浅析因船舶污底所造成的索赔问题
日期:2017-08-31 阅读:2882
  

  【摘要】船舶在港口长时间等泊,尤其是该港口处于热带水域区内,会造成船壳海生物污染,如果不安排清理的话,会造成主机负荷增大,航速下降,油耗增加。如果合同未列明此类风险的归属,那么由于这种船舶污底所造成的索赔,到底该由谁承担呢?本文通过对几个先例的简单介绍来说明这方面的问题。

  【关键词】期租合同、船壳污染、默示索赔权、bottomfouling

  今年3月份,曾经有一条散货船“DL Marigold”在其船壳及水下部分发现有大量藤壶结垢和管虫,被新西兰的第一产业部(MPI-Ministry of PrimaryIndustries)强制要求离港,在清理干净前不得再次进入新西兰水域。据了解,这是新西兰第一产业部首次以生物污染为由下令国际船舶离境。政府官员声称,这艘散货船在新西兰停留时间越长,外来海洋物种从船体脱离或产卵的可能性越大,因此他们将这种情况视为“严重污染”,不得不尽快下令船舶离港。

  此外,根据新西兰政府新的规定,从2018年5月起,所有进入新西兰水域的国际船舶船壳必须保持清洁。在新规定生效前的过渡阶段,第一产业部对存在严重生物结垢的船舶有权采取行动。

  New rules will require all international vessels to arrive in New Zealand with a clean hull from May 2018. During the interim period, MPI can take action in cases of severe biofouling.

  如果船舶受海生物污染了,则有可能被政府当局强制要求离港进行水下清理,这是政府官方方面的风险。而对于船东、租家而言,船壳受海生物污染了,如果不安排清理的话,会造成航行阻力增加,从而导致主机负荷增大,航速下降,油耗增加等问题。

  危害船舶的海生物,其实有很多种,最常见的海生物常见的有藤壶(barnacles)、软体生物(molluscs)及海蛎(Oyster);这两种可能是造成船壳海生物污染的主要因素。在热带、亚热带海水温度比较高的港口区域,如果船舶停泊时间超过两个星期,将会造成海生物污染。当然这里还有别的环境因素影响,比如季节性带来的水温及水流影响,锚地水深,船壳油漆涂层好坏等也均会影响污染的严重程度。船舶部位不同,船壳海生物附着滋生程度不同;由于船舶不同位置的水动力性差异,特别容易受到海生物污染的部位是海底阀箱、螺旋桨等。

  几天前,曾有老友来咨询这方面的问题,虽然之前关于这方面的有提过,包括期租合同下的默示索赔权,但还是感觉有必要作进一步澄清。内容大概是,船定了个2LLG,在伊朗某港口卸完货后,又在伊朗某港口接着装货。开航后发现船舶速度下降,租家要索赔航速油耗损失;怀疑是在港时间太长,导致污底,但是在港时间又没有超过合同规定的连续20天;要求租家一起做联合水下检验,租家又不同意。

  如果在合同中,并未列明这类的风险归属,那么应该由谁来安排清底呢?费用又该由谁来承担呢?本文将通过对比一些先例,希望可以找到所需要的答案。

  一、Bulfracht (Cyprus) Ltd. v Boneset Shipping Company Ltd.[2002]- The“Pamphilos”

  在该案中,船东在2000年1月28日将“Pamphilos”轮航次期租给租家,去执行租家从巴西的Sepetiba港(现在改名为Itaguai)装铁矿到保加利亚的Bourgas卸的航次任务。

  该轮于2000年2月16日1830抵达Sepetiba,但因为港口拥挤,直到3月8日才靠上;3月11日1030装完货后前往位于黑海中的Bourgas港,于4月7日卸完货;该轮最终于4月13日在希腊的Piraeus港还船给船东。

  在4月6日,租家发给船东租金详细计算单中,显示从其安排租金的中扣下了航速油耗索赔额。船东最后对于此被扣部分,声称租家租金未付;同时以租家违反合同第4条,未能以与交船的时候一样的良好秩序及状况还船,找租家索赔安排水下检验清底的费用及时间损失。船东对于这些争议,提起仲裁,找租家索赔损失。

  合同的相关条款如下:

  Capable of steaming, fully laden,throughout the period of this Charter Party under good weather conditions about 13.0 knots on a consumption of about 36 mt IFO (180) cst plus 2.5 mts MDO see cl 54.

  Clause 1: That the Owners whilst on hire shall throughout the period of this Charter Party……keep the vessel in a thoroughly efficient state in hull,cargo spaces, machinery and equipment….. for and during the service.

