菜单
3 ships, 2 collisions and 1 judgment

News / / Hong Kong

On 2 June the Hong Kong Admiralty Court handed down judgment in a case involving two collisions which happened within three minutes of each other.

The two collisions occurred in the early morning of 14 May 2011, in Chinese waters in the precautionary area between the East Lamma Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and the Dangan Shuidao TSS, and involved two outbound container ships from Hong Kong - the MCC JAKARTA and the TS SINGAPORE - and a west bound container ship -the XIN NAN TAI 77 -heading for the Pearl River Delta.  The first collision was between the MCC JAKARTA and the XIN NAN TAI 77, and the second collision was between the MCC JAKARTA and the TS SINGAPORE.

This is thought to be only the second time a civil case involving collisions at sea has progressed to a full liability trial in Hong Kong, the last time being in 2011 ( The He Da 98 [2011] 5 HKLRD 126). This case raised some interesting issues, both on the law and on matters of procedure. 

The interesting issues on the law included whether, as the two collisions were so close together in time, they should be treated as one collision or as two separate collisions for the purposes of apportioning liability; the application in particular, of the overtaking rule (MCC JAKARTA was overtaking the TS SINGAPORE at the time), the crossing rules (XIN NAN TAI 77 was on a crossing course with both MCC JAKARTA and TS SINGAPORE), and Rule 10 (the three ships were all navigating in or near the terminations of a TSS); and, of course, the degree to which each ship was at fault for the collisions and how liability should be apportioned between them.

The interesting issues on matters of procedure included how the parties various collision actions should be consolidated and, with two separate collisions, to ensure the liability trials were heard concurrently; and the appointment and role of the Nautical Assessor in collision cases in Hong Kong.

Most of these issues were resolved by the parties with the assistance of the Court before the actual trial. By the time of the trial it had been agreed that the two collisions should be considered separately; and that the TS SINGAPORE was not at fault in any way for the first collision, but was 5% to blame for the second collision. At the trial the Court was required to determine therefore, how the liability of the MCC JAKARTA and the XIN NAN TAI 77 should be apportioned for both the first and second collisions. In doing so, the Court was greatly assisted by the provision of “real time” evidence in the form of electronic replays of the Hong Kong Marine Department’s Vessel Traffic Service port radar and radio systems, and the vessels’ own voyage data recorders; the witness evidence from the Masters of these two ships; and by the Nautical Assessor.  

In a carefully reasoned and clearly written judgment, the Court concluded that the MCC JAKARTA was 20% and the XIN NAN TAI 77 was 80% to blame for the first collision; and that their collective liability (95%) for the second collision should be apportioned as between them in the same (80/20) proportions. Very helpfully, the Court added a postscript to the judgment on the role of the Nautical Assessor and the usual directions the Court will make in this regard for the benefit of parties involved in future collision cases in Hong Kong.

Ince & Co represented the MCC JAKARTA.

Richard Oakley

Richard Oakley Partner

Related sectors:

相关新闻和市场洞悉

新闻 / Ince celebrates one year since Scotland office opening

23-11-2022 / 保险, 航运, 房地产

We are pleased to be celebrating one year since opening our first Scottish office in the city of Glasgow.  Stefanie Johnston, dual-qualified Partner and Head of Scotland, has worked tirelessly over the last year to develop our offering through the opening of an Ince office in what is arguably an established Scottish market. Starting from the ground up, Stefanie and her team have successfully gained an admirable reputation in the region and further afield in the maritime, insurance, real estate and regulatory sectors. 

Ince celebrates one year since Scotland office opening

新闻 / Shipping E-brief November 2022

17-11-2022 / 航运

The Shipping E-Brief is a publication providing you with key information on legal decisions and developments in shipping and related business areas.

Shipping E-brief November 2022

新闻 / Appeals from arbitration: is reform required?

15-11-2022 / 航运

In September 2022, the UK Law Commission published a consultation paper with provisional recommendations for updating the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act 1996). Amongst other things, the Law Commission considered whether any changes need to be made to: (i) s.67 of the Act 1996, which deals with jurisdictional challenges to arbitral awards; and (ii) s.69 of the Act 1996, which deals with appeals on points of law.

Appeals from arbitration: is reform required?

新闻 / Owners not in breach of charter and entitled to claim demurrage

09-11-2022 / 航运

CM P-MAX III Limited v. Petroleos Del Norte SA (MT Stena Primorsk) [2022] EWHC 2147 (Comm) This recent laytime and demurrage dispute demonstrates that an owner can legitimately refuse orders where such orders may jeopardise the safety of a vessel.

Owners not in breach of charter and entitled to claim demurrage

新闻 / Court of Appeal finds owner should have accepted non-contractual performance

09-11-2022 / 航运

Mur Shipping BV v. RTI Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 1406 A majority of the Court of Appeal has held that the Owner under a contract of affreightment (COA) should have accepted payment of freight in Euros, rather than the US dollars provided for in the COA. Its refusal to do so meant that the Owner could not rely on the force majeure clause in the COA, in circumstances where US sanctions might have restricted US dollar transfers from or on behalf of the Charterer.

Court of Appeal finds owner should have accepted non-contractual performance

新闻 / “Due” means due!

03-11-2022 / 航运

Ceto Shipping Corporation v. Savory Inc (Victor 1) [2022] EWHC 2636 (Comm) The Court in this case had to construe a purchase option clause in a bareboat charter. Specifically, it considered whether the fact that the charterer had not fulfilled certain payment obligations under the charter because it was disputing them in good faith meant that the owner was not obliged to transfer title to the vessel at the end of the charter period.

“Due” means due!