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Getting The Deal Through


Published: August 2019

Hong Kong

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  • 1.

    Transfer of title
    When does title in the ship pass from the shipbuilder to the shipowner? Can the parties agree to change when title will pass?

  • 2.

    Refund guarantee
    What formalities need to be complied with for the refund guarantee to be valid?

  • 3.

    Court-ordered delivery
    Are there any remedies available in local courts to compel delivery of the vessel when the yard refuses to do so?

  • 4.

    Where the vessel is defective and damage results, would a claim lie in contract or under product liability against the shipbuilder at the suit of the shipowner; a purchaser from the original shipowner; or a third party that has sustained damage?

  • 5.

    Eligibility for registration
    What vessels are eligible for registration under the flag of your country? Is it possible to register vessels under construction under the flag of your country?

  • 6.

    Who may apply to register a ship in your jurisdiction?

  • 7.

    Documentary requirements
    What are the documentary requirements for registration?

  • 8.

    Dual registration
    Is dual registration and flagging out possible and what is the procedure?

  • 9.

    Mortgage register
    Who maintains the register of mortgages and what information does it contain?

  • 10.

    What limitation regime applies? What claims can be limited? Which parties can limit their liability?

  • 11.

    What is the procedure for establishing limitation?

  • 12.

    Break of limitation
    In what circumstances can the limit be broken? Has limitation been broken in your jurisdiction?

  • 13.

    Passenger and luggage claims
    What limitation regime applies in your jurisdiction in respect of passenger and luggage claims?

  • 14.

    Which body is the port state control agency? Under what authority does it operate?

  • 15.

    What sanctions may the port state control inspector impose?

  • 16.

    What is the appeal process against detention orders or fines?

  • 17.

    Approved classification societies
    Which are the approved classification societies?

  • 18.

    In what circumstances can a classification society be held liable, if at all?

  • 19.

    Wreck removal orders
    Can the state or local authority order wreck removal?

  • 20.

    International conventions
    Which international conventions or protocols are in force in relation to collision, wreck removal, salvage and pollution?

  • 21.

    Is there a mandatory local form of salvage agreement or is Lloyd’s standard form of salvage agreement acceptable? Who may carry out salvage operations?

  • 22.

    International conventions
    Which international convention regarding the arrest of ships is in force in your jurisdiction?

  • 23.

    In respect of what claims can a vessel be arrested? In what circumstances may associated ships be arrested? Can a bareboat (demise) chartered vessel be arrested for a claim against the bareboat charterer? Can a time-chartered vessel be arrested for a claim against a time-charterer?

  • 24.

    Maritime liens
    Does your country recognise the concept of maritime liens and, if so, what claims give rise to maritime liens?

  • 25.

    Wrongful arrest
    What is the test for wrongful arrest?

  • 26.

    Bunker suppliers
    Can a bunker supplier arrest a vessel in connection with a claim for the price of bunkers supplied to that vessel pursuant to a contract with the charterer, rather than with the owner, of that vessel?

  • 27.

    Will the arresting party have to provide security and in what form and amount?

  • 28.

    How is the amount of security the court will order the arrested party to provide calculated and can this amount be reviewed subsequently? In what form must the security be provided? Can the amount of security exceed the value of the ship?

  • 29.

    What formalities are required for the appointment of a lawyer to make the arrest application? Must a power of attorney or other documents be provided to the court? If so, what formalities must be followed with regard to these documents?

  • 30.

    Ship maintenance
    Who is responsible for the maintenance of the vessel while under arrest?

  • 31.

    Proceedings on the merits
    Must the arresting party pursue the claim on its merits in the courts of your country or is it possible to arrest simply to obtain security and then pursue proceedings on the merits elsewhere?

  • 32.

    Injunctions and other forms of attachment
    Apart from ship arrest, are there other forms of attachment order or injunctions available to obtain security?

  • 33.

    Delivery up and preservation orders
    Are orders for delivery up or preservation of evidence or property available?

  • 34.

    Bunker arrest and attachment
    Is it possible to arrest bunkers in your jurisdiction or to obtain an attachment order or injunction in respect of bunkers?

  • 35.

    Eligible applicants
    Who can apply for judicial sale of an arrested vessel?

