渤海湾严重冰情所涉及的法律问题
日期:2021-01-12 阅读:738
  


  国家海洋预报台最新提醒,根据海冰发展实况及未来天气形势综合分析,预计黄渤海各海域从1月10日陆续进入严重冰期。未来一周,渤、黄海冰情将持续发展,应提前防范海冰增长对港口航运、渔业养殖、海上安全生产及沿海地区居民生活的不利影响!

  有些船可能遭遇大风浪,甲板上浪,在零下十几度的环境下,会导致甲板严重结冰。



  当然,除此之外,随着冰情恶化,还可能存在浮冰,从而对船舶航行构成潜在威胁。本文主要介绍一个关于螺旋桨被冰损坏是否涉及到不安全港口的问题。

  在The Helen Miller [1980] 2 Lloyd’s Rep. 95.案中,St. Vincent Shipping Co. Ltd.(出租人)与Bock, Godeffroy & Co.(承租人)在1974年2月14日就The Helen Miller签订了一份期租合同,期租合同相同条款规定如下:

  2. That theCharterers shall provide and pay for all the fuel except as otherwise agreed .. . but when the vessel puts into a port for causes for which the vessel isresponsible, then all such charges incurred shall be paid by the Owners . . .

  5. . . . on anybreach of this Charter Party, the Owners shall be at liberty to withdraw thevessel from the service of the charterers . . .

  25. The vesselshall not be required to enter any ice-bound port . . . or where there is riskthat in the ordinary course of things the vessel will not be able on account ofice to safely enter the port or to get out after having completed loading ordischarging . . .

  32. . . . insuch lawful trades between safe ports within Institute Warranty Limitsincluding St. Lawrence up to and including Montreal but excluding Cuba Israel .. . and all unsafe ports but Charterers have the liberty of breaking limits,they paying extra insurance . . . Charterers have the option to employ vesselin Great Lakes Trading . . . But Great Lakes Trade only allowed betweenofficial opening and closing dates . . . Loss of time caused by average due tobreach of I.W.L. to be for Charterers' account . . . Delay owing to ice forCharterers' account . . .

  承租人按照租船合同第32条规定为违反I.W.L.(Institute Warranty Limit),协会保证航区支付了额外的保险费。 1976年冬天,承租人安排该路到Montreal,Three Rivers和Port Alfred港,圣劳伦斯河中的港口在这个季节位于I.W.L.范围外。

  在往返这些港口的航行过程中,由于与冰接触,船舶的外壳板和螺旋桨受到损坏。出租人随后安排了临时和永久性修理,出租人找承租人索赔相关的维修费用和时间损失。承租人拒绝,争议被提交仲裁。但仲裁员无法就第32条是否存在问题达成一致,该条款旨在减轻承租人免除损坏修理费用的责任,该损失等于维修期间应付的租金金额以及原本可能落在他们身上的燃油费用。

  最终仲裁员作出对出租人有利的裁决,但以特殊案件的形式表明他的裁决,法院对法院判决的问题是,根据所查证的事实和租船合同的真正解释,承租人根据租船合同第32条免除责任( 1)螺旋桨的维修费用;(2)维修期间浪费时间的损坏和(3)由于租船人因违反I.W.L而支付额外保险费而在维修期间消耗的燃油。

  承租人的代表律师根据承租人的指示推进了这一提议,即该规定仅涉及由于共同海损而导致的时间损失,并且不包括在修复共同海损时损失的时间。在商事法院的Mustill法官(当时是)看来,“共同海损造成的时间损失”就意味着它所说的,这些词语很容易包括出租人浪费的时间,而损坏正在被修复。Mustill法官无法在上下文或常识中找到任何需要以任何其他方式阅读的内容,因此坚持在这个问题上维持学识渊博的仲裁员的裁决。

  至于燃油,原则上,如果额外支出是由于承租人违反了他们有义务将船舶仅命令安全港口而产生的额外支出,那么费用就会落在承租人身上,这两种损失都来自违反租船合同第2条的行为。然而,承租人保持这种表面证据责任由第32条下产生的默示例外限定。Mustill法官认为这一论点的优点取决于与维修费用索赔相同的考虑因素,按照现在提出的后一项索赔进行讨论是很方便的。

  出于讨论的目的,Mustill法官认为可以分解第32条为三部分,如下:

