.法官认为这并不是说承租人必须拥有完全自由来行使其权利,M.1如果这样做会使承租人违反其他协商和商定的合同条款。虽然该条款适用“即使本租船合同中有任何其他相反的规定”,但法院仍将整个租船合同解释为对各方商定的所有条款的适当重视。法院不会很快认为根据一个条款赋予甲方的权利是为了取消另一方给予乙方的权利。只有在整体解释合同时,似乎当事人不能将两个条款共同放在一起,认为一个条款优先于另一个条款是恰当的。

  Diamond Q.C.法官认为在在本案中,第2条的特殊规定约定“始终最多三个装货和卸货港”。Diamond Q.C.法官觉得没有理由认为M.1条款旨在与此条款冲突或将其删除或以任何方式进行修改。第M.1条规定承租人有权更改其指定。它没有权利增加实际用于装载或卸载的港口数量。例如,一旦在一个港口开始卸货作业,它不允许承租人命令船舶前往第二个卸货港,然后在卸货已经进行了几个小时后,指定第三个卸货港然后用第四个或第五个港口重复这个过程。而M.1条款允许承租人随时更改其装货或卸货港口的命令,这些命令不得产生船舶在三个以上港口装卸货物的结果。这一点可以很快表达如下,即装货和卸货的有效港口不得超过三个。

  虽然在本案中,承租人指定最终卸货港之前,作了一系列的指示,但最终Diamond Q.C.法官认为承租人在5月30日发出命令正当,有权指示船舶到Genoa港卸货。

  三、指定装卸港的及时性问题

  如文中开头部分所举的例字,Gencon 94格式第一条就规定,在签发提单的时候,就应该已经列明卸货港,船舶应该驶往已经租船合同中对应表格所列明的卸港。当然在目前航运实务中,比较少在装完货在提单上就已经清晰列明卸货港名称的,除非是贸易合同已经确定,否则这种列明卸货港的提单,将使承租人无权要求更改卸货港。

  如前文所举的N轮的合同中,相应条款已经清晰规定承租人需在抵达装港前7天指定第一卸港;在抵达第一卸港前10天指定第二卸港。有此明确要求的,一旦承租人未能及时指定,那么将构成违约。但是如果合同中对此方面未作规定的情况下,承租人依然得在合理的时间内指定装卸港,确保不给船舶造成任何由于未指定而带来的延误。何为合理的时间?如果不给船舶造成延误,即为合理。比如船舶在前往卸港的途中,承租人指定了卸港,那么可认为是合理的时间;但是如果需要船舶停车漂航等待指定卸港,或者船舶已经到了上海外,结果要求回头到福建可门港卸货,那么该指定即为不在合理的时间内。这方面的可以参《Voyage Charters》Chapter 5-Loading and Discharging Ports, Places and Berths, 5.14如下:

  5.14 In the absence of any prescribed time limit, it is submitted that the nomination of a loading or discharging port must be made within a reasonable time and that it should be made early enough to ensure that the vessel suffers no delay resulting from the absence of nomination.

  在Johs.Thode v. VDA.De Gimeno Y Cia. S.L.-The “Steendiek”[1961] 2 Lloyd’s Rep.138 (C.A.)案中,合同第3条和第6条的规定如下:

  3. The Captain to telegraph applying for orders . . . on arrival at port of outward discharge, stating when expected discharged and address for reply. The Captain shall also telegraph his departure from port of outward discharge. Should orders not have been received when finished discharge, the steamer shall proceed immediately to Valencia Roads for orders. . . .

  6. . . . should the steamer not have arrived at first loading or order port on the thirteenth of March 1958 by 2 p.m. Charterers or their Agents have the option of cancelling or confirming this Charter-Party.

