Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law During the Trial of Cases in respect of Delivery of Goods Without Production of Original Bill of Lading

Updated : 2016-10-26

(Adopted at the 1463rd meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court on February 16, 2009) 

FS[2009] No. 1

The Supreme People's Court announces that:

Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Application of Law During the Trial of Cases in respect of Delivery of Goods Without Production of Original Bill of Lading has been adopted at the 1463rd meeting of the Judicial Committee of the Supreme People's Court on February 16, 2009 and shall be effective as of March 5, 2009

February 26, 2009

 

In order to correctly hear the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading cases, pursuant to Chinese Maritime Code, Contract Law of the PRC and General Principles of Civil Law of the PRC, these Provisions are adopted.

Article 1 The original bill of lading as provided in these Provisions includes straight bill of lading, to order bill of lading and bearer bill of lading.

Article 2 Where the carrier violates the regulations of law to deliver the goods without original bill of lading and thus impair the legitimate interest of the original bill of lading holder, the original bill of lading holder can request the carrier to bear the liabilities of compensating the loss incurred therefrom.

Article 3 When the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading by the carrier caused loss to the original bill of lading holder, the original bill of lading holder can request the carrier to bear contractual liability or tort liability.

When the original bill of lading holder request the carrier to bear liability arising from the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading, relevant regulations of Chinese Maritime Code shall be applied; and if there is no relevant regulations in China Maritime Code, other regulations shall be applied.

Article 4 The regulations of Article 56 of Chinese Maritime Code regarding the limitation of liabilities shall not be applied to the carrier’s liability arising from the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading.

Article 5 Where the cargo is being taken by the person as per forged bill of lading, the consignee that holds the original bill of lading can request the carrier to bear liability arising from the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading.

Article 6 As to the carrier’s compensation of the loss of the original bill of lading holder, it shall be calculated as per the value of the goods at the time of shipment plus freight and insurance.

Article 7 When the carrier, pursuant to the law of port of discharge, has to deliver the goods to the local customs or port authority, the carrier shall not be held liable to bear the liability arising from the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading.

Article 8 When nobody has applied to the customs for declaration of the imported goods in expiration of the period as prescribed by law, and the customs then take and sell the goods by auction, or when the court orders to sell the goods that the carrier has declared a lien on by auction, the carrier can be exempted from the liability of the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading.  

Article 9 When the carrier has followed the instruction of the straight bill of lading shipper to stop transportation, return the cargo, change the destination or deliver the goods to other consignee, if the straight bill of lading shipper then requests the carrier to bear the liability for the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading, the people’s court shall not uphold such claim.

Article 10 When the carrier has issued several copies of original bills of lading and delivered the goods to the person who presents the original bill of lading first, if the other holders of the same copy of the original bill of lading requesting the carrier to bear the liability for the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading, the people’s court shall not uphold such claim.

Article 11 The original bill of lading holder can request the carrier that delivers the goods without production of original bill of lading and the person who takes the goods without original bill of lading to bear joint and several liability.  

Article 12 As to the shipper who actually delivers the good to the carrier and holds the original bill of lading, although its status of shipper is not recorded in the bill of lading, when this shipper requests the carrier to bear the liability for the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading, the people’s court shall uphold such claim.   

Article 13 After the carrier has delivered the goods without production of original bill of lading and the original bill of lading holder has reached an agreement in respect of the payment of the cargo with the person who takes the goods without original bill of lading, when such payment is not effected, the original bill of lading holder’s right of requesting the carrier to bear the liability for the delivery of goods without production of original bill of lading shall not be prejudiced.

Article 14 As to the time bar for the original bill of lading holder’s right of claim against the carrier that delivers the good without production of original bill of lading, Article 257 of Chinese Maritime Code shall be applied and the time bar shall be one year, calculating from the date when the carrier shall have delivered the goods.  

When the original bill of lading holder requests the carrier and the person who takes the goods without original bill of lading to bear the joint and several tort liabilities, the preceding paragraph regulation about the time bar shall be applied.

Article 15 As to the suit filed by the original bill of lading holder against the carrier who delivers the goods without production of original bill of lading, Article 267 of Chinese Maritime Code regarding the discontinuance of the time bar shall be applicable. 

As to the tort suit initiated by the original bill of lading holder against the carrier and the person who takes the goods without original bill of lading, the preceding paragraph regulation about the discontinuance of the time bar shall be applicable.