  (a)该船舶将在协会保证航区的安全港口之间从事此类合法贸易,包括圣劳伦斯至蒙特利尔及其中。

  (b)但不包括古巴,以色列,朝鲜,南北越南,柬埔寨,冰岛,几内亚和所有不安全的港口。

  (C)但是,承租人可以自由破坏I.W.L. 限制,他们支付额外保险费,如果有的话,根据最低伦敦费率提交原始保险人账单。

  在仲裁听证会上,承租人争辩说,他们支付额外保险费的效果是将安全港保证和因遵守承租人命令而产生的赔偿义务排除在船舶挂靠协会保证航区以外的港口之外。承租人的代表律师在本次听证会上没有追求这个广泛的主张。Mustill法官认为,明智的是,因为它将面临严重的困难。承租人的代表律师倾向于提出一个更有限的解释,即第32条的影响,只是排除那些因超出航区以外的航行所固有的风险而产生的责任,因此,例如,由于与冰接触造成的损失将被排除在外,因泊位水深不足造成的底部损害仍将是承租人承担责任,因为这不是限制与之相关的风险。虽然有时可能很难确定特定风险属于哪个类该别,但这是一个困难,已经默示在与失去时间有关的条款的明确条款中。

  支持这一主张的论据可归纳如下。首先,据说要使第32条生效。没有建议限制的该条会引起与第5条和第25条的不可接受的冲突。第32条中的权利使承租人能够将船舶安排到本来被认为不安全的港口,包括那些被冰块弄得不安全的港口。然而在第25条该船舶可以拒绝进入这些港口,在第5条下出租人可以撤离船舶,因为命令到不安全的港口本身就是违规行为。避免这种异常的唯一方法是解读第32条从权利和责任的一般解释中删除,否则这些解释将源于不安全港口的法律,所有这些都与超出限额的交易所固有的风险有关。Mustill法官不接受这个论点,认为原因有两个。

  (1)该论点的前提是,对协会保证航区以外的港口的命令实际上是对不安全港口的命令。在Mustill法官看来,这个前提是不健全的。毫无疑问,超出保证范围内的港口所带来的风险远大于保证范围内的港口,但有许多超出保证的港口要么始终安全,要么不时安全。除非相关港口在相关时间发生不安全,否则普通法或第5条将授予出租人拒绝遵守进入港口命令的权利。这同样适用于那些由于存在冰的风险而在某些季节超出保证的区域内的港口。有时这些地区的冬季严重;有时候不那么好即使在同一季节,冰也不会影响所有港口。在这样的区域中对港口的命令无疑通常是对不安全港口的命令,但这并非总是如此。一切都取决于命令发布时的情况。因此与第5条和第25条之间没有这种自动冲突。第32条另一方有理由将后者的限定解读为当事人没有选择明示的限定。

  (1) The argument is premised on the proposition that an order to a port outside theInstitute Warranty Limits is ipso facto an order to an unsafe port. To my mind,this premise is unsound. No doubt the risks attaching to ports outside thelimits are substantially greater than in the case of those within the limits,but there are many ports outside the limits which are either consistently safeor at least safe from time to time. Unless the port in question happens at therelevant time to be unsafe, neither the common law nor cl. 5 will give theowner the right to refuse compliance with an order to proceed to the port. Thisapplies equally to ports in those areas which are placed outside the limits incertain seasons because of the risk of ice. Sometimes the winter in those areasis severe; sometimes less so. Even during the same season ice does not affectall ports equally. An order to a port in such an area will no doubt often be anorder to an unsafe port, but this will not always be so. Everything depends onthe circumstances prevailing when the order is given. There is thus no suchautomatic conflict between cll. 5 and 25 on the one hand and the terms of cl.32 on the other which justifies reading into the latter a qualification whichthe parties have not chosen to express.

  (2)论证忽略了第32条的第二部分。首字母“I.W.L.”的存在在该条款的第三部分中表明,所提到的限制是该条款第一部分规定的限制,即协会保证航区。该条款的第二部分没有受到自由的影响,这排除了“所有不安全的港口”的命令。当一起阅读时,该条款的所有三个部分的效果是,承租人有权将船舶安排到保证航区以外的港口,但前提是这些港口不是不安全的。就是这样第32条和第5条及第25条并不冲突。违反该条会使别的条款发挥作用。

  (2) Theargument overlooks the second part of cl. 32. The presence of the initials"I.W.L." in the third part of the clause shows that the limits therereferred to are the limits stipulated in the first part of the clause, namely,the Institute Warranty Limits. The second part of the clause is left untouchedby the liberty, and this rules out orders to "all unsafe ports". Theeffect of all three parts of the clause when read together is that thecharterers had the right to order the vessel to ports outside the limits, butonly if those ports were not unsafe. This being so, cl. 32 is not in conflictwith cll. 5 and 25. The breach of one brings the others into play.