  对于此条款的解释问题,Holroyd Pearce勋爵在第145页判决书中认为,根据普通法,承租人有权在合理时间内就目的港发出命令。但是,第3条在某种程度上限制了这一权利。显然出租人希望在船舶离开港口之前知道她的目的地是什么。当有取消条款时,尤其如此,因为船长会想知道他到达目的地需要多长时间,以及他是否必须加快速度。因此,第3条规定船长应在离开卸货港前获得指示。承租人必须发出命令电报,提供某些信息。如果承租人提供指定该范围内某个港口的命令,该港口将成为第6条规定的第一个装货港。承租人在指定此类港口时,不必考虑对出租人处境是否是合理或可能性。但是,一旦指定它,承租人就不能再改变。

  At common law, the charterers have a right to give orders as to the port of destination within a reasonable time. Clause 3, however, to a certain extent limits that right. It is obviously desirable for the owners to know before the vessel leaves port what her destination is. That is particularly so when there is a cancellation clause, for the master will want to know how much time is at his disposal for arriving at his destination and whether he must put on extra speed. Therefore Clause 3 provides that the master shall be able to obtain orders before leaving the port of outward discharge. He must telegraph for orders, giving certain information. If the charterers give those orders nominating a certain port within the range, that port becomes the first loading port for the purposes of Clause 6. The charterers, in nominating such a port, do not have to consider what is reasonable or possible from the owners' position, but, having once nominated it, they cannot change it. (See Tharsis Sulphur and Copper Company, Ltd. v. Morel Brothers & Co., and Others, [1891] 2 Q.B. 647.)

  Holroyd Pearce勋爵继续说到,通过理解第3条产生更合理的结果意味着,只有船长发送命令并给出其地址和预计的卸货时间,才适用该条款的其他规定。 但是,如果他没有通过电报,第3条的框架就不会出现,出租人就会失去它的利益。承租人(因任何失败而有权获得损害赔偿)可以依据第1条规定的普通法权利在合理的时间内下达命令。船长在没有收到命令的情况下,根据普通法,可以选择留在港口直到承租人下达指示或自行前往装货范围内的合理港口。

  A more reasonable result is produced by reading Clause 3 as meaning that only if the master telegraphs for orders and gives his address and expected time of discharge do the other provisions of the clause apply. But, if he fails to telegraph, the situation for which Clause 3 was framed does not arise and the owners lose the benefit of it. The charterers (with any right to damages by reason of such failure) can then rely on their common-law right, under Clause 1, to give orders within a reasonable time. The master, receiving no orders, has at common law the option to stay in port until orders are given or to proceed to a reasonable port within the loading range. No doubt, on the present facts, the most reasonable port would be Valencia Roads.

  因此,如果承租人依据合同条款,未能及时指定装卸港位置,出租人/船长有权利停留在原位置等待承租人的进一步指示,或者前往预计的装卸港位置;相应地如果有延误将得承租人承担。

  针对合同第3条解释问题,Pearson勋爵在第150页判决书中说到,船长的电报为承租人提供了指定装货港或装货港的机会,这些港口可能位于西班牙东南或东海岸的任何地方,范围从马拉加到巴塞罗那。如果承租人确定了装货港的名称,则该船将有责任直接前往第一个装货港,如果她未能在下午2点到达那里,即在1958年3月13日,承租人可以选择取消或接受租船合同。另一方面,如果承租人没有抓住机会,如果他们没有向船长发出任何命令,在他发出的地址,在船舶卸货完成之前,他们就失去了要求到一个装货港直接航行的机会,并且该船已经获得了一项义务,需按命令立即前往瓦伦西亚锚地。

  The master's telegram affords to the charterers an opportunity of naming the loading ports or a loading port, which may be anywhere on the south-east or east coast of Spain within the range from Malaga to Barcelona. If the charterers do then name the loading ports, the ship will have a duty to proceed directly to the first loading port, and if she fails to arrive there by 2 p.m. on Mar. 13, 1958, the charterers will have the option of cancelling or confirming the charter-party. On the other hand, if the charterers do not take their opportunity-if they do not send any orders to the master, at the address which he has given, before the ship's discharge is finished-they have lost their opportunity of requiring a direct voyage to a loading port, and the ship has acquired a duty, and therefore a right, to proceed immediately to Valencia Roads for orders.