  • 36.

    What is the procedure for initiating and conducting judicial sale of a vessel? How long on average does it take for the judicial sale to be concluded following an application for sale? What are the court costs associated with the judicial sale? How are these costs calculated?

  • 37.

    Claim priority
    What is the order of priority of claims against the proceeds of sale?

  • 38.

    Legal effects
    What are the legal effects or consequences of judicial sale of a vessel?

  • 39.

    Foreign sales
    Will judicial sale of a vessel in a foreign jurisdiction be recognised?

  • 40.

    International conventions
    Is your country a signatory to the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgages 1993?

  • 41.

    International conventions
    Are the Hague Rules, Hague-Visby Rules, Hamburg Rules or some variation in force and have they been ratified or implemented without ratification? Has your state ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea? When does carriage at sea begin and end for the purpose of application of such rules?

  • 42.

    Multimodal carriage
    Are there Conventions or domestic laws in force in respect of road, rail or air transport that apply to stages of the transport other than by sea under a combined transport or multimodal bill of lading?

  • 43.

    Title to sue
    Who has title to sue on a bill of lading?

  • 44.

    Charter parties
    To what extent can the terms in a charter party be incorporated into the bill of lading? Is a jurisdiction or arbitration clause in a charter party, the terms of which are incorporated in the bill, binding on a third-party holder or endorsee of the bill?

  • 45.

    Demise and identity of carrier clauses
    Is the ‘demise’ clause or identity of carrier clause recognised and binding?

  • 46.

    Shipowner liability and defences
    Are shipowners liable for cargo damage where they are not the contractual carrier and what defences can they raise against such liability? In particular, can they rely on the terms of the bill of lading even though they are not contractual carriers?

  • 47.

    Deviation from route
    What is the effect of deviation from a vessel’s route on contractual defences?

  • 48.

    What liens can be exercised?

  • 49.

    Delivery without bill of lading
    What liability do carriers incur for delivery of cargo without production of the bill of lading and can they limit such liability?

  • 50.

    Shipper responsibilities and liabilities
    What are the responsibilities and liabilities of the shipper?

  • 51.

    Emission control areas
    Is there an emission control area (ECA) in force in your domestic territorial waters?

  • 52.

    Sulphur cap
    What is the cap on the sulphur content of fuel oil used in your domestic territorial waters? How do the authorities enforce the regulatory requirements relating to low-sulphur fuel? What sanctions are available for non-compliance?

  • 53.

    Regulation and facilities
    53 What domestic or international ship recycling regulations apply in your jurisdiction? Are there any ship recycling facilities in your jurisdiction?

  • 54.

    Competent courts
    Which courts exercise jurisdiction over maritime disputes?

  • 55.

    Service of proceedings
    In brief, what rules govern service of court proceedings on a defendant located out of the jurisdiction?

  • 56.

    Is there a domestic arbitral institution with a panel of maritime arbitrators specialising in maritime arbitration?

  • 57.

    Foreign judgments and arbitral awards
    What rules govern recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards?

  • 58.

    Asymmetric agreements
    Are asymmetric jurisdiction and arbitration agreements valid and enforceable in your jurisdiction?

  • 59.

    Breach of jurisdiction clause
    What remedies are available if the claimants, in breach of a jurisdiction clause, issue proceedings elsewhere?

  • 60.

    What remedies are there for the defendant to stop domestic proceedings that breach a clause providing for a foreign court or arbitral tribunal to have jurisdiction?

  • 61.

    Time limits
    What time limits apply to claims? Is it possible to extend the time limit by agreement?

  • 62.

    Court-ordered extension
    May courts or arbitral tribunals extend the time limits?

  • 63.

    Maritime Labour Convention
    How does the Maritime Labour Convention apply in your jurisdiction and to vessels flying the flag of your jurisdiction?

  • 64.

    Relief from contractual obligations
    Is it possible to seek relief from the strict enforcement of the legal rights and liabilities of the parties to a shipping contract where economic conditions have made contractual obligations more onerous to perform?

  • 65.

    Other noteworthy points
    Are there any other noteworthy points relating to shipping in your jurisdiction not covered by any of the above?

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