Shipping & Transport, Denmark updates

Direct action, choice of law and time limitation
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 31 July 2019

The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently examined a direct action claim against a Dutch freight liability insurer in a carriage of goods by road dispute involving a bankrupt carrier and a Danish manufacturer of cigarettes. The premise relied on by the court in this matter, if not appealed, may seem ripe to undermine some insurance policies between liability insurers and international carriers, including proper law provisions and time limitation under a policy.

Sign on the dotted line – importance of signing transport documents
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 29 May 2019

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court decision in which a carrier was found liable for a missing delivery underlines the importance of getting transport documents signed as a receipt for goods delivered. A signed transport document is the carrier's proof of delivery. Hence, in case of doubt as to whether delivery has taken place, the transport document serves as compelling evidence.

Carrier subject to unlimited liability for theft of products from trailer
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 20 March 2019

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court ruling highlights that a carrier may be exposed to unlimited liability for loss resulting from a failure to adhere to a shipper's demands regarding special precautions, even when these demands do not follow from the parties overall cooperation agreement. The case concerned PS4 consoles which were stolen during transportation after the exporter failed to inform the carrier that the consignment was theft sensitive.

Commercial manager not responsible for bunker oil pollution damage under bunker convention
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 20 February 2019

The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage introduced a strict liability regime for bunker oil pollution damage. However, the Maritime and Commercial Court recently ruled that shipbrokers, chartering brokers and commercial managers that provide cargo, commercial contracts or commercial agreements but are not involved with a ship's technical operation may fall outside the scope of liable parties under the convention.

Carrier not liable for release of consignment without bill of lading
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 30 January 2019

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court decision demonstrates that in order to obtain compensation after cargo has been delivered without the presentation of a bill of lading, it must be proven that the release of said cargo resulted in financial loss. Therefore, in order to pursue compensation from a carrier or agent, a seller that has received no payment from the buyer for the delivery of a consignment may need to prove that the buyer had not already obtained title to the goods delivered before their release.

Parties facilitating financing in shipping industry must consider law of transferor's domicile
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 14 November 2018

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court case concerned two Danish OW Bunker companies that had given a foreign bank security against their ordinary claims and subsequently became subject to insolvency proceedings. The judgment stressed that parties facilitating financing in the shipping industry must consider the law of the transferor's domicile and undertake due diligence in accordance with this law in order to protect their interests in the event of the transferor's insolvency.

Danish courts cannot issue injunctions to arrest vessels outside Denmark for unpaid bunkers
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 12 September 2018

In a recent Maritime and Commercial Court case concerning liability for unpaid bunkers following a charterer's insolvency, the bunker supplier submitted that the question of whether a vessel can be arrested outside Danish jurisdiction must be decided as a general rule in accordance with the laws and by the courts of the jurisdiction where the arrest is made.

CMR carrier not liable for theft of tobacco products from trailer
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 29 August 2018

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court decision concerned the liability under Article 17 of the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road of a road carrier and a sub-carrier following the theft of high-value tobacco products. The court found that although the road carrier was liable for the theft, the sub-carrier was free of any liability as the road carrier had failed to provide it with details of the slot time for delivery.

Maritime and Commercial Court finds that stevedore contract exists despite lack of written instructions
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 27 June 2018

A manufacturer of wind turbine equipment instigated court proceedings before the Maritime and Commercial Court against a port terminal for damage to wind turbine blades. It follows from the judgment that a contract for the performance of stevedore work, including storage, can be deemed to exist irrespective of the fact that no written instructions or booking from a principal has been issued or received.

High court rules on significance of CIF clause to jurisdiction dispute
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 18 April 2018

The High Court of Western Denmark recently decided in favour of a Danish cost insurance and freight (CIF) seller in a jurisdiction dispute involving a Czech buyer. The court found that the CIF clause agreed under the International Commercial Terms 2010 stipulated that the place of delivery under the contract was located in Denmark and that the Danish court seized had enjoyed jurisdiction under the EU Brussels I Regulation.