  Clause 4: that the Charterers shall pay for the use and hire of the Vessel at the rate of US$8,000…. daily, including overtime, or prorata less commission …. Plus US$140,000 gross Ballast Bonus ….. hire to continue until the time of the day of her re-delivery in like good order and condition, ordinary wear and tear excepted, to the Owners …. On dropping last sea pilots Piraeus port after bunkering …

  标黄色部分,之前已经说过了,是连续性保证,不再分析。

  仲裁员经过查证后,基于众多理由,认定租家所谓的航速油耗索赔不成立。其中部分理由如下:

  1.该船于1999年9月在希腊进干坞进行了维修,依防污涂料制造商他们的标准,该轮的船体根据需要进行了适当的清洁和喷涂防污油漆涂层。因为进干坞维修保养,喷涂工程花费巨大,仲裁员认为船东他们不会偷工减料,因此在1999年9月底时候,船体是干净的并且没有任何海洋生物。

  2.从船级社的报告,要求对船底龙骨的任何压痕或损坏进行修理,可以推断出,修完船后没有任何突发或压痕可能会影响船舶速度。

  3.船舶也用了能维持12个月的防污油漆对船壳进去喷涂,船东在采购和应用油漆方案时也都恪尽职守和远见卓识地行事;所选购的油漆是行业中已知的自抛光涂层,是完全适用的也都是习惯的计划。

  4.在进完船坞和其在Sepetiba交船间的航行期间,船舶没有表现不佳的记录,除了别的以外,租家并没有索赔航速油耗损失及扣减租金。

  5.从船舶在从Piombino到Sepetiba通过Algeceris的空放航次的事实可以看出,船舶在船体,机械和设备中都保持完全有效的状态,并且能够符合在交船的时候速度和油耗的保证。

  It was to be inferred from that fact and from the vessel's performance on the ballast approach voyage from Piombino to Sepetiba via Algeceris that the vessel had been kept in athoroughly efficient state in hull, machinery and equipment and was capable of complying with the speed and consumption warranty at the date of delivery.

  6.在Piraeus还船,进行了水下清理之后,船舶的航速油耗表现大大改善。

  The vessel's performance "improved dramatically" after underwater cleaning afloat at Piraeus following re-delivery under the time charter.

  7.代表船东的专家证据是,记录在机舱日志中的参数清楚地指出船体阻力增加,这只能归因于船体受污染。

  The expert evidence called on behalf of the owners was that the parameters recorded in the engine room logsclearly pointed to increased hull resistance which could only be attributed to fouling of the hull.

  8.该轮在Sepetiba热带水域呆了24天,而该水域以易受海生物污染而闻名于世。

  The vessel had spent a total of 24 days in warm tropical waters at Sepetiba Bay which were known to be notoriously conducive to marine fouling.

  9.还船后,在Piraeus潜水员检查的水下部件及检查报告,污染海生物-藤壶的照片都是真实的。

  基于以上一些理由,多数仲裁员认定污染由于船舶在Sepetiba港在港超时引起的,没有证据显示船舶在交船的时候航速油耗有问题,船舶刚刚进干坞进行了修理保养,对船壳也进行了喷涂防污染油漆涂层以保护,因此租家索赔航速油耗不正当。但同时认为租家没有违反合同按照与交船的时候同样良好秩序和状况还船的义务,因为在没有非正常事件的情况下,在刚进过干坞后船体立即或不久受污染是由于严格遵守租家的命令造成的,这种“职业危害”因此可归于还船条款中的,“正常的磨损和消耗除外”。

  The charterers were not in breach of their obligation to redeliver the vessel in like good order and condition because the fouling of the hull was, in the absence of an extraordinary event,such as serious fouling resulting from compliance with charterers' orders immediately or shortly after dry-docking, an 'occupational hazard' which therefore fell under the redelivery proviso 'ordinary wear and tear excepted' .

  持反对意见的Moss仲裁员认为,船东未能解除船舶航速表现不佳是由于遵从租家指示造成的举证责任;在Piraeus做的水下检验清理没有另人满意的证据;关于防污漆也没有证据是否有厂家的特殊批准认可及通常的保证;并不另人满意的检查结果使得无法公平地评估租家的案件,有些海生物污染可能在抵达Sepetiba前就已经产生;船舶的主机或涡轮增压器可能存在问题影响航速油耗,可能与在Sepetiba受污染并无关系。

  租家主张,按1996年仲裁法第68(1)条中有一个严重的不规范行为影响诉讼或裁决,因为多数仲裁员并没有按照第33条的规定,从而给租家他们造成实质性的不公平。

  (1) The tribunal shall –

  (a) act fairly and impartially as between the parties,giving each party a reasonable opportunity of putting his case and dealing with that of his opponent, and

  公平及公正地对待当事人,给予各方当事人合理的机会陈述案件并抗辩对方当事人的陈述,及

  (b) adopt procedures suitable to the circumstances of the particular case, avoiding unnecessary delay or expense, so as to provide a fair means for the resolution of the matters falling to be determined.