  下一个辩论如下。如果租船合同明确规定船舶装载或卸载船舶的地方,则视为已同意该地点被证明不安全的风险。同样,在本案的情况下,出租人通过赋予船舶在保证航区范围之外进行贸易的权利,默认同意承担如果行使权利,港口将被证明是不安全的风险。Mustill法官不能接受这个论点,他对列明的港口或范围与范围之间的类比持怀疑态度,因为通过支付额外的费用来开启协会保证航区。此外,无论在列明港口的情况下默示安全保证的法律,还有一个尚未最终确定的事项,Mustill法官认为他无权建议在租船合同中包含明示保证的情况下,它受到任何方式列明港口或范围内港口的限制。Owen Dixon首席法官,在Reardon Smith Line v. Australian Wheat Board, [1954] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 148案中第153页,不能被视为表达相反的观点,因为博学的首席大法官继续认为承租人根据租船合同承担责任,尽管它为列明港口。

  The nextargument runs as follows. Where the charter-party expressly stipulates theplace at which the vessel shall load or discharge the shipowner is regarded ashaving consented to the risk that the place will prove to be unsafe. Equally,in the present instance the owners by giving the right to trade the vesseloutside the limits impliedly agreed to take the risk that if the right wasexercised the port would prove to be unsafe. I cannot accept this argument. Iam sceptical about the analogy between a named port or range and an area aswide as that arrived at by paying an extra premium to open the InstituteWarranty Limits. Moreover, whatever may be the law about implying a warranty ofsafety in the case of a named port, a matter not yet finally decided, I know ofno authority to suggest that where the charter contains an express warranty itis in any way restricted by the naming of the port or range. The judgment ofSir Owen Dixon, C.J., in Reardon Smith Line v. Australian Wheat Board, [1954] 2Lloyd's Rep. 148, at p. 153, cannot be read as expressing a contrary view,since the learned Chief Justice went on to hold that the charterers were liableunder the charter, albeit it named the port.

  在此,租船合同在第32条的第二部分明确规定,该船舶不得航行到不安全的港口,Mustill法官认为无法看到出租人一般同意在支付额外保费后在该地区以外的地方进行航行可以限制该条款中的这些明确的字眼。

  承租人的代表律师认为承认承租人对该地区以外的航行所固有的风险负有责任是荒谬的,因为这将使他们对额外保费应该给予保护的风险承担责任,所以他们将无偿地支付保费。虽然这个论点一见钟情,但在Mustill法官看来,它是不合理的。如果没有额外的保险,出租人不能安全地接受超出航区的航程命令,因为他将在没有保险的情况下交易他的船。他通常也没有动力自己支付保费,以便能够接受这样的命令。但是,当承租人同意支付额外保险费时,情况不同,出租人既不承担风险也不承担扩大航区的财务负担。因此,通过支付保险费,承租人确实获得了利益 - 能够在航行中派送船舶的利益,而出租人不会允许船舶执行,但这并不是说承租人因此获得了无风险安排船舶的权利。

  Next it was argued that it would be absurd to hold that the charterersretain responsibility for the risks inherent in trading outside the area, sincethis would leave them liable in respect of the very risk against which theextra premium was supposed to give protection, so that they would be paying thepremium for nothing. Although this argument is attractive at first sight, itis, in my judgment, unsound. If there were no extra insurance the owner couldnot safely accept an order for a voyage outside the limits, for he would betrading his ship uninsured. Nor would he ordinarily have any incentive to pay thepremium himself, so as to be able to accept such an order. But when thecharterer agrees to pay the extra premium the position is different, and theowner carries neither the risk nor the financial burden of widening the tradinglimits. Thus by paying the premium the charterer does obtain a benefit - thebenefit of being able to send the ship on a voyage which the owner would nototherwise allow her to perform. But this is not at all the same as saying thatthe charterer thereby obtains the right to send her on such a voyage risk-free.

  出于类似的原因,Mustill法官认为没有找到Rowlatt法官在S. J. Brice & Sons v. Christiani & Nielsen,(1928) 30 Ll.L.Rep. 177案中支持承租人的论点,在那个案中雇用起重机执行一项不寻常的任务,条件是起重机将联合保险以防止所有风险由租用人支付。Rowlatt法官能够默示一个免除租约人免受损害赔偿责任的条款。Mustill法官认为那个案子与本案截然不同。在那个案中,该行动受到双方已知和讨论的特殊危险的影响,保险可能没有其他目的,只能解除双方的风险。然而,在本案的情况下,保险费的支付确实具有与转移风险无关的目的,即使出租人能够执行他本来无法进行的航程。

  It is for asimilar reason that I do not find support for the charterers' argument in thedecision of Mr. Justice Rowlatt in S. J. Brice & Sons v. Christiani &Nielsen, (1928) 30 Ll.L.Rep. 177. There the crane was hired to perform anunusual task on terms that there would be a joint insurance of the crane againstall risks, to be paid for by the hirer. Mr. Justice Rowlatt was able to imply aterm exonerating the hirer from liability for damage. The case was quitedifferent from the present. There, the operation was subject to special hazardswhich were known to and discussed between the parties, and there could havebeen no other purpose to the insurance than to relieve both parties of therisk. In the present case, however, the payment of premium did have a purposeindependent of shifting the risk, namely, to enable the owner to performvoyages which he could not otherwise have undertaken.