  Pearson勋爵认为最终结论必须取决于对合同条款解释问题的回答。如果承租人在3月12日仍然有权指定第一个装货港并要求船舶直接航行,他们有权行使这一权利,以便获得自己的选择权,第6条取消或接受租船合同。另一方面,如果承租人在3月12日没有这样的权利并且只能提出请求,则提出和接受请求可能会导致某些隐含条款或弃权或禁止反言使承租人的任何解除合同的企图无效。

  In the end, however, the conclusion must depend on the answer that is given to the question of construction. If the charterers, on Mar. 12, still had a right to nominate a first loading port and require the ship to make a direct voyage to it, they were entitled to exercise that right in such a way as to gain an option for themselves under Clause 6 to cancel or confirm the charter-party. If, on the other hand, the charterers, on Mar. 12, had no such right and could only make a request, the making and acceptance of the request might give rise to some implied term or waiver or estoppel rendering ineffective any attempted cancellation by the charterers.

  在该案中,在Steendiek轮前往装货港的途中,承租人虽然未在第一时间指定最终的装货港,但是已经在该轮抵达最终的装港之前指定了Tarragona为装港。上诉院法官判定承租人未违反合同条款,该指定有效;另外因船舶未能在解约日期之前抵达装港,判承租人依据合同第6条有解除合同的权利。

  四、当指定的港口变得不可行

  如果因为外界环境的变化,比如发生地震,海啸,爆炸等天灾使得装卸港变得不可行,那么承租人的该指定便不再是有效的指定,承租人有义务重新指定装卸港。承租人重新指定装卸港,对应地出租人有权利依据合同条款赚取对应的运费。当然重新指定装港和重新指定卸港情况有点不一样,暂且不在这里讨论。这方面可以参权威著作第二版的《Bills of Lading》的12.6描述如下:

  12.6 There may be an implied term in a contract of carriage that the shipowner will be given an opportunity to earn his freight, although the scope of this will depend on the express terms.

  也可参《Voyage Charters》Chapter 5-Loading and Discharging Ports, Places and Berths, 5.24如下:

  Where the impossibility exists at the time of the nomination, the nomination is not a valid exercise of the right of election, and the charterer is obliged to make another nomination.

  又如在Aktieselskabet Olivebank v Dansk Svovlsyre Fabrik (The “Springbank”) [1919] 2 K.B. 162案中,Springbank轮被租用去装载一批硝酸钠,合同条款关于卸货港及运费的规定如下:

  therewith proceed to Queenstown, Falmouth, or Plymouth for orders to discharge at a safe port in the United Kingdom or so near thereunto as she may safely get always afloat . . . and there deliver the same on being paid freight at and after the rate of 60s. if discharged at a safe port in the United Kingdom after calling for orders, or 65s. if discharged at Aarhus, Aalborg, Elsinore, or Copenhagen after calling for orders . . .

  装货完成后,签发了一份提单,说明该船是“bound for Queenstown, Falmouth, or Plymouth for orders”。该船开航后,英国政府对可能进口到某些中立国家(包括丹麦)的硝酸盐货量进行了限制。该国进口的年限量为33,000吨,承租人知道已超过该限额。然而,尽管承租人知道如果没有英国政府的许可证,这是不可能的,这艘船是被命令到奥尔堡的;事实上,该轮没有获得授予许可。承租人拒绝提供替代指示,该轮最终在英国的普利茅斯港卸下货物。

  出租人主张有权获得相当于本应在英国港口支付的运费的损害赔偿金,其前提是承租人将指定一个法律上可以进行卸货的港口。

  Bankes勋爵认为,承租人指定奥尔堡作为卸货港,众所周知,由于限制从英国运往丹麦的硝酸盐,该船无法前往那里,实际上承租人并没有行使选择权。这只是一个无奈的指定,而且不可能采取行动。Bankes勋爵认为,在该轮抵达法尔茅斯时,并且有权获得命令的情况下,被告承租人有责任在租船合同中提到的港口范围内下达新的命令,去一个她可以在合理的时间内前往的港口。

  . . . the nomination of Aalborg as the port of discharge, when it was perfectly well known that the ship could not proceed there because of the restriction on the carriage of nitrates from the United Kingdom to Denmark, was in truth and in fact no exercise of the option at all. It was a mere nugatory nomination, and one which could not possibly be acted upon. I have come to the conclusion that, under the circumstances existing at the time when the Springbank arrived at Falmouth, and was entitled to orders, it was the duty of the defendants to give her orders, within the limits of the ports mentioned in the charterparty, to go to some port to which she could proceed within a reasonable time.