  根据特定案件的具体情况采取合适的程序,避免不必要的延误或开支,以对待决事项提供公平的解决方式。

  (2) The tribunal shall comply with that general duty in conducting the arbitral proceedings, in its decisions on matters of procedure and evidence and in the exercise of all other powers conferred on it.

  仲裁庭应在进行仲裁程序过程中,在其对程序和证据事项的决定中以及在行使授予它的所有其他权力时,都应该遵守一般义务。

  商事法庭的Colman法官通过一系列分析,认为租家关于仲裁员的仲裁程序不规范这个主张是完全站不住脚的,并没有严重的不规范或其它的。

  The submission that these observations involve serious irregularity within the meaning of section 68 is, in my judgment, completely untenable.

  There was therefore no irregularity serious or otherwise.

  I further reject the submission that, even if none of these matters represented a serious irregularity, when taken in isolation, they do in aggregate amount to a serious irregularity. This argument is misconceived. Once it is concluded that none of the matters alone amount to an irregularity, it is logically untenable to derive an irregularity from those same matters in aggregate. Had I concluded that all of these matters taken separately represented an irregularity, albeit not a serious one, it is improbable that I should have concluded that there was an overall serious irregularity. However, it is not necessary to express a concluded view on this hypothesis.

  Accordingly, the application under section 68 of the1996 Act is dismissed.

  Colman法官认为虽然仲裁员未能完全认定造成船舶海生物污染的真正原因,但是经过查证后已经认定船东已经尽合理勤勉,合理地做好了防污油漆的喷涂,清理之后航速油耗大大改善;因此航速油耗的损失基本上是由于在Sepetiba等待时间过长造成的。虽然船东没有要求租家参加联合检验,只是单方面安排了该检验;在本案中,当事人双方缺乏合作是被摒弃的,但这不会造成仲裁事实认定的完全不合理。多数仲裁员都以完全适当的方式,以他们自身的商业经验,公平公正地对事实作出了认定。如果不鼓励仲裁员此行为,那将是非常不可取的,完全违背1996年仲裁法的本意。

  最终Colman法官判,租家不能主张航速油耗索赔;由于听从租家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,船东已经同意的风险,因此船东也不能主张租家的还船时的船舶状况与交船不一致。

  Accordingly, in my judgment, the decision of the arbitrators was not obviously wrong on any question of law and this application for leave to appeal therefore fails.

  二、Action Navigation Incv Bottiglieri Navigation Spa [2005]- The “Kitsa”

  在该案中,船东在1999年11月17日将“Kitsa”轮,期租给租家,租期4-6个月,之后租期展到7-9个月。

  在2000年3月2日,租家将该轮转租给分租家,租约以NPYE格式;之后分租家在2000年3月20又将该轮转租给分分租家,执行一个从南韩装煤炭到印度Visakhapatnam港卸的航次任务,租约仍为修改过的NYPE格式。

  该轮于2000年5月4日抵达Viskhapatnam卸港,但因延误,在那呆了超过3个星期,导致了异常严重的污底。最终船东不得不在Portland, Dorset进行清底工作,花费了近18万美金。因该污底是由于遵守租家合法的指示造成的,船东依赖租约赋予的默示索赔权,找租家索赔损失;同时主张在Portland的清底时间租家无权停租,找租家索赔此期间未付租金47,811美元。

  船东对此提起仲裁;租家拒绝了船东的这些索赔,主张清理污底的费用不在租约规定的默示索赔权的赔偿范围之内;同时坚持清理污底期间船舶应该停租。租家声称他们是根据船舶的不足和其它事项找船东提出的索赔。

  合同的一些主要条款如下,NPYE的标准合同,没什么大变动。

  1. That the Owners shall …… keep the vessel in a thoroughly efficient state in hull, machinery and equipment …… for and during the service.

  4. …… hire to continue until the hour of the day of her redelivery in like good order and condition, ordinary wear and tear excepted, to the Owners ……

  8. That the Captain shall prosecute his voyages with the utmost despatch, and shall render all customary assistance with ship's crew and equipment boats. The Captain (although appointed by the Owners) shall be under the orders and directions of the Charterers as regards employment and agency; and Charterers are to load, stow, secure and discharge and trim the cargo at their expense under the supervision of the Captain, who is to sign Bills of Lading for cargo as presented, in conformity with Mate's or Tally Clerk's receipts.

