Accurately identify and apply foreign laws to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the parties
Dispute over maritime cargo transportation contract between xinxinhai shipping Pte.Ltd.vs xinliansheng International Logistics Co., Ltd.
On February 25, 2017, COSCO Dalian issued a bill of lading on behalf of xinxinhai company, stating that the shipper, xinliansheng company, had a total of 6 containers at the loading port of Dalian, China and the unloading port of navasheva, India. The goods under the bill of lading were unloaded at the discharge port on march 23, 2017, and the agent at the discharge port of Xinhai company sent a notice of delivery to the consignee. As of December 5, 2019, the container goods under the bill of lading were still stacked at the wharf, under the supervision of Indian customs, and no one took delivery of the goods. Xinxinhai company sued to request xinliansheng company to return the container or compensate the container value and interest, and pay the container demurrage fee, storage fee, port miscellaneous fee and other fees and interest together.
The Dalian maritime court held that xinxinhai company claimed that the law agreed in the bill of lading should be applied in this case. The telex release application guarantee submitted by xinliansheng company clearly stated that it agreed to take all the clauses in the bill of lading (including all the back clauses, jurisdiction and applicable laws) as part of the transportation contract. Xinliansheng company and xinxinhai company reached an agreement on the application of law. According to the provisions of the primary clause on the back of the bill of lading and the applicable provisions of law, the Singapore law agreed in Item 1 of Article 27 on the back of the bill of lading shall apply to this case. According to the relevant provisions of the Singapore law related to the dispute involved in the case, it was decided that xinliansheng company paid the demurrage fee and interest, container loss, etc. to xinxinhai company.
The core procedural in the trial of foreign-related cases lies in how to determine the applicable law. If the applicable law is an extraterritorial law, the specific content of the extraterritorial law needs to be accurately identified. The accurate identification and application of extraterritorial laws is great significance for dealing with foreign-related civil and commercial cases according to law. This case is a dispute over the contract of carriage of goods by sea, which was tried according to the agreement of the parties to apply the laws of Singapore. The court entrusted the legal discovery service agency to find out the relevant provisions of the laws of Singapore related to the dispute and accurately apply them, so as to determine the responsibilities of both parties. After the judgment of the first instance, neither party appealed, which reflected the parties’ recognition of the proceedings and judgment results of the case, achieved a good effect of accurately identifying and applying foreign legal division and dispute resolution, and provided useful experience for accelerating the construction and improvement of the legal mechanism for identifying and applying foreign laws.