“BUSAN EXPRESS” Case – Fire caused by dangerous cargo loaded in containers
Addtime:2012-01-19    Browse:  Author:admin

Focus

Our firm has successfully claimed losses caused in the fire accident on behalf of foreign Shipowners against the shipper and consignor of the dangerous cargo for their default in declaration of dangerous cargo. We also promptly recover the executed money of RMB 6 million for the Shipowner.

Facts

On 19 January 2012, a fire accident occurred onboard M.V. BUSAN EXPRESS due to the dangerous cargo loaded in containers in the Malacca Strait. Entrusted by the actual carrier, Hapag-Lloyd, our firm bring up a lawsuit against the consignor and NVOCC/shipper.

Proceedings

Our firm make clear the legal relationship among relevant parties, negotiate with the Club and fix the evidence, persuade the court to partly accept the case report conducted outside the territory of China, prove that the defendants’ default in the declaration and notification of dangerous cargo, and prove the carrier’s well conducted its obligation of care of cargo. The case has been trialed in the Tianjin Maritime Court and Tianjin High Court, both of which ruled a judgement in favor of the Shipowner.

In this case, the defendants technically choose to declare one of the two kinds of dangerous cargo in this shipment, and report the dangerous cargo to the carrier in the “Remark” of declaration document, which fails to fulfill its statutory liability to make a truthful declaration of dangerous cargo. The court adopt our view, decided that “(the defendants) wish to form illusion that the Carrier is aware of the existence of dangerous cargo, so as to evade their obligations stipulated in the international conventions and statutory law of China. If this kind of notification is recognized, this will definitely make the notification liability of dangerous cargo become a mere formality.”

During the enforcement proceeding, though the executed intentionally fail to fulfill the obligations set out in the judgements, we timely apply to restrict the legal representative’s departure from China, and promptly recover the executed money of RMB 6 million for the Shipowner.

Comments

We hope the industry shall take this case as a mirror, pay due attention to the legal liabilities and rectify the existing misconducts of concealed declaration intentionally, downgrade the dangerous cargo or even smuggle dangerous cargo in general cargo.  

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