  15. That inthe event of loss of time from deficiency and/or default of men or deficiency of stores, fire, breakdown or damages to hull, machinery or equipment,included but not limited to strikes of Master,officers and crew,grounding,detention by average accidents to ship or cargo,drydocking for the purpose of examination or painting bottom,or by any other cause preventing the full working of the vessel, the payment of hire shall cease for the time thereby lost, and if upon the voyage the speed be reduced by defectinor breakdown of any part of her hull, machinery or equipment, the time solost,and the cost of any extra fuel consumed in consequence thereof, and all directly related extraexpenses shall be deducted from the hire.…….

  [Note:Inthe preceding quotations, words or passages in italics represent amendments oradditions to the printed form. The following provisions were additional to those based upon the printed form.]

  54."Deviation / Put Back

  Should the vessel put back whilst on voyage by reason of breakdown of machinery, collision, stranding, fire or other accident or damage to the vessel, …… or by reason of the refusal of the Master,officers or crew to do their duties, or any Owners' matters, the payment of hire shall be suspended from the time of in efficiency in port or at sea until the vessel is again efficient in the same position or regain[s] a point of progress equivalent to that when the hire ceased hereunder. Bunkers consumed while the vessel is off-hire and all extra directly related expenses incurred during such period shall be for Owners' account.…"

  仲裁员查证后认定,卸港在IWL的范围内,也不在除外港口;延误并没有超出船东的合理预期,这个风险是船东在订约的时候所接受的。仲裁员作出裁决的部分理由如下:

  (a) 船壳或船底容易受污染是众所周知的,如果船舶呆在温暖的水域中超时不动

  的话,这甚至几乎是可以确定的结果。在速度和油耗方面,严重的污染可能会严重影响船舶的性能。

  (b) 租家要求该轮到Visakhapatnam卸货,该港口处在IWL(协会保证区域限制)

  的范围内,该指示合法;租家及其代理人除了该指示没有发任何别的指示。

  (c) 该轮在卸港停留了22天左右,造成重大污底。船东在波特兰(2000年11

  月)对船舶的水下检查所披露的污染程度,显示污底严重影响船舶的性能。

  (d) 如果该轮在卸港停留的时间比22天少,则可能没有污底的情况发生。但在

  卸港所造成的延误并没有超过船东对于船舶在卸港卸货可能花费的时间长度的合理预计。

  (e) 当事人双方为了他们的商业目的,都不希望在卸港造成延误,即卸货,然后

  离开。该船在卸港等待卸货,,但这只是因为港口的作业方面的考虑,而不是出于任何其他原因。同时因为这艘船是不带吊的,所以关于船舶的卸货速度和方式一切主动权都在岸方手里。

  (f) 在卸港发生这种污底的原因仅仅是该轮在那个时期,停留在有关港口的自

  然后果,这不是租家违反合同的结果。

  仲裁员认为,由于这种航次任务安排而导致的污底风险不是本案的船东“不能被接受”的风险,仲裁员最终裁决,取决于本案的事实,船东没有任何索赔可能成功。

  32.Putting the matter not merely shortly, but also bluntly, we regard as wholly unrealistic any suggestion that the time actually spent by the vessel at Visak went beyond any reasonable expectation on the part of an owner of a vessel similar to the "Kitsa" as to how long his vessel might be required to spend there in the course of entirely ordinary employment to the sub-continent. In our view, the risk of fouling as a result of that employment was not a risk that the Owners in the present case "cannot be taken to have accepted" (The"Island Archon",above, at page 238). In our judgment, no claim could possibly succeed on the facts of the present case.

  船东不服裁决,Langley法官对于以下两个焦点问题,准许船东上诉。

   (a) whether a time charterparty permitting the vessel to be traded within Institute Warranty Limits necessarily carries with it an assumption by the shipowner of all risks ordinarily incident at each port within those limits, such that the implied indemnity against the consequences of obeying charterers' lawful orders doesnot extend to the materialisation of risks peculiar to the particular port or class of ports, and

  (b) whether time spent removing marine growth which had attached itself to the hull of the vessel in the course of service under the relevant charterparty amounted to time lost within the meaning of clause 15 of the charterparty.

  上诉院的Aikens法官所先重申了一遍默示索赔权的基本原则,如船东所索赔的损失或费用必须与租家的指示之间存在直接的因果关系。

  Before me it was common ground that, in general terms, there should be implied into the terms of this Charterparty a provision that requires the Charterers to indemnify the Shipowner against the consequences of complying with a Charterer's order as to the employment of the vessel. It was agreed that this implied right to an indemnity, or "implied indemnity" as it is often called, arises in this case by virtue of the express terms of clause 8 of the NYPE form and the wide trading limits within which the vessel can be employed under this Charterparty. It is to be implied either as being both reasonable and necessary for the business efficacy of the Charterparty or as a matter of law. The argument before me concerned the scope of this implied right to an indemnity. Both parties agreed that the scope must be determined asa matter of construction of the Charterparty, to be considered at the time it was concluded and taking account of the factual background against which the Charterparty was agreed by the Shipowners and Charterers. The parties also agreed that the issue of whether there was a right to an indemnity in this casemust depend on the particular facts as found by the arbitrators in their Reasons.In this regard counsel agreed that there must be a direct causal link between the order given and the loss or expense suffered for which the Owner claims an indemnity.

