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《装卸时间与滞期费》第6版 CHAPTER 3 第3章 Commencement of laytime 装卸时间的起算 3.243 In the first case, the owners tendered notice of readiness at 08 50 hours one Saturday morning in Lisbon. The arbitrator said it was necessary to consider local circumstances and other provisions in the charter relating to laytime. The evidence on the former showed that the port was open on Saturday mornings and all port authorities available, stevedoring was charged at premium rates, all shipping agents were closed, except for those attending vessels, and the majority of, if not all, importers/exporters were closed. Other provisions in the charter included the exclusion of Saturday afternoon and Sunday from laytime. More weight, said the arbitrator, had to be given to the evidence relating to business offices, rather than to the hours which the port authorities and stevedores had to work. Therefore, written notice of readiness could not be received until Monday morning as the receivers’ office was closed on Saturday. 3.243第一个案例,在葡萄牙里斯本港,船东是在一个星期六上午的0850递交的准备就绪通知书。仲裁员认为有必要参考一下当地的情况和租船合同中有关装卸时间的其他规定。第一种情况有证据显示该港在星期六上午照常作业,所有的港口当局都上班,装卸作业要加收额外费用。但是,除了那些代理有事登轮之外,所有的qy888代理均不上班,而且,如果不是全部,也是大多数的进/出口商都关门休息。租船合同的其他条款规定包括在装卸时间中扣除星期六下午和星期日。仲裁员认为:有关商业部门工作时间应给予更大的分量,而不是港口当局和装卸工的工作时间。因此,书面的准备就绪通知书直到星期一上午才能被接收,因为收货人的办公室在星期六关门休息。 3.244 The second case concerns a vessel which arrived at the Mersey Bar at 03 09 one Saturday. Notice of readiness was given by telex to the charterers’ agents at 09 55 and to the charterers themselves at 10 00. However, neither the charterers’ nor their agents’ offices were open. The charter contained two provisions relating to giving notice. The first allowed for notice to be given on Saturday mornings before 12 00 if the vessel had been entered at the Custom House. The second said simply that notice was to be given during ordinary office hours, whether the vessel had been entered at the Custom House or not. The issue between the parties was whether the two clauses were linked, so that the times specified in the first indicated what was meant by ordinary office hours, or whether they were completely separate, providing different criteria depending on whether the vessel had been entered at the Custom House or not. There was also a clause in the charter relating to the vessel giving notice when approaching Land’s End and the charterers thereupon giving orders for discharge. 3.244第二个案例中的有关qy888千亿国际是在一个星期六的0309抵达英国Mersey/默西河口沙洲。准备就绪通知书通过电传于0955递交给承租人的代理人,并于1000递交给了承租人本人。然而,这时无论是承租人还是其代理的办公室均未办公。在租船合同中有两条有关递交通知书的规定。第一条规定是允许在星期六的上午1200之前递交通知书,如果qy888千亿国际已经在海关被登记报关了。第二条简单地说不论qy888千亿国际是否已在海关登记报关,通知书都是在正常办公时间内递交。当事双方之间的争议是:这两个条款之间是否有联系,也就是说,在第一条中规定的时间显示是指正常的办公时间;或者是,这二条是完全独立的,根据qy888千亿国际是否已经报关,提出了不同的标准。在租船合同中还有一相关的条款是:当qy888千亿国际临近英国西南Lands角时应递交通知书,在此之后承租人即下达卸货指示。 3.245 On these facts, the arbitrators held that the notice given on Saturday morning was a good notice. It was clear from the clause relating to giving notice when the vessel had been entered at the Custom House and the clause dealing with giving notice off Land’s End that the charterers looked upon Saturday morning as being good for the tendering of notices. 3.245基于这些事实,仲裁员裁定:在星期六上午递交的通知书是有效的。这明显从‘当递交通知书时qy888千亿国际已经在海关登记报关的条款,以及qy888千亿国际在Land角处递交通知书的条款’中,可以得出承租人把星期六的上午递交通知书看做是恰当时间。 