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 Hunan Zhonglian International Trade Co., Ltd. v. Shanghai Jiexi International Cargo Transportation Agency Limited Company for dispute over a contract of carriage of goods by sea

――the judicial review of typhoon exemption defence


Key Words

Exemption  Act of God/ Shipwreck  Predictability  Typed Facts


Referee Points

1.The exemption defences of “act of GodShipwreck” in Maritime Code of the People’s Republic of China should not be equated with the defences of “force majeure”. Concerning the judicial review of typhoon exemption defence, “predictability” should not serve as a decisive factor. The emphasis should be on whether the extent of severity of the sea conditions is a normal maritime risk.Two important indicators are wind speed and duration as well as wave height and ship tonnage. In addition, visibility, hell angle and the extent of damages to a ship and other nearby watercrafts and so on can be used as auxiliary indexes.


2. The exemption defences of “act of GodShipwreck” interweave with the problems that includethe seaworthiness of a shipcargo obligation and the fault in the management and navigation of a ship. Therefore, after determining whether the sea conditions constitute “act of Goddistress at sea” or not, man should further review the causal relationship, to distinguish the cause of goods damage is “act of GodShipwreck”the carriers exempt fault or non-exempt fault. In the case of multiple causes, man determines the responsibilityon the basis of the proportion of each cause.