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Shanghai Maritime Court issued a white paper on maritime trials for serving the development of the shipbuilding industry


On the morning of May 25, Shanghai Maritime Court held a press conference to introduce maritime trials for serving the development of ship industry. This white paper systematically sorts out works of Shanghai Maritime Court in serving the development of ship industry in recent years, summarizes the mechanisms and measures formed during the trials, proposes suggestions, and selects ten typical cases in both Chinese and English. Based on trials, the white paper introduces related information about the works of Shanghai Maritime Court in serving the development of shipbuilding industry to the public. Representatives of Shanghai Shipbuilding Industry Association, shipbuilding enterprises and media reporters attended the press conference.



I. Foreign-related cases are on the rise, which is prone to cause related or financial disputes.


The white paper shows that, from 2016 to 2020, Shanghai Maritime Court had concluded a total of 237 maritime cases related to the shipbuilding industry. Among them, there were 56 cases for ship building, 50 cases for ship repairing, 60 cases for ship accessory product sales, 34 cases for ship construction finance, 30 cases for ship construction arbitration judicial review, 7 cases for shipbuilding agency, ship design, etc. Relevant cases are dominated by contract disputes, accounting for more than 95%, while infringement disputes related to shipbuilding account for a relatively small proportion.


It is worth mentioning that, as the international influence and credibility of China's maritime trials have gradually increased, domestic shipping companies began to agree to settle disputes in domestic courts, and the number of foreign-related cases has shown an upward trend. In judicial practice, there have been cases of ship construction contracts in which the Singapore buyer changed the arbitration agreement to the Shanghai Maritime Court and applied Chinese law in Shanghai Maritime Court after the dispute occurred. There have also been cases of ship construction commission contracts in which the British case law was applied in Shanghai Maritime Court. As well as some cases such as judicial review of arbitration awards in the United Kingdom, Singapore and other countries and regions in accordance with the Convention.


In addition, because all links in the shipbuilding industry chain are closely connected, disputes happening in a specific stage will trigger disputes in the upstream and downstream industries. At the same time, the shipbuilding industry is related to financial services, disputes related shipbuilding industry also can easily trigger financial disputes.



II. Explore innovative mechanisms and measures to improve the level of maritime trial involving the shipbuilding industry


In order to give full play to the functional role of maritime judicial services in ensuring the development of the ship industry, the Shanghai Maritime Court has taken a series of innovate working measures and trial mechanisms.


Firstly, the court optimizes the allocation of trial resources. Shanghai Maritime Court has set up the Changxing Island dispatch court in the Chongming Changxing Island National Shipbuilding Industry Base, broadened its function to serve new Lingang Free Trade Zone, and adopted to organize the inter-departmental collegiate bench to hear cases related to the ship industry to explore a better method to solve these disputes.


Secondly, the court improves the profession and efficiency of working mechanism. Shanghai Maritime Court has given full play to the advantages of professional organizations to improve the diversified dispute resolution system, done a great job in foreign-related arbitration judicial review and foreign law investigation, hired experts to build a technical consulting talents pool, etc., improved the professional level of dispute resolution related to the shipbuilding industry, and strove to create a dispute resolution trusted by Chinese and foreign parties.


In addition, Shanghai Maritime Court has extended maritime judicial services. Shanghai Maritime Court has built a communication platform to satisfy the judicial needs of shipping companies, and helped shipping companies cope with risks and challenges. The court also has deepen maritime judicial cooperation with other institutions in the Yangtze River Delta to push the development of the shipbuilding industry.



III. Typical cases and suggestions are reported in a centralized manner, providing maritime judicial "wisdom"


In recent years, Shanghai Maritime Court has heard a large number of maritime cases involving the shipbuilding industry. Shanghai Maritime Court also aims to standardize business operations, optimize the market business environment, and form a number of cases with reference value. The white paper selects ten representative maritime cases to reflect new situations and problems that have emerged in recent cases involving ship design, ship construction, product quality of special items for ship engineering, ship financing, ship insurance, and ship ownership under construction. With clear and unified judicial adjudication standards, Shanghai Maritime Court can standardize and guide the behavior of relevant shipbuilding companies and promote the healthy and orderly development of the shipbuilding industry.


On the basis of trial practices and combining typical cases, the white paper puts forward relevant suggestions for some new issues. The white paper also provides suggestions to administrative authorities, industry associations, and enterprises in all links of the ship industry chain, so as to help them improve business management.



The shipping companies invited to participate in the press conference have stated that the white paper systematically sorts out the cases involving the development of the ship industry, so that they can fully understand the characteristics and types of relevant disputes. The white paper also provides legal advice for corporations to help enhance their legal awareness in future development.TranslatorTeng Le