  在经过一系列的分析之后,Aikens法官他接受租家律师Turner的主张,特定的损失或费用的风险在租赁期间是预见的或可预见的,这并不是决定该损失或费用是否在默示赔偿范围内的决定性因素。但是如在The“Island Archon”案中的判决,如果在契约缔结的时候,船舶听从租家的航次指示所发生的事故和费用的类型是无法预见的,那么这将是决定损失或费用是否属于默示赔偿范围内的一个重要因素,特别是在该指示合法的情况下。

  Aikens法官认为,在本案中,这种风险是指由于船舶遵从租家合法的航次任务指示,呆在温暖的水域超过22天将遭受船体污染及船东将承担随后清污的费用。如我所见,仲裁员的结论是,“这种风险”是双方在租约缔结之时可以预见和预见的,那么鉴于上诉法院在“Island Archon”案中所采取的判决方式,仲裁员有权作出裁决,这种风险是船东在签订租约的时候所同意接受的风险。

  In the present case "this type of risk" means the risk that the vessel will suffer hull –fouling because the vessel was inactive at a warm water port for 22 days as a result of a legitimate order as to employment by the Charterers and the risk that the Owners will suffer expense in hull – cleaning as a consequence. If, as I find,the arbitrators have concluded that "this type of risk" was one that was foreseeable and foreseen by both parties at the time the Charterparty was concluded, then, given the approach of the Court of Appeal in "The Island Archon", the arbitrators were entitled to conclude that "this type of risk" was one that the Owners agreed to accept at the time the Charterparty was made.

  最终,Aikens法官认为,无论采用哪种方式,鉴于仲裁员的裁决,如他所说的,仲裁员都依法有权认定船东的清污费用不在租约规定的默示的赔偿范围之内。船东关于这点的上诉不被支持。

  Whichever approach is adopted, given the arbitrators' conclusions as I read them, the arbitrators were entitled, on the law, to hold that the Owners' expenses of de –foulingwere outside the scope of the implied indemnity providedby the Charterparty.

  关于第二点,清底时间是否有权停租的问题,Aikens法官认为,如果仲裁员以合同的第15条,那么仲裁员将不得不去推翻Mustill法官在The “Rijn”先例中所作的判决;显然经验丰富的仲裁员肯定考虑了这一点,因此Aikens法官认为仲裁员是以租约第54条的理由来判租家有权停租。租家的律师也承认,如果仲裁员的裁决不是基于合同第15条为由,那么他就不能质疑仲裁对于这个问题的裁决和所给的理由,因为上诉许可只是针对关于第15条的法律问题。

  最终Aikens法官判船东关于这点的上诉必须不成立。

  Mr Turner accepted that if the arbitrators' decision was not based on clause 15, then he could not challenge the Award and Reasons on this issue, because leave to appeal was only given ona point of law concerning clause 15.

  Accordingly this part of the appeal must fail.

  三、Imperator I Maritime Company v Bunge SA [2016]-The “Coral Seas”

  在该案中,原来的船东在2006年11月2007年9月以NYPE46范本,将“Anny Petrakis”轮连续期租给了租家,租期约23-25个月;依2007年10月5日的协议,原来的船东将所有权转给了本案中的船东,该轮也随之改名为“CoralSeas”。

  在11月8日,租家与分租家签订了一个1-2个重载航次的合同,分租家有选择权,该合同为背靠背。

  按分租家的航次安排,该轮于2008年1月4日到13日期间在巴西的Praia Mole港卸货,完成一个重载航次。随后前往Guaiba Island (GIT)装货,因港口拥挤,从1月14日一直等到2月10日才靠泊,最终于2月14日装完货。但在开航后,该轮的航速显著下降,最终导致途中在3月14日不得不紧急挂靠雅加达添加燃油。

  该轮于3月16日抵达新加坡,水下检验发现船底轻微受海生物污染,但是其螺旋桨受藤壶污染异常严重。清理了螺旋桨之后,该轮随后开完卸港马湾,完成了其第二个重载航次。

  分租家之后以船东违反了租约第29条(b)款中的持续性航速保证为由,主张他们有权利就损害进行对冲,并以此理由从租金中扣减了航速油耗的索赔额;租家也以相同的理由在支付给船东的租金中作了对应的扣减。之后三方就此争议提起仲裁。

  合同的相关条款如下:

  1. … whilst on hire …Owners shall … keep the vessel in a thoroughly efficient state in hull …machinery and equipment … for the service and all times during the currency ofthis Charter.

