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Recently, Shanghai Maritime court issued its first bilingual judicial recommendation to foreign party involved in a major ship collision accident, urging them to improve their emergency response capacity and participate in international shipping activities in accordance with the law and regulations. The judicial recommendation was adopted by the parties and made a response.

In this case, both the plaintiff and the defendant are shipping companies. The two plaintiffs' companies are located in Germany, Antigua and Barbuda respectively, and the defendant's companies are located in China. On December 13, 2020, on the way from Shanghai Waigaoqiao wharf to Chittagong, Bangladesh, the ship owned by the plaintiff collided with all the imported defendant's ships when it was exported near the No. 15 light floating in the deep-water channel of the Yangtze River Estuary, resulting in damage to the ship and several crew members falling into the water. The two parties had a dispute over the proportion of liability and the amount of damages for the collision accident between the two ships in this case, and sued it to Shanghai Maritime Court.

After finding out the facts, the collegial panel of Shanghai Maritime Court determined according to law that the plaintiff's ship failed to switch to the non follow-up steering mode after discovering the fault, the driving cooperation was wrong, and the emergency disposal was improper, resulting in a collision with the defendant's ship sailing in the entrance channel, which violated the collision avoidance rules, navigation specifications and the usual practice of seafarers, and should bear the main responsibility. If the defendant's ship fails to find the collision danger as soon as possible, it shall bear secondary responsibility.

In view of the obvious deficiencies exposed by the plaintiff in terms of emergency response capacity, considering that it is a foreign party, in order to effectively urge it to participate in shipping activities in accordance with the law, the collegial panel sent it a bilingual judicial proposal, pointing out that the plaintiff is a shipping subject operating ships in PRC, it should ensure that it is familiar with the maritime traffic safety law of PRC, the measures for the administration of navigation safety of deep-water channels in the Yangtze River Estuary and other water traffic safety norms and strictly comply with them. It is suggested that the plaintiff carefully analyze the causes of the accident, strengthen safety responsibility training and improve the accident emergency handling ability.

    After receiving the judicial recommendation, the plaintiff replied that it would actively rectify, strengthen the safety knowledge training and the emergency operation training of crew and the daily inspection of key equipment of the ship, and strive to ensure that the safety standards on board were maintained at the highest level.

    In this case, Shanghai Maritime Court sent a judicial recommendation to a foreign party in bilingual form for the first time, and actively fulfilled its mission of maintaining the safety of marine economic activities. Shanghai Maritime Court will continue to give full play to its judicial function in view of the risks in the shipping field, strengthen the disposal of major shipping disputes, and provide services to ensure the construction of Shanghai international shipping center.