  Bankes勋爵继续说到,考虑到提单和租船合同的形式,其中规定船舶应按命令前往英国的港口,然后表示按命令可以向包括英国和欧洲大陆港口在内的一系列港口。Bankes勋爵认为,根据是否将一个港口或另一个港口命名为卸货港,运费率应该对应调整。当事人必须选择一个或另一个应该选择的港口范围,这将使出租人有机会获得运费,特别是在考虑到出租人无权获得任何运费的情况下,除非他完成了同意货物过境。

  Having regard to the form of the bill of lading and the charterparty, which provided that the ship should proceed to a port in the United Kingdom for orders and then indicated that orders might be given to a range of ports including British as well as continental ports by naming the rate of freight to be paid according to whether one port or another is named as the port of discharge, I think . . . that the parties must have intended that of the range of ports one or another should be chosen which would give the shipowners an opportunity of earning their freight, especially when it is borne in mind that a shipowner is not entitled to any freight unless he completes the agreed transit.

  在该案中,法官认为承租人在初始指定的港口变得不可行的时候,承租人得依据合同条款所约定的重新指定新的港口;同时出租人有权相应地赚取运费。

  总结:

  在有效指定之后港口受其它因素影响变得不可行,装货港和卸货港可能存在一些区别,法律地位可能是不确定的。在装货港的情况下,如果租船合同双方之间没有达成新的协议,而租船合同又没有额外规定的话,则可能没有重新指定的默示义务。但在卸货的情况下,当出租人的货物处于危险状态且船舶装满货物时,情况可能会有所不同,尽管原则上没有理由说明为什么装船后租船合同不应受挫。在这种情况下,与装货港的情况不同,对于船舶和货物来说,卸货都是必不可少的。当然,如果导致不可能性的情况由租船合同的明确规定所涵盖,例如战争,罢工或冰冻条款,则与租约落空有关的普通规则通常不适用,并且当事人的权利将受到那些明文条款规定的限制。因此一切都得看具体的合同条款是如何拟定的,才能判断承租人是否有义务重新拟定新的装港或这些因素导致了租约落空。

  在期租合同下,也涉及到承租人指定装卸港的问题,出租人对及时性并没有过多要求,不管是否及时,由于承租人方面的原因导致的延误承租人都无权停租;出租人所关心的是港口安全问题。但是如果出租人或船长未听从承租人指示,挂靠了别的港口或泊位导致了船舶遭遇损坏,通常情况下承租人对此安全问题便不再承担责任。

  例如Mediolanum Shipping v. Japan Lines Ltd (The “Mediolanum”) [1984] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 136案。在此案中,船舶在洛杉矶装载了一批石油焦,通过巴拿马运河运往根特。承租人已与巴拿马Las Minas炼油厂达成协议,为该船提供燃油。1972年10月25日,船舶经过巴拿马运河后,承租人指示船长前往Las Minas附近的海上浮标进行加油。一名引航员,炼油厂的一名员工,来到船上帮助船长航行到加油区。当时加油泊位很拥挤,炼油厂的人指示引航员将船舶带到不同的加油地点。该加油点并非承租人指定的加油位置,这条船驶向新的加油泊位的时候,不幸地在一个未知的珊瑚岸上遭受了破坏。出租人认为港口不安全,找承租人索赔维修费用,船舶搁浅时的时间损失以及随后必须修理的时间和燃油的费用。

  其中上诉法院的Kerr勋爵在第141页判决书中说到,承认承租人违反租船合同的依据只能依赖于承租人与炼油厂之间关于船舶在Las Minas港口行驶的假定代理关系。但是,这种关系不涉及承租人对安全性的绝对保证的性质,而是委托人对其代理人的作为或不作为的替代责任问题。假设炼油厂适当地被视为承租人的代理人,而不是作为独立承包商,承租人应以什么为基础对船舶在遵循指示时停泊在未知的礁石上的事实负责。炼油厂的方向?如果有人发现炼油厂或其雇佣人员引航员犯了疏忽,或者在这方面犯了一些其他不法行为或不作为,那么这种责任很可能随之而来。但是船舶停泊的礁石是未知的,并且未在海图上标明。在特殊情况下,仲裁员得出的结论是,他们无法对炼油厂或引航人对珊瑚礁的任何了解作出任何认定。