  8. … the captain shall prosecute his voyages with the utmost despatch … The Captain ... shall be underthe orders and directions of the Charterers as regards employment and Agency …

  Clause 29

  (a) Vessel'sdescription

  

  D Speed/consumption(expected as a new building)

  About 14.5 knotsballast/about 14 knots laden on about 33.5 mts ISO 8217:2005 (E)RMG 380 plusabout 0.1 mts ISO 8217:2005 (e) DMA in good weather condition up to Beaufortscale four and Douglas sea state three and calm sea without adverse current … [in the case of thesub-charterparty the equivalent provision concluded "… up to BeaufortScale 4 and Douglas Sea State 3 with not current and/or negative influence ofswell (sic)"].

  Plus:

  Daily GeneratorConsumption about 2.5 mt at sea/about 2.0 mt (at sea/idle) ISO 8217:2005 (E)RMG380 …

  All details about

  All details are givenin good faith as per shipbuilders' plans and as a new building vessel can bedescribed.

  [In the case of the sub-charterparty these details were simply followed by the words "Alldetails about"]

  (b) Speed Clause

  Throughout the currency of this Charter,Owners warrant that the vessel shall be capable of maintaining and shall maintain on all seapassages, from sea buoy to sea buoy, an average speed and consumption as stipulated in Clause 29(a) above, under fair weather condition not exceeding Beaufort force four and Douglas sea state three and not against adversecurrent. [In the case of the sub-charterparty the equivalent provision concluded"… not exceeding Beaufort Force 4 and Douglas Sea State 3 with not against adverse current (sic)"].

  (c) Weather Routingand Speed/Consumption Deficiencies

  Charterers may supplyOcean Routes advice to the Master[the sub-charterparty stated "May supplyOcean Routes or equivalent advice"] during voyages specified by theCharterers. The Master to comply with the reporting procedure of the routing service selected by Charterers ...

  仲裁员经过查证后认定:

  i) that the Vessel did not maintain the warranted speed,resulting in an increased length of voyage of 90.345 hours; (该轮未能维持保证的航速,导致了航次时间被延长了90.345小时)

  ii) that the cause of the Vessel's reduced speed wa sunderwater fouling of the Vessel's hull and propeller by marine growth which developed during the Vessel's lengthy stay in tropical waters at Guaiba Island; (导致航速下降的原因是水下船壳部分及螺旋桨污染,原因是在GIT港热带水域长时间等泊使船底长了海生物)

  iii) that the marine growth could not be regarded as unusual or unexpected, but constituted fair wear and tear incurred in the ordinary course of trading. (海生物的滋生不能认为是不寻常或不可预见的,相反可归于在运营过程中正常的磨损和消耗)

  仲裁员还进一步认定,租约第29条(b)款的正确解释是,航速保证适用于所有的海上航次,包括那些在热带水域长时间等泊后的航次;而因船舶遵从租家合法指示的情况下所造成的船底污染导致航速油耗表现不佳,该风险将由各自租约下的船东承担。

  The arbitrators further determined that, on a true construction of the charterparties, the speed warranty in clause 29(b) applied to all sea voyages, including those after a prolonged wait in tropical waters and that it was the Owners/HeadCharterers who had assumed the risk of a fall-off in performance as a result of bottom foulingconsequential upon compliance with the Head Charterers'/Sub Charterers' lawful orders.

  此外,仲裁员澄清并认定船东并未违反租约第1条下维修保养船舶的责任义务。当事人均不服此裁决,认为仲裁员的法律观点错误,提起上诉。

  高等法院的Phillips法官首先重申了关于默示索赔权的两个基本原理:

  船东对于遵从了租家关于使用船舶的指示,因此而遭受损失,船东对租家享有默示索赔权,即使依据租约租家本来就有权利给予的该等指示,这是已完好确立的一般原理;但是,船东的这个索赔范围并不能延伸至船东必然已经接受的,在航次中通常的风险,该原理也是公认的。

  It is well established that as ageneral rule a shipowner has an implied right of indemnity against a time charterer in respect of the consequences of complying with the charterer's orders as to the employment of the ship, even if the orders were ones the charterer was contractually entitled to give. However, it is equally well established that such indemnity does not extend to the usual perils of the voyage in respect of which the owner must be taken to have accepted the risk.

