The Legal Issue of Delay in Delivery of Carriage of Goods by Seab
|Keywords||carriage of goods by sea delay in delivery duration of time|
At least two definitions co-exist because of the different attitudes in different legal system:the first definition is that the carrier’s failure to deliver the goods at the pointed delivery port in an agreed period; the second definition is that the carrier’s failure to deliver the goods at the pointed delivery port in an agreed period or in a reasonable period of time if there is not an agreed period. There complexity arises from the two different definitions.Compared with the long history of carriage of goods by sea, the legal issue of delay in delivery has not come into being until the past decades. Delay in delivery is actually the balance between different parties in terms of benefit, this could be best illustrated through the intended ambiguity regarding delay in delivery in the Hague Rules, Hague-Visby Rules to the evolution in Hamburg Rules as well as Rotterdam Rules. Some major states are also carefully considering and searching for the ideal resolution to the delay in delivery.The Maritime Law in China has adopted the advanced regulations regarding delay in delivery, but there are still some drawbacks, e.g., the ambiguity of the definition of delay in delivery, the improper rule to limit the time standard only to the agreed time, which contradicts the shipping skill and the civil law development; two legal systems are applicable with regard to the delay in delivery in the carriage of goods by sea and the international sales; there is the lack of clear standard for verifying legal parties; the scope and boundary of the compensation is vague, etc.. The above problems have given rise to the different understanding related to delay in delivery, and eventually leading to the differentiated standard of jurisdiction. As a result, it is necessary to carry out a deep research on the legal issues of delay in delivery and therefore provide and resource for the modification and explaining of the law.This dissertation is composed of five parts. Chapter one is the general information about delay in delivery, including the conception, character, and standard for delay in delivery, the changing attitude towards the delay in delivery both in the practice and the legal theory, and the explanation of the complexity of delay in delivery through the illustration of the related elements. Chapter two, the formation of delay in delivery focuses on the major reasons giving rise to the delay in delivery, e.g., unseaworthness, deviation, the breach of duty of dispatch, marine accident or causes attribute to port, uprising and pirate. Consequently, the burden of proof of carriers varies according to the different reasons. Chapter three is about the research of qualified parties and method of the legal disputes resulted from delay in delivery, as well as the procedure and application of law applicable in the delay in delivery lawsuits. Chapter four, namely the sue and defense in the lawsuit of delay in delivery, focus on the development of the criterion of delay in delivery, analyzing the scope of the damage that should be recovered and the defense of the carrier. This chapter is beneficial for the proper resolve of the lawsuit of delay in delivery. Chapter five deals with the existing status and the possible future improvement of the law in China regarding the delay in delivery, discussing the detailed project and how to perfect the legal system of the delay in delivery.