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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a recent Maritime and Commercial Court case, the cargo insurer of a Danish seller claimed that the court had jurisdiction to hear the proceedings that it 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. However, the court found that Article 8(1) could not establish jurisdiction for the cargo insurer's claims against the terminal and the carrier.
A recent Maritime and Commercial Court decision illustrates that a report obtained from a reliable third party can have a conclusive effect when examining the extent of damages. The decision also illustrates that failure to comply with public regulations when storing goods may constitute damage amounting to a total loss when there has been a possibility of the goods being damaged or contaminated, regardless of whether it has been demonstrated that the goods have been affected.
A recent Copenhagen Maritime and Commercial High Court case examined a situation in which both parties, immediately before the formation of a contract, referred to their own standard terms and conditions. This is commonly known as the 'battle of the forms'. The case illustrates the problem which arises when contracting parties, while focusing on issues essential to a specific deal, are less conscious of questions such as the choice of venue for resolving disputes.
Pursuant to a recent Maritime and Commercial Court judgment, when works excluded from the scope of the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) are performed subject to the CMR as a contract term, either reference should be made to the CMR as a whole, or all relevant clauses of the CMR which are to govern the contract should specifically be incorporated by reference.
The Supreme Court recently requested guidance from the European Court of Justice on whether an injured party which, under national law, may bring proceedings directly against the liability insurers of the liable party is, under EU law, bound by the jurisdiction clause of the policy between the insurer and policyholder. The request follows an appeal by a Danish port for liability claims against Lloyd's of London.
A recent Maritime and Commercial Court decision suggests that carriers can – regardless of any special instructions – adopt a minimum safety standard, and that gross negligence occurs when this standard is not met. Previously, gross negligence existed only if a carrier ought to have known the nature of the products carried and failed to take relevant safety measures, irrespective of any special instructions from the shipper.
The Maritime and Commercial Court recently found a freight forwarder liable for losses caused by the theft of tobacco products that were stolen from its tarpaulin trailers during delivery. The judgment is interesting as the court did not attach any importance to the fact that the manufacturer had chosen the cheaper trailer when deciding the question of liability, as it found that the forwarder had failed to warn against the use of tarpaulin trailers.
A recent Maritime and Commercial Court case examined the important and recurring question of when delivery under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road has been completed. The court found that where the carrier arrives at the agreed time and submits the correct documents to the consignee then delivery can be deemed to have taken place, even if the consignment has been rejected.
The Maritime and Commercial Court recently decided that a contracting carrier's recourse claim against a Dutch ship owner – subcontracted to transport cargo damaged during a voyage – could be heard in Denmark pursuant to Article 8(2) of the Brussels I Regulation, despite the fact that under the liner booking note, all disputes arising in relation to the carriage should be decided in the Netherlands in accordance with Dutch law.
Following the loss of a vessel carrying containers from Vietnam to Denmark, its operators established a global limitation fund before the Tokyo District Court. The container owner subsequently began legal proceedings against the contracted and subcontracted carriers before the Danish Maritime and Commercial Court. The court ruled that the limitation fund did not affect legal proceedings against the two parties in Denmark.
The Maritime and Commercial Court recently rendered the first Danish decision on the issue of liability in the Mol Comfort incident. The decision is in line with Danish case law as it imposes on the carrier the burden of proof that a casualty – even one which resulted in the loss of an entire vessel and its containers – was not caused wholly or partially by any errors or omissions by any party for which the carrier was responsible.
A seller recently submitted a claim against two carriers for damage caused to two steel tanks during carriage, arguing that as no reservations regarding the condition of the tanks had been inserted in the consignment note, it should be presumed that the damage had been caused while the tanks were in the custody of the carriers. However, the court found the carriers free of any liability, as it had not been proven that the damage had been caused during carriage.