  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,基于以下几个方面的理由,船东无法依赖默示索赔权找租家索赔损失。

  i) 如上所述,由于租家的指示所引起任何风险,而这些风险在租约下船东并未假定要承担的,则船东享有默示索赔权。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船东在保证条款下提供抗辩。

  i) As set out above, the Owners had animplied indemnity against any risks arising as a consequence of the Sub-Charterers' orders which the Owners had not assumed as part of the charter.It follows that there is simply no need to read into the warranty an exclusionfor such risks, including the consequences of unusual and unexpected fouling:the indemnity would provide the Owners with a defence to a claim under the warranty by way of circuity of action.

  ii) 在另一方面,如果这些风险已经被船东所承担,例如在合法使用船舶过程中通常会发生且可预见的海生物污染的风险,那么船东将不再享有默示索赔权。如果船舶的航速油耗表现受到这些已被接受承担的风险的影响,而使得履约保证不适用,那将很难理解。船东在接受了该风险的同时给出了持续性保证,而不把其排除在保证之外,因此该保证必须被采纳,具有完全的效力。

  ii) On the other hand, where no right to an indemnity arises because the risks were assumed by the Owners, such as usual and expected marine fouling during legitimate deployment of the Vessel, it is difficult tosee why the warranty should be read as not applying where performance is affected as a consequence of such an assumed risk. The Owners have given the continuing warranty at the same time as assuming that risk, without excluding it from the warranty, so the warranty must be taken to apply with full force.

  iii) 船东正在试图避免接受关于他们本已经接受的风险所带来的在保证上的责任,那么判船东承担此责任即非不公平也未愚弄商业常识。

  iii) The fact that the Owners are seeking to avoidliability on the warranty in relation to a risk they have assumed demonstrates that holding them liable is neither unfair nor flouts business common sense.

  Phillips法官因此拒绝了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,他重新考虑了Colman法官在The“Pamphilos”案中的判决,做出了相反的观点。

  对于船东所引援的《Time Charter》一书中第3.75段的观点,Phillips法官认为该观点太过宽泛,当一条船履行表现不足时,就算船东证明该履行表现不足是由于遵从租家的指示所造成的,但这并不是一能够对抗持续性保证索赔的抗辩;除非该履行表现不足是由于这个风险导致的,而该风险在租约下船东并未被认为已经接受承担,那么在这种情况下,船东就权从租家获得赔偿。

  For the above reasons, I consider that the proposition stated in paragraph 3.75 of TimeCharters is too widely stated. Where a vessel has underperformed, it is not a defence to a claim on a continuing performance warranty for the owners to prove that the underperformance resulted from compliance with the time charterers' orders unless the underperformance was caused by a risk which the owners had not contractually assumed and in respect of which they are entitled to be indemnified by the charterers.

  此外,Sumption勋爵在The“Kos”案中说到,首先,租约下船东的责任义务应该作为一个整体来解读;船东没有权利再寻求赔偿如果他们已经在租金上得到赔付。因此,与履行租家服务相关的通常的风险和费用,不再有此赔偿。损害赔偿的目的是保护他们免受那些在租约中没有明示或默示同意去承担的风险或花费。什么样的风险或花费船东已经同意去承担的取决于合同别的相关条款是如何规定的,或对租家经营通常附带的广泛的物理和商业危害作出知情的判断,或两者结二为一。赔偿范围内损失的典型例子,可能是实践中最常见的例子,就是来自船长遵从自己的指示去签发比租约更苛刻条款的提单。但是,赔偿原则上适用于各种其他情况,包括遵守装载货物的命令,即使在采取适当的谨慎措施的情况下是危险的,或是进入一个法律上不安全的港口的命令。另一方面,赔偿将不适用于船东在合同被认为已经承担的风险,这种情况发生通常会是,例如船东自己的过失或违约行为,或者在执行租约过程中容易发生的船舶海生物污染。

  In the first place, it has to be read in the context of the owners' obligations under the charterparty as a whole. The owners are not entitled to an indemnity against things for which they are being remunerated by the payment of hire. There is therefore no indemnity in respectof the ordinary risks and costs associated with the performance of the chartered service. The purpose of the indemnity is to protect them againstlosses arising from risks or costs which they have not expressly or implicitly agreed in the charterparty to bear. What risks or costs the owners have agreed to bear may depend on the construction of other relevant provisions of the contract, or on an informed judgment of the broad range of physical and commercial hazards which are normally incidental to the chartered service, oron some combination of the two. The classic example of a loss within the indemnity, and probably the commonest in practice, is one which arises from the master complying with the charterers' direction to sign bills of lading on terms of carriage more onerous than those of the charterparty. But the indemnity has been held to be applicable in principle to a wide variety of other circumstances, including compliance with an order to load cargo which is dangerous even on the footing that appropriate care is taken of it, or anorder to proceed to a legally unsafe port. On the other hand, the indemnity will not apply to risks which the owners have contractually assumed, which will usually be the case where they arise from, for example, their own negligence or breach of contract or consequences such as marine fouling which are incidental to the service for which the vessel was required to be available.