3.246 In a slightly different set of circumstances, the tribunal held in London Arbitration 8/95 that a provision that referred to notice of readiness being given between business hours of 00 01 and 24 00, meant literally that and notice could validly be given at any time even on Saturday 26 December which was not an official holiday at the port in question. 3.246在报道的伦敦仲裁1995年第8号案中,其案情背景稍有不同。仲裁庭裁定:规定准备就绪通知书应该在0001到2400的营业时间内递交这一条文,应照字面意思解释,即是通知书可以在任何时间内递交,甚至在12月26日星期六那天递交也是有效的,因为在该港这一天并不是官方节假日。 3.247 Another example of what constitutes ‘‘ordinary office hours’’ is provided by London Arbitration 13/02, where the tribunal held that it was the office hours of port agents generally at the port of Lagos (the port in question) that were applicable, rather than the office hours of the agents for the ship in question, who opened half an hour earlier than most of the other agents. 3.247由报道的伦敦仲裁2002年第13号案提供又一个例子是,‘普通办公时间’是由哪些时间构成的。在该案,仲裁庭裁定:这是普遍适用于Lagos港(所争议的尼日利亚港口)的港口代理的办公时间,而不是专门为所争议的qy888千亿国际服务的代理的工作时间,因为他比大多数其他代理提早半个小时开门营业。 3.248 In Pacific Carriers Corporation v. Tradax Export SA (The North King), the North King was chartered for a voyage from one safe US port, for which the charterers subsequently nominated Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as the load port. The notice clause of the charter required notification of the vessel’s readiness to be delivered at the office of the charterers or their agents ‘‘at or before 4 p.m. (or at or before 12 noon if on Saturday)’’. The owners’ agents therefore tendered notice of readiness at 09 00 on Saturday 1 November. However, that Saturday was All Saints’ Day and a public holiday and the charterers contended that the notice was only deemed to be effectively tendered on the following Monday. 3.248在Pacific Carriers Corporation v. Tradax Export SA (The North King) 案中,North King轮出租一个航次前往美国的一个安全港口,随后承租人指定路易斯安那州的Baton Rouge(在Mississippi River上游)为装货港。租船合同中的通知书条款要求qy888千亿国际在‘下午4点或下午4点之前(或者星期六的中午12点或12点之前)’将准备就绪通知书递交到承租人或其代理人的办公室。因此,船东的代理在11月1日星期六的上午9点递交了准备就绪通知书。然而,那个星期六恰好是万圣节和公众假期,承租人辩称该通知书仅能看作是在接下来的星期一有效递交的。 3.249 The umpire in the arbitration proceedings and Mocatta J in the High Court both side-stepped the issue as to whether the notice provision allowed notification to be given on a public holiday, an excepted period, by finding that the parties had separately agreed that notice on behalf of the vessel should be accepted on the Saturday morning. However, the umpire also pointed out that no evidence had been adduced to the effect that it was unlawful by the laws of the State of Louisiana to carry on business on All Saints’ Day or any other public holiday and he found that it was not unlawful for the notice of readiness to be tendered or accepted on that day. It presumably follows from this that, apart from the notice clause in the charter, it would have been perfectly valid for notice to be given on a holiday or other excepted period. 3.249在仲裁诉讼中的公断人和高等法院的Mocatta法官均回避了通知书条款是否允许在公众假期,这一除外期间内递交通知书这样一个争议,而认定:当事双方已经分别同意应该在星期六上午接受代表船方递交的通知书。然而,公断人还指出:根据路易斯安那州的法律,没有证据引证在万圣节或其他任何公众假期营业是非法,进而他认定:在那天递交和接受准备就绪通知书不是不合法的。据此,抛开租船合同中的通知书条款,大概可以得出:在节假日或其他除外期间内递交的通知书是完全有效的。 3.250 On the meaning of the specific provision relating to notice in the charter, the umpire said he was inclined to think that by necessary implication from the express words of the clause, a valid notice of readiness could not ordinarily be given on a Sunday or a holiday or any other day which is not a business day. The judge contented himself with saying that if it was not for the question of the agreement between the parties, the decision would have turned upon interesting points in relation to the construction of the clauses of the charterparty. 