  The basis for holding that the charterers committed any breach of the charter-party can therefore only rest upon the assumed agency relationship between the charterers and the refinery in connection with the vessel's movements in the port of Las Minas. However this relationship does not involve anything in the nature of an absolute warranty of safety on the part of the charterers but a question of vicarious liability by a principal for the acts or omissions of his agent. Assuming that the refinery is properly to be regarded as the charterers' agent for this purpose, and not as an independent contractor, on what basis can the charterers be held liable for the fact that the vessel grounded on an uncharted reef while following the indications or directions of the refinery? If there had been a finding that the refinery, or its servant the pilot, had been guilty of negligence, or of some other wrongful act or omission in this connection, such liability might well ensue: see Bowstead on Agency, 14th Ed. at pp. 307 to 320. But the reef on which the vessel grounded was uncharted, and in par. 36 of the special case the arbitrators concluded that they were unable to make any finding as to any knowledge of the reef on the part of the refinery or the pilot.

  Kerr勋爵认为如果炼油厂和引航员没有就船舶在Las Minas港口的行动发生任何不法行为或疏忽,并且没有建立,那么在我们看来,租船合同中第26条必须适用,并且船舶损坏被租船合同中第15条,即停租条款的“damage to hull . . . grounding, detention by average accident to ship”措辞所涵盖,即使假设炼油厂被视为承租人的代理人。由于这些原因,Kerr勋爵认为,必须以否定方式回答,并且必须允许承租人上诉。

  If the refinery and the pilot were not guilty of any wrongful act or omission in relation to the vessel's movements in the port of Las Minas - and none had been established - then it seems to us that cl. 26 of the charter-party must apply, and that the casualty is covered by the words "damage to hull . . . grounding, detention by average accident to ship" in cl. 15 of the charter-party, the off-hire clause, even on the assumption that the refinery is properly to be regarded as the charterers' agent.

  For these reasons we conclude that the question of law in par. 40 of the special case must be answered in the negative and that the appeal must be allowed.

  因此在期租合同下,出租人或船长必须严格听从承租人的指示。在该案中,Kerr勋爵认为即使是炼油厂被视为承租人的代理人,但所发生的船舶损坏也引入到停租条款,从而承租人有权利停租出租人。类似地,这种代理人问题,如Evens勋爵在The“Arctic Trader”案中,认为第三方发货人应该被认为是租家的代理人;然而如果承租人已经给予了明确指示,船长必须听从承租人的指示。

  在Novorossisk Shipping v. Neopetro (The “Ulyanovsk”) [1990] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 425案中,涉及承租人指示船长在抵达的时候仅递交NOR给承租人,不许提早靠泊。但是船长在抵达装港的时候,递交了NOR给所有相关方,包括发货人;而且该船长还听从发货人安排,提早靠泊装货。由于所涉及货物是以提单签发日期结算,不同的完货日期导致货物的价值差异巨大;承租人于是找出租人索赔损害赔偿。

  商事法院的Steyn法官(当时是)认为承租人有权在船舶抵达后和停工期间与其托运人作出安排,这将导致延迟开始装货或中断装货,即使这种安排应该超过允许的装卸时间。如果是这种情况,Steyn法官认为他同意仲裁员的意见,即承租人在装卸时间期间要求船舶等待,而不是靠泊和装载的命令是合法的,船长必须遵守。因此,出租人的第一个论点必定会失败。

  The charterers are therefore entitled, after arrival of the vessel and during laytime, to make arrangements with their shippers which entail a delay in commencement of loading, or the interruption of loading, even if that should entail laytime being exceeded. If that is the case, I agree with the arbitrators that it follows that orders given to the vessel during laytime to wait, and not to berth and load, are lawful and must be obeyed. It follows that the owners' first line of argument must fail.