  总结:

  在The“Pamphilos”案,因为船舶航速下降的主要原因是因为船舶遵从了租家的航次任务指示,在港停泊超时导致了污底,Colman法官判租家无权从租金中扣除船舶的航速油耗索赔,但租家未违反需还船条款,需交还一与交船时候一致,秩序状况良好的船舶,因为这类污底可以归类于航次中正常的磨损和消耗。而在The“KITSA”案及 The“Coral Seas”案中,从Aikens法官及Phillips法官的判决可以看出,除非船东能证明,在合同签订的时候这些能够影响船舶航速油耗在港延误导致的船舶污底的风险,是不寻常或不可预见的;要不船东将很难以此理由来对抗因违反租约持续性保证的航速油耗索赔,纵然这些污底是由于船舶遵从租家的指示造成的。因船东接受了这里风险之后,船东就不再享有英国普通法下依据NYPE租约第8条所赋予的默示索赔权,无法再找租家追偿由于船舶污底所造成的航速油耗损失及安排清污的费用。

  然而,在The“Kitsa”案及 The“Coral Seas”案中,因等泊超时而导致污底的风险,该风险是否已经被船东所接受及承担?因为在这两个案中,都是长期租约:The“Kitsa”案租期为7-9个月,The“CoralSeas”案租期23-25个月。那么在这么长的租期下,船东在签订租约的时候是否有义务去核对每个港口的排队压港情况?租家拟安排的航次未知,港口未知,市场变化未知等等,在这一切都是未知的情况下,如何去判断,将来租家最终安排前往的某个港口是否会出现严重压港从而导致发生船舶污底的风险?可能在签订租约的时候该港口并不压港,但几个月后或一年后变得压港了,那么如果以最终的压港情况来推定船东在签订租约的当时已经接受或愿意承担此风险,那么难免有失偏颇。

  在这两个案中,都涉及了转租,在分租约下,面对一个意向比较清楚的航次,可能还会有具体的港口。如果在这种情况下,租家仍然不对合同进行修改,按长久以来所确立的原理判租家在签订分租合同的时候就已经接受或承担了此风险,没有任何问题。但租家与分租家之间的合同,租家所接受或承担的风险,是否可以完全背靠背转嫁到船东身上呢?船东在案中并未就这点提出异议,颇感奇怪。

  此外,在The“Kitsa”案中,关于停租部分的判决,似乎理由不够充分,因为所去的港口是租家的安排,而如果在重载航次情况下,由于船舶吃水增加等影响,势必给清底工作带来困难。仲裁员只说清底工作如果造成了不合理的延误,租家有权索赔损失,那么如何去界定这个不合理的尺度呢?既然认为不能以船舶的状况有问题(租约第1条),然后引入到租约第15条的停租条款中来找船东索赔,那么似乎也不能归类于第54条的如下原因来找船东索赔。同时,安排清底正是船东尽合理勤勉之责任义务,租家也不可以以此理由找船东索赔。

  Should the vessel put back whilst onvoyage by reason of breakdown of machinery, collision, stranding, fire or otheraccident or damage to the vessel, …… or by reason of the refusal of the Master,officers or crew to do their duties, or any Owners' matters…

  因此为了避免出现这种不确定性,最好是在租约中明确约定,在热带区域的港口在港时间超过多天,在别的区域港口在港时间超过多少天,所造成的污底风险将由租家承担;在污底清理之前,船东对航速油耗不再负责;租家需在还船之前安排清底,时间费用由租家自己承担;如果不安排,租家包干补偿船东一笔钱等等。这类的条款可以参BIMCO 2013期租合同的船壳污染条款(BIMCO 2013 HullFouling Clause for Time Charter Parties)。同时,船东应该尽量避免在租约中做持续性保证,当然这是一种博弈。当然如果租家的指示是非法的,比如要求前往租约除外的区域,最终造成了异常延误导致了船舶污底,那么在这种情况下,船东可以找租家索赔损害赔偿。

  最后,如果这些延误是由于租家与收货人之间有争议而引起的,那么可以说船东是在遵循租家的指示,而不必认为是船东接受或承担了此风险。如在The “Kitsa”案中,仲裁员的如下说法。

  We can imagine circumstances in which – entirely legitimately as a matter of contract – a vessel may be held upat a port of discharge while for example, disputes are settled between charterers and receivers which having nothing whatsoever to do with the owner,and in such circumstances it might well be the appropriate conclusion that any resultant loss to the owner had flowed not from any risk that he had accepted,but from his compliance with the charterer's instruction. And we could, we aresure, multiply examples falling on one side of the line or upon the other,including those in which the conclusion may depend upon matters such as the notoriety of the risk.

  海运圈聚焦专栏作者 Alex (微信公众号 航运佬)
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