Since 2019 it has been possible to bring international, civil and commercial disputes before the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCCA). All litigation is conducted in English, which is a huge plus for foreign parties. The NCC will take on a case if certain conditions are met. A recent NCC ruling has provided more clarity on the condition that parties must expressly agree in writing to litigate in English before the NCC or the NCCA.
Charterparties commonly contain an arbitration clause. One of the perceived advantages of arbitration over litigation is the worldwide recognition and enforceability of arbitral awards on the basis of the New York Convention. However, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court should serve as a warning to those considering inserting an arbitration clause in their contracts with a view to seeking subsequent enforcement in the Netherlands.
Despite the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on legal matters and company wellbeing, creditors still have the same remedies at their disposal to recover unpaid debts and the Dutch courts are generally handling bankruptcy petitions and requests for pre-judgment attachment in the same way. However, this will likely change soon, as in June 2020 the minister for legal protection published a preliminary draft of the Temporary Deferral of Payments Act 2020 for online consultation.
Under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), carriers are liable for the total or partial loss of goods or damage to goods that occurs between the carrier taking charge of the goods and delivery. The Court of Amsterdam recently held that the word 'damage' in the relevant sections of the CMR presumes substantial physical change to the state of the goods and ruled out, in this case, that a broken seal on a container represented damage.
The Hague District Court recently had to answer the question of whether information acquired during a customs seizure under the EU Anti-piracy Regulation may be used for an unauthorised parallel import claim. The regulation provides an effective means and procedure for IP rights holders to request Customs to intercept consignments suspected of containing counterfeit or pirated goods and to have said goods destroyed.