3.250按照租船合同中有关通知书的特殊条文规定的含义,公断人说,他倾向认为从该条款明示文字中有必要默示,一个有效的装卸准备就绪通知书通常是不能在星期天或者节假日或者其他非工作日递交的。法官自己也辩解说,如果不是当事人之间的协议的问题,这一判决本应该转移到对该租船合同条款的解释这一有趣的问题上。 3.251 Perhaps the leading case where the question of notices being tendered outside the hours stipulated in the charterparty was considered was The Petr Schmidt. The clause in question required notices to be tendered ‘‘within 06 00 and 17 00 local time’’. 3.251对于在租船合同中规定的时间之外递交准备就绪通知书的问题进行深入探讨,也许就是The Petr Schmidt这一著名的案例了。所争议的条款规定要求通知书是在‘当地时间0600-1700之间’递交。 3.252 After referring to The Mexico I, Longmore J continued: Mr Hamblen’s submission requires as its foundation that the notices of readiness in the present case were invalid and a nullity in the sense used in the decided cases. I do not think that they were. In the present case the ship was ready when the notices of readiness were given. They were notices which stated the truth viz. that the vessel was ready to load or discharge as the case might be. The only thing wrong about the notices was the time that they were tendered, which was outside the contractual hours as specified in the contract. To say that such notices were invalid and must therefore be nullities begs the question. They were accurate but non-contractual in the sense that they were tendered outside the contractual hours. To my mind that does not make them invalid notices in the sense of being nullities; timing provisions have nothing to do with whether notices are nullities. It is only if a notice is untrue that it makes sense to say that it is invalid in the sense of being a nullity. An ‘‘invalid’’ notice of readiness is a phrase of ambiguous meaning. It makes sense to say that an untruthful or inaccurate notice is invalid. It is not surprising that the courts have held that such a notice has no legal effect and is to be treated as a nullity. It may in a sense be correct to say that a notice given outside the contractual hours is invalid but only in the sense that it does not comply with the contract. It does not follow that the courts should hold that a premature notice of readiness is a nullity and of no effect. The fact that there are good reasons for holding an inaccurate notice to be of no effect (viz. the charterer cannot know when it will become accurate) does not of itself mean that there are similarly good reasons for holding an untimely notice to be of no effect. There is in my view no good reason why the notice should not be effective as at the time which the contract fixes for it to be tendered. 3.252在参考了The MexicoI 案后,Longmore法官继续说: Hamblen先生(承租人的大律师)的辩护意见,要求以已判决的先例中的意义作为依据,该案中的通知书是无效和一场空的。我不认为是这样。在本案,当qy888千亿国际递交准备就绪通知书时她已经做好了准备。通知书说明了事实真相,即是qy888千亿国际已经做好装卸货准备。唯一不妥的就是它没有在租船合同规定的合约时间内递交。说是通知书无效,因而必定是一场空,这是回避问题的实质而乱下结论。它们这些通知书是准确的(事实反映),但是非合约性的,意思是说它们是在合同规定的时间之外递交的。对我来说,这并不能使之无效而变成空忙一场;时间条文与通知书是否是作废之间并没有任何关系。只有在通知书是不真实的情况下,这时才能说无效的,某种意义上是变成一场空。 ‘无效的’通知书是一个意义含糊不清的短语。如果说不真实或者不准确的通知书是无效的,这完全讲得通。这也难怪法院会判定这类通知书是没有法律效力并被视为是一场空。说一个通知书是在合同规定的时间外也是无效,某种意义上也算正确,但这仅限于没有完全遵照合同规定。但这种无效并不能得出法院也要判定这过早的通知书也是一场空和没有法律效力。事实上,这有很好的理由判定一个不准确的通知书是没有法律效力(即是,承租人无法知道通知书何时才变得正确有效,这就是需要船东另去给一个有效的通知书的原因),但,这种事实本身并不代表这有充分的理由同样也适用于判定一个过早的通知书也应该是没有法律效力。