Question of jurisdiction for claim against carrier under Brussels I Regulation revisited
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 21 February 2018

The Supreme Court recently decided a case on appeal from the Maritime and Commercial Court concerning whether the latter had jurisdiction to hear proceedings that a Danish seller had brought against a Dutch terminal and a Danish carrier following a lost food consignment pursuant to Article 8(1) of the Brussels I Regulation. The Supreme Court reversed the Maritime and Commercial Court's decision and found that the conditions for applying Article 8(1) had been fulfilled.

Court examines whether liability for damage to cargo can be limited to $500 per package
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 07 February 2018

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court case concerned liability for damage to a container transported from Denmark to the United States. The bill of lading included a network liability clause which limited liability to $500 per package when damage or loss occurred during sea carriage or where the damage occurred could not be localised. The court found that the damages had been caused during the land transport leg in the United States and therefore the carrier's liability could not be limited.

Danish shipping register to become more competitive for non-EU and non-EEA merchant shipowners
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 10 January 2018

A bill to amend the Danish regulations on the registration of ships under Section 2 of the Merchant Shipping Act was recently passed with the aim of attracting non-EU and non-EEA merchant shipowners and shipping and management companies to the Danish flag. The bill's main innovations include an increasingly transparent activity requirement, multiple ways of satisfying this requirement and an equal establishment requirement that applies to EU and non-EU shipowners.

Carrier liable for cargo damage due to flooding of refrigerated container during voyage
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 20 December 2017

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently found that bad weather during sea carriage that results in cargo damage does not exempt a carrier from liability if the weather conditions were forecast or not unusual in the geographical location in question during the relevant season. However, the judgment provides no guidance on the liability issues that arise if the prevailing weather conditions render it impossible to conduct repairs of defects that occur in a container being carried at sea.

Maritime and Commercial High Court interprets definition of 'visible damage'
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 29 November 2017

A recent Maritime and Commercial High Court decision concerning the carriage of a consignment of different types of medical product found that smoke contamination constituted visible damage under the Carriage of Goods by Road Act. The decision underlines the importance of inserting reservations into waybills when a consignee has reasonable grounds for doing so and illustrates the dire consequences of failing to do so.

Significant Supreme Court decision considers choice of law principles applicable to direct action claims
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 08 November 2017

The Supreme Court was recently tasked with deciding the law applicable to direct action claims. The decision is noteworthy, as the court analysed the choice of law question of direct action independently from the choice of law principles relating to the contract of insurance and lex loci delicti. The wording of the Supreme Court's decision suggests that the choice of law analysis applied only in respect of the question of direct action.

Marine engine subcontractor not liable towards shipowner under product liability law
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 04 October 2017

The Supreme Court recently passed down its decision in a product liability appeal case between a manufacturer of marine engines and a Danish shipowner. The pivotal question before the court was the distinction between damage to the defective product itself, which was not compensable under product liability law, and other property, which was compensable.

Jurisdiction clause agreed by insurer and insured does not bind injured party claiming directly against insurer
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 06 September 2017

The Port of Assens recently brought legal proceedings before the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court against the insurer of a Swedish carrier for damages caused by a chartered tugboat. The judgment was appealed to the Danish Supreme Court, which requested a decision from the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ found that a jurisdiction clause agreed between an insurer and an insured does not bind an injured party claiming directly against the insured.

Court finds that leaving trailer for two days at petrol station does not constitute gross negligence
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 09 August 2017

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently examined a claim of gross negligence by a Danish trading house against a Danish carrier following the theft of clothing from a trailer that had been left unprotected at a petrol station for two days. The court found that gross negligence exists in the case of theft from an unprotected trailer only if the carrier has been instructed that special precautions must be followed to avoid theft and it fails to follow such measures.

Court decides that towage company entitled to mobilisation costs covered by another contractor
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 21 June 2017

A recent Maritime and Commercial Court decision considered whether a charter agreement could be interpreted to the effect that the charterer's liability to pay mobilisation and demobilisation costs should be unenforceable if these costs were covered by another charterer.

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