“Hot discussion” ship transport steel exceeded 200 tons, after the accident claims lead to controversy

2022-05-01 0 By

The reference cargo capacity of the ship was 950 tons, and the actual cargo capacity was 1,198 tons of steel. But the court found that it could not prove that the ship was overloaded. Why?Recently, nanjing Maritime Court made a judgment on an insurance compensation dispute, ordering the insurance company to assume insurance liability for the accident.The contractor judge said that the identification of ship overload is much more complicated than the road transport, and carried out a detailed analysis of this.In 2018, a transportation company in Jiangsu province accepted a shipment of steel from Fuzhou, Fujian province, to Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province by water. The company insured the shipment for “Domestic waterway cargo Transportation Insurance comprehensive insurance”.The insurance clause states: “The insurance company shall not be liable for any loss or expense caused by the overloading, overheight or overwidth of the vehicle.”In November 2018, the ship set sail after loading cargo. Two days later, while passing about 2 nautical miles southeast of Damu Island, Xiangshan, Zhejiang, it touched an unidentified object, causing damage to the bottom of the ship and water flooding, and some of the steel on board was soaked in seawater.The shipping company asked the insurance company to bear the loss after compensating the owner.To compensate or not to compensate for the loss?The insurance company said that the case involved ship inspection certificate records that the reference cargo capacity of the ship is 950 tons, but in fact the ship was loaded with 1,198 tons of steel, obviously overloaded.Therefore, for the loss caused by the accident involved in the case, they do not assume liability for compensation.Transport company believes that after the accident, maritime authorities did not identify the ship overload.The quantity of cargo recorded on the inspection certificate is only for reference and cannot be used as the sole evidence to determine whether there is overloading. In this case, in addition to legal provisions, international load line convention should also be applied.”The effect of the ‘overload exemption’ clause is not at issue in this case.The agreement signed by the original and defendant parties expressly provides for this, which is the expression of the true intentions of both parties. Therefore, the overload exemption clause is binding on both parties.”The problem, said Kong Lingling, a judge at the Nanjing Maritime Court, is that it is much more complicated to identify overloading than overland transport.She introduced that there is no explanation of overload in the insurance provisions of this case. After learning from the maritime authorities, the standard of load line verification of ships is the prevailing rule of ship security inspection law enforcement.Ship overload refers to the failure to retain the minimum freeboard after the ship is loaded, the ship does not retain enough reserve buoyancy, that is, the actual displacement of the ship exceeds the ratified full load displacement.The actual displacement of the ship is not the same as the total amount of cargo carried by the ship, and the approved full load displacement is not the same as the reference load recorded in the ship’s survey certificate.The reference cargo-carrying capacity recorded in the ship survey certificate is the approximate value calculated for the cargo with a certain stowage factor in the design of the ship, which only has a certain reference function for the quality of some cargoes carried by the ship, and can not be used as the basis for determining the ship overloading.”In addition, determining whether a ship is overloaded should also take into account the density of the outboard water.All in all, the actual cargo capacity of a ship cannot be used to determine whether a ship is overloaded.”Kong said.In the end, the Nanjing Maritime Court held that the existing evidence could not prove that the ship was overloaded, and ordered the insurance company to assume insurance liability for the accident.According to introducing, after this case dispute happens, original, defendant undertook spot test.It has been confirmed by both parties that the vessel involved in the accident did not exceed the load line when carrying goods of similar weight to the accident. In this case, the defendant insurance company bears the burden of proof to prove that the vessel was overloaded.However, after the accident in this case, the maritime authorities did not identify the ship overload, the defendant did not investigate after the plaintiff reported the insurance, there is no evidence to prove the ship overload.Therefore, the court determines that the insurance company does not have the cause of exemption and should assume the insurance liability of the plaintiff in this accident.Article source: Yangtse Evening News