Maersk Haon Round The Fire, The Cargo Owner Should Make Early Plans

- Mar 20, 2018 -

"Maersk haon" round the fire, the cargo owner should make early plans


Ji Yufeng Shanghai industry law firm


"Maersk haon" (Maersk Honam) round the fire since 15:20 on March 6th so far, the combustion has been more than 3 days,India rescuers finally claimed that the fire was initially controlled. From the photos revealed on the Internet when the fire started, "Maersk haon" wheel loaded container, container has been burnt down the bow. The latest news shows that all the containers in front of the living area have been burnt out.

(for details: see: - Maersk Honam wheel fire is controlled, but it has been burned....4 sailors are still missing...)


All the news, the "Maersk Haonan round fire loss will be very heavy. The reasons are various. First of all, "Maersk haon" round the fire load of about 80%, the wheel design capacity is 15262TEU, the ship loaded 7860 containers, equivalent to 12416 TEU, almost full container ship, super large volume, complex structure, loading density, to put out from photos on the easier said than done, and the deck is loaded with the container, which adds difficulty to the fire; secondly, the site of 500 nautical miles from the nearest coast, it is difficult to timely rescue, the fire condition is limited; third, India ocean rescue ability. Several times before the incident sea fire, have disastrous consequences, the India announced the fire controlled, if true, it is a good news of misfortune


Cause of the fire is currently undetermined, although the online news is suspected as "dangerous goods concealed sound, but ultimately should be based on the official investigation shall prevail. (this I also have doubts, because in practice, shippers and freight forwarding or consignor agreement, false, concealed entrainment of dangerous goods is a common phenomenon, its purpose is to avoid the additional cost of freight. Dangerous goods cause the entire cabinet goods detained and other goods are pollution damage case meet the eye everywhere, the most serious is the fire explosion and personal injury, such as "Jakarta tower" (CMA Djakarta) 1999 round of fire and explosion. About the dangerous goods concealed, the author also discussed in this article.)

On the basis of the present disclosure, "Maersk haon" from Singapore to the Mediterranean during the fire, the ship had docked more than Chinese port, considering that most of the Singapore port box from Chinese, so "Maersk South Ho" wheel should be the number of goods belonging to the owner Chinese. Whether the goods are damaged in the fire and how much damage it is, it is still unknown. In addition, disclosure, another three shipping companies with a total class, including Hamburg, HMM, S D MSC, the owner of the damaged range is not limited to the shipper maersk.


Although the fire was eventually extinguished, the accident investigation and determination of loss takes time, but the loss is inevitable, the loss including possible damage, overdue delivery loss, also contains the inevitable cost of general average. The freight forwarder and the NVOCC will also face the customer's claim. In this case, we should pay attention to the following points:

1, the cargo owner should formulate the countermeasures according to the different terms of trade.

Although China's Ministry of Commerce has repeatedly FOB trade risk prompts, but from the point of view, such as the owner of trade is conducted on the condition of FOB, but in law no risk, because the ownership of the goods and the risk in the goods over the ship's rail has been transferred to foreign buyers. However, foreign buyers may have not received the goods and breach of contract, refused to pay (non credit conditions), in this case the risk is not in the delivery of goods without grounds onto the body of the owner. So the foregoing risks need to be prepared in advance.

If the owner is taken by the way of CIF, in a timely manner to examine policy or in a timely manner to ensure that no reason for forwarding policy, "or the forwarder based on" forget "to buy insurance, and therefore cannot avoid the consignee owner, the insurance company to negotiate and even loss of litigation and arbitration, and then claim to the shipper party. At the same time, if the goods are damaged or delayed and cannot be delivered, it is possible for foreign buyers to delay or refuse to pay the goods. The risk also needs to be prepared in advance.

If the DDP is taken, it will face damage to the goods, or the consequences of sharing the common average. Considering that accident investigation and general average adjustment are very time consuming, shippers may be prepared to take legal measures to claim value from shipowners or NVOCC, but this action is affected by many factors. It is necessary to pay attention to the handling of the goods involved in the case, such as how the goods are unloaded to a third country, how to deal with the goods, and how much the cost will occur.


2. Preservation of documents.

Shippers and freight forwarding should be timely and keep all involved in transportation related documents, mails, letters, contact the software such as QQ, WeChat records, the mail should be stored in the server part, online printing materials such as container transfer information, bill of lading information, and call list due to save for a limited time, should be timely retrieval. The retention and filing of these documents will directly affect the treatment of subsequent legal affairs.


3, to clarify the legal relationship, to fulfill the obligation of notification, and to claim the right to the third party in time.

Because there are many international shipping links, many participants and strong professionalism, there are layers of entrustment. There may be multiple freight forwarders entrusted each other in a single maritime business. For example in the MSC Maersk, bill of lading, there may be a large number of House BL, therefore, shippers and freight forwarding must distinguish themselves and other parties in the shipping status and the mutual legal relationship, to determine the mutual relationship between rights and obligations, to fulfill corresponding obligations in a timely manner to the third the party claims rights.


4, the professional legal personnel follow up.

At present, the fire has not been completely extinguished, and the situation inside the cabin is unknown. From now on to the next period, the parties will take more commercial and legal measures to stop the damage. Both the owner and the freight forwarder should pay close attention to the development of the situation and take measures in time in order to achieve the best results in the worst case.