  最后,承租人依赖于第32条的第二部分,Mustill法官认为如他已经提到过,具体涉及时间损失。正确地指出,如果承租人被视为承担超出航区的命令中固有的风险,则该条款是非常规的。在Mustill法官看来,这种考虑不足以转变观点,因为法院一再表示,在制定租船合同和类似文件时,基于冗余的论据并不重要。所依赖的词语的存在完全符合经纪人的愿望,即在一个本来可能成为疑问的点上表明立场。Mustill法官认为总而言之,他应该提到Lloyd法官在The Yasin [1979] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 45案中所做的决定。没有详细讨论过这个问题,因为那里提出的论点是关于保险受到隐含条款的约束,该条款限制了以出租人的名义对承租人提起代位诉讼的权利。租船合同本身默示一个术语的可能性似乎没有被探讨过。尽管如此,Mustill法官认为学识渊博的法官判决中提出的一些考虑因素确实倾向于支持他在本案中得出的结论。

  出于所有这些原因,Mustill法官拒绝承租人关于维修费用的论点。如前所述,额外燃油的责任遵循与维修有关的责任。最终,Mustill法官同意在特殊情况下提出的所有问题上博学仲裁员的结论,支持仲裁员的裁决。

  Finally,reliance was placed by the charterers on the passage in the second part of cl.32, to which I have already referred, which deals specifically with loss oftime. It is rightly pointed out that this provision is otiose if the charterersare to be regarded as carrying the risks inherent in an order outside thelimits. This consideration is not in my view enough to turn the scale, for ithas been repeatedly stated by the Courts that when construing charter-partiesand similar documents arguments based on redundancy are of little weight. Thepresence of the words relied upon is wholly consistent with a desire by thebrokers to make clear the position on a point which might otherwise have been asource of doubt.

  In conclusion Ishould mention the decision of Mr. Justice Lloyd in the not dissimilar case ofThe Yasin, [1979] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 45. I have not discussed this in detailbecause the argument there advanced was to the effect that the policy ofinsurance was subject to an implied term restricting the right to bring asubrogated action against the charterers in the name of the owners. Thepossibility of a term being implied in the charter itself does not appear tohave been canvassed. Nevertheless, some of the considerations set out in thejudgment of the learned Judge do tend to support the conclusions which I havereached in the present case.

  For all thesereasons I reject the charterers' arguments on the cost of repairs. Aspreviously stated, the liability for extra bunkers follows that relating torepairs.

  In the result,I agree with the conclusion of the learned umpire on all the issues raised bythe special case, and I therefore uphold the award.

  在本案中,针对租船合同不同条款间的解释,Mustill法官经过分析认为,出租人同意承租人支付超出协会保证航区的保费,和其他合同条款之间并没有冲突;出租人接受保费并不意味着放弃其他条款下的权利。因此,最终支持仲裁员的裁决,承租人得为船壳,螺旋桨等因为冰遭遇损坏负责,并承担后续的维修费用,时间损失及期间的燃油消耗。

  在实务处理中,如果碰到类似的,谨慎的出租人应该以书面电邮,声明保留相关的索赔权利,避免误解。比如在The Chemical Venture [1993] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 508案中,虽然港口被视为不安全港口,但是Gatehouse法官最终认为(i)尽管第36条授予船长或出租人或两者拒绝前往他们认为不安全的港口的权利,只有船长及其船员如此拒绝:出租人并没有拒绝前往;(ii)出租人在试图说服船员接受承租人的命令时站在了承租人的一方;(iii)出租人最终要求承租人直接与船长打交道“因为这是你和船员之间的事情。”;(iv)出租人没有暗示他们自己认为科威特码头不安全,出租人没有保留他们的权利,构成了弃权。

  但相反,如果出租人什么都不做,保持沉默,则不意味着出租人已经弃权。如The Kanchenjunga [1990] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 391(H.L.)案,贵族院认为,前往一个不安全港口,出租人只是放弃了拒绝承租人提名该港口的权利,并不代表出租人放弃由于港口不安全所带来的索赔的权利。

  本案的情况可以参《安全港口》第236-241页。

  当然,目前的情况,还涉及到船舶递交NOR的问题,船是否在实质上ready,以及这种ready是否由于承租人违反合同条款,安排船舶到了冰区所造成的。

  海运圈聚焦专栏作者Alex (微信公众号 航运佬)
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