  但是,Steyn法官认为他应该澄清他的结论的法律依据。在他看来,作为解释问题,有一个结论是合理的,因为承租人明确允许规定的装卸货时间,而且不少于此,这是他们支付运费的考虑因素的一部分。如果有必要,Steyn法官认为他会(如仲裁员所做的那样)认为相同的结论是由隐含条款证明的。从裁决中可以看出,仲裁员认为,根据贸易惯例,同样的结论也是合理的。仲裁员必须考虑到在航运业中有这种规律性遵守的贸易用法,以证明所有人都知道或应该知道可以观察到的预期。仲裁员认为存在这种交易用法并不令人意外。事实上,在这方面,传递航程令的出租人显然认为它们是合法的,这并非毫无意义。除了解释和暗示之外,出租人的第一个论点是与仲裁员认定的既定贸易用法相悖。交易是否存在是事实问题。当然,仲裁员熟悉贸易用途,没有人建议仲裁庭无权依赖贸易用途,没有人建议在这方面有进一步理由的豁免。Steyn法官认为,出租人的论点只是合同,明确的条款或暗示,是明确的,贸易用途不能超越明确的合同规定。在Steyn法官看来,这种交易用法与租船合同条款之间没有矛盾。如有必要,Steyn法官认为仲裁员的结论在任何情况下都是以贸易使用为基础,这是无懈可击的。

  It is right, however, that I should clarify the legal basis of my conclusion. In my view it is a conclusion justified, as a matter of construction, by the fact that charterers were expressly allowed a stipulated laytime, and no less, which formed part of the consideration for their payment of freight. If it were necessary, I would have held (as the arbitrators did) that the same conclusion is justified by an implied term. It appears from the award that the arbitrators considered that the same conclusion was also justified on the basis of a trade practice. The arbitrators must have had in mind a trade usage having such a regularity of observance in the shipping trade as to justify an expectation that it would be observed, which the owners knew about or should have known about. That the arbitrators took the view that such a trade usage exists comes as no surprise. Indeed it is not without significance, on this aspect, that the owners, who passed on the voyage orders, clearly regarded them as legitimate. Quite apart from construction and implication, the owners' first line of argument is contrary to established trade usage as found by the arbitrators. Whether a trade usage exists or not is a matter of fact. The arbitrators were, of course, conversant with trade usage, and nobody has suggested that the tribunal was not entitled to rely on trade usage, and nobody suggested a remission for further reasons on this aspect. As I understand it the owners' argument is simply that the contract, by its express terms or by implication, is clear and that trade usage cannot override a clear contractual stipulation. In my view there is no inconsistency between such a trade usage and the charter-party terms. If necessary, I would hold that the arbitrators' conclusion is, in any event, unassailable on the ground of trade usage.

  最终Steyn法官及法院认为在装货完成之前,船舶处于承租人关于装货的处置,并且有权让承租人就装货的开始和装货的中断发出命令;承租人的总装货时间为72小时,他们有权按照自己的意愿使用该装货时间;他们对整个装货时间的权利不得因要求他们在任何特定时间开始装货而被删减;承租人他们有权在船舶抵达后及在装货期间与其托运人作出安排,导致延误开始装货。Steyn法官认为仲裁员的裁决是正确的,即在装货期间指示船舶等待而不是靠泊和装载的命令是合法的,船长及出租人应该遵守;出租人上诉被驳回。

  结合这些判例及书籍,关于承租人指定装卸港的问题可以简单归纳如下。

  1. 通常情况下,关于装卸港的指定问题,与递交NOR类似,无需特殊的格式或者也可以无需以书面形式;但承租人要确保这些指示确实已传达到出租人或船长。

  2. 通常情况下,如果无相反的规定,承租人的代理人,或者发货人等也可以代表承租人给予关于指定装卸港的指示。然而,如果代理人或发货人所给予的指示与承租人的明确指示相反的话,那么出租人及船长应该严格听从承租人的指示。

  3. 承租人应该在合理的时间内,不管租约条款是否明示,必须在给船舶造成延误之前给予相关指示;如果租船合同中在时间上已经明确约定,那么承租人应该依据合同条款及时给予相关指示;如果船长未收到出租人的相关指示,船长有权利选择等待指示或者前往意向的装卸港等待承租人的进一步指示。如果船舶因为承租人给予装卸港的指示太迟造成了延误,承租人得承担相应的损害赔偿。

  4. 依据租船合同相关条款,承租人已经行使了指定装卸港的合同义务,那么一旦指定,承租人没有义务也没有权利更改该指定,即该指定不可撤销。

  参考资料:

  1、《Voyage Charters》4th Edition

  修改完成于2018.11.13

  海运圈聚焦专栏作者 Alex (微信公众号 航运佬)
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