我认为,同样是在合同已经规定通知书递交的时间情况下,这也没有合适的理由为什么这种通知书就应该是无效的。 3.253 The charterers subsequently unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeal, where the principal judgment was give Lord Justice Evans, who held as his primary reason for dismissing the appeal that the notice was tendered at 06 00 when the office opened. Having quoted the passage cited above, Evans LJ then went on to say: Mr Hamblen (for the Charterers) submitted to us that the Judge was wrong to introduce the distinction between invalidity for what may be called a substantive reason i.e. because the notice is incorrect in a material respect and a notice which although valid in itself is tendered in breach of some ‘‘time provision’’ as to when a valid notice may be tendered. He later said: I am inclined to agree with Mr Hamblen that a notice which is tendered outside the hours permitted by cl. 30 is non-contractual and cannot be relied upon as a ‘‘valid’’ notice, meaning effective to start the time clock running for loading or discharge as the case may be. If a notice was taken to the charterers’ offices at (say) 18 00 and then taken away, then I would not regard that as a tender which became effective on the following day. If Mr Justice Longmore intended to cover such a case when he said that ‘‘the only thing wrong about the notices was the time that they were tendered’’, yet such notices were valid at that time, then I would disagree with him, but I do not think that he did. Notices outside the permitted hours were non-contractual and therefore ‘‘wrong’’. I do not see how they can be relied upon as having contractual effect at the time of tender. Whether the defect is ‘‘cured’’ by the passage of time is a question of fact rather than law. The answer to the submission in the present case therefore, depends on the facts that the notice was given in writing and by means which were equivalent to leaving it in the offices to be attended to at 06 00 on the following day. This is essentially the same reason as I have given for rejecting the first submission. Here, there was a tender at 06 00 whether or not there was previously a tender at the time when the telex or fax message was sent. Peter Gibson LJ, having said that he entirely agreed with the reasons given by Evans LJ for dismissing the appeal, in answer to an argument from Mr Hamblen that because a breach of the time limits relating to presentation of notice of readiness could not give rise to a claim in damages, therefore the time limits must be complied with strictly, said: That simply does not follow. For example, the failure to adhere to a rent review time table may be a breach of contract not compensatable in damages, but that does not make that timetable of the essence of the contract (United Scientific Holdings Ltd v. Burnley Borough Council [1978] AC 904). A notice given outside the period provided for contractually may be ‘‘uncontractual’’, but it does not follow that it is a nullity, unless the circumstances of the contract or the subject-matter make it essential that the notice should be given within that period.’’ Sir Christopher Slade, the third member of the court agreed with the previous two judgments and added: Laytime under this charterparty was pressed to begin on the expiration of six hours after receipt of the notice of readiness. The commercial purpose of the second sentence of cl. 30, as I would infer, must have been to ensure that the charterers or their agents should not be saddled with the receipt of a notice of readiness, and the consequent commencement of laytime, between 17 00 hours and 06 00 hours, that is to say outside what might be regarded as office hours. The primary conclusion reached by Lord Justice Evans namely that on the facts of the present case there was a ‘‘tender’’ at 06 00, is in my judgment entirely consistent not only with this commercial purpose but also with the wording of cl. 6 and 30, which I think should be read together. The wording of cl. 6 makes it clear that the time of the giving of the notice plus the receipt thereof are the relevant factors for the purpose of the clause. On this basis, I do not regard the notices of readiness in the present case as ‘‘non-contractual’’ (i.e. as having been originally ‘‘tendered’’ outside the permitted hours). But even if they did not comply with the strict wording of cl. 30, I think that they still fall to be treated as valid notices for the reasons given by Lord Justice Evans and Lord Justice Peter Gibson. I would therefore concur in dismissing this appeal and upholding the arbitrators’ award. 3.253 承租人随后上诉到上诉法院,也没有胜诉。由Evans大法官给出主要的判词,他判决道,作为驳回这一上诉的首要原因是通知书在0600递交时办公室已经开始工作了。在援引了上文引述的片段后,他继续说: Hamblen先生(承租人大律师)提交给我们的辩护词说,法官是错误地采信了无效的通知书和有效性通知书二者之间区别,即,无效性是由于可能被称之为实质性的原因,例如在某一重要的方面通知书是不正确的,而递交的通知书本身是有效的,尽管是违反了有效通知书递交的‘时间条文’。 他后来接着又说: 我倾向于认同Hamblen先生所说的,根据第30条款,在许可的时间之外递交的通知书是非合同规定的,并且不能相信是‘有效的’通知书,这意思是有效性的通知书是用来启动装卸时间时钟运行的,视情况而定。如果通知书(说)是在1800送到承租人的办公室,接着又拿走了,那么,我不认为这样的递交在第2天会变得有效。如果Longmore法官意图是包括他说的那种情况,即是‘唯一错误的是通知书递交的时间不对’,然而在那个时候通知书还是有效的,那么,我就不会认同他的观点,但我不认为他会那样判决。在许可的时间之外递交的通知书是不符合合同规定的,因此是‘错误的’。我并没有看到他们会在递交当时相信通知书具有合同效力。这一缺点是否随着时间的流逝而‘消除’,这是事实问题,而不是法律问题。 因此,在该案,对他提出的观点的回答取决于书面递交的通知书的真实情况,还有,用书面形式等同于把通知书留在办公室直到第2天0600时有人上班。基本上,我给出的是同样的理由拒绝他开始争论的观点。在此,就变成了当时在0600点钟,用电传或传真即时发出的通知书是否是过早的递交的问题了。 Peter Gibson大法官也说道,他完全认同Evans大法官驳回上诉时给出的理由,并回答了Hamblen先生提出的争议——即是违反递交准备就绪通知书有关的时间限制是不能够给予损失索赔,因此时间限制必须严格遵守,说: 这简直就是不能得出这样的结论。例如,未能遵守租金支付时间表去按时支付租金,可能是违约,但在损失上并不是可以赔偿的,因为(违约)没有导致时间表成为合同的根本基础(United Scientific Holdings Ltd v. Burnley Borough Council [1978] AC 904,该案未对支付租金违约方面做出规定)。在合同规定的时间之外递交通知书可能是‘违反合同的’,但这并不能得出它是一场空,除非根据合同的背景或合同标的得出结论说,通知书在给定的时间内递交是合同的根本性基础。 Christopher Slade爵士,该案中的第3名大法官也同意上述2名大法官的判词,并补充说: 根据租船合同,装卸时间被强迫规定在收到准备就绪通知书之后满6个小时才开始起算。据我推断,第30条款第2句话的商业目的本应该是保证承租人或其代理人不会在收到准备就绪通知书之后负担过重(留有6个小时的准备时间),而且接下来装卸时间的起算是在1700至第二天的0600,即是说,这位于所谓的上班工作时间之外了。 由Evans大法官得出的基本结论意思是,根据该案的事实情况,在0600递交通知书,依我判断,不仅完全符合商业目的而且也完全符合第6条款和第30条款的措辞,同时我也认为它们应该在一起共同解读。第6条款的措辞明显表示出通知书递交的时间,还要加上接受它也是该条款考虑的一个相关因素。 在此基础上,我不认为本案中的准备就绪通知书是‘违反合同的’(即把初始递交的通知书当做是在允许时间之外‘(无效)递交的’)。然而,即使他们没有严格遵守第30条款的措辞,我认为他们仍然是被视为有效的通知书,已由Evans大法官和Peter Gibson大法官给出其原因。 因此,我也同意驳回这一上诉,维持了仲裁员的裁决。 3.254 It would seem therefore that if a written notice of readiness is given to the charterers or their agents outside office hours, where there is a provision requiring it to be given in office hours, then such notice will be deemed to have been tendered at the commencement of office hours on the next working day. The tribunal so found in London Arbitration 11/08. 3.254因此,似乎是,如果准备就绪通知书是在上班工作时间之外递交给承租人或其代理人,尽管有规定要求在办公时间内递交通知书,那么,该通知书往往会被看作是在下一个工作日的办公时间开始时递交的。在报道的伦敦仲裁2008年第11号案也是这样认定的。



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