1. Current Position
  2. English>>Laws&regulation

MARITIME PROCEDURE LAW OF THE PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF CHINA


CONTENTS
CHAPTER I GENERAL PRINCIPLES
CHAPTER II JURISDICTION
CHAPTER III PRESERVATION OF MARITIME CLAIMS
Section 1 General Provisions
Section 2 Arrest and Auction of Ships
Section 3 Attachment and Auction of Cargo Carried by Ships
CHAPTER IV MARITIME INJUNCTION
CHAFFER V PRESERVATION OF MARITIME EVIDENCE
CHAPTER VI MARITIME SECURITY
CHAPTER VII SERVICE
CHAPTER VIII TRIAL PROCEDURES
Section 1 Provisions for Trial of Collision Cases
Section 2 Provisions for Trial of General Average Cases
Section 3 Provisions for Exercising the Right of Subrogation by Marine Insurers
Section 4 Summary Procedure, procedure for Exhortation and Procedure for Public Interpellation
CHAPTER IX PROCEDURE FOR CONSTITUTION OF LIMITATION FUND FOR MARITIME CIAIMS
CHAPTER X PROCEDURE FOR REGISTRATION AND SATISFACTION OF CLAIMS
CHAPTER XI PROCEDURE FOR INTERPELLATION OF MARITIME LIENS
CHAPTER XII SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISION

CHAPTER I GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Article 1
This Law is enacted with a view to safeguarding the rights in litigation of the parties to maritime cases and ensuring that the people's courts can ascertain the facts, establish the liabilities, properly apply the laws and promptly hear and determine maritime cases.

Article 2
The Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China and this Law shall apply to maritime actions brought in the People's Republic of China. Where the provisions of this Law are applicable, such provisions shall prevail.

Article 3
Where international conventions entered into or acceded to by the People's Republic of China have provisions concerning foreign-related maritime actions which are different from those contained in the Civil Procedure law of the People's Republic of China and this Law, the provisions of such international conventions shall apply except those on which the People's Republic of China has made reservations.

Article 4
Maritime courts shall entertain actions brought by the parties in respect of maritime tort, disputes arising out of maritime contracts and other maritime disputes as provided for by law.

Article 5
Maritime courts, high people's courts at the place where such maritime courts are located and the Supreme People's Court shall apply this Law in hearing and determining maritime cases.

CHAPTER II JURISDICTION
Article 6
The relevant provisions of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China shall apply to territorial jurisdiction of maritime actions.

The territorial jurisdiction of the maritime actions set forth hereunder shall be determined as follows:

In addition to application of Articles 29, 30 and 31 of the Civil Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China, the maritime court at the place of the ship's port of registry may also have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of maritime tort;

In addition to application of Article 28 of the Civil Procedure law of the People' s Republic of China, the maritime court at the place of the port of transshipment may also have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of contract for carriage by sea;

The maritime court at the place of the port of delivery, the port of delivery, the ship's port of registry and the domicile of the defendant shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of charter-party disputes of seagoing ships;

The maritime court at the place of the subject-matter of insurance, the place of accident or the domicile of the defendant shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of disputes in protection and indemnity contracts;

The maritime court at the domicile of the plaintiff, the place of signature of the contract, the place of the port of embarkation or disembarkation of the crew, and the domicile of the defendant shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of crew's service contract for sea-going ships;

The maritime court at the place where collateral is provided and the domicile of the defendant shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of maritime security; the maritime court at the place of the ship's port of registry may also have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of ship mortgage; and

The maritime court at the place of the ship, the place of the ship's port of registry, and the domicile of the defendant shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of ownership, possession, employment and maritime liens of sea-going ships.

Article 7
The maritime courts specified in this Article shall have exclusive jurisdiction in the following maritime actions:

The maritime court at the place of the port shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of coastal port operations;

The maritime court at the place of pollution, the place of damaging consequences or the place where pollution prevention measures are taken shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of pollution damage to sea caused by discharge, spill or dumping of oil or other hazardous substances from ships, by production or operation at sea or by ship demolition or repair; and

The maritime court at the place of performance of the contract shall have jurisdiction in an action brought in respect of disputes arising out of an offshore exploration and exploitation contract performed within the territory of the People's Republic of China and the sea areas under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China.

Article 8
Where all the parties to a maritime dispute are aliens, stateless persons, foreign enterprises or 0rganisations and have agreed in writing to be subject to the jurisdiction of a maritime court of the People's Republic of China, such maritime court shall have jurisdiction over the dispute notwithstanding that the place that has genuine link with the dispute is not within the territory of the People's Republic of China.

Article 9
A party who applies for determination of certain property at sea as being ownerless shall file the application with the maritime court at the place of the property; one who applies for declaration of a person as dead in an accident at sea shall file the application with the maritime court at the place of the competent authority dealing with the accident or with the maritime court that has entertained the relevant maritime case.

Article 10
Any controversy between a maritime court and a local people's court in respect of jurisdiction shall be resolved by the two courts through consultation, failing which the matter shall be submitted to their common superior people's court for designation of jurisdiction.

Article 11
A party who applies for enforcement of a maritime arbitration award, recognition and enforcement of a judgment or order of a foreign court or a foreign maritime arbitration award shall file the application with the maritime court at the place of the property against which enforcement is sought or the domicile of the person against whom enforcement is sought. In the absence of a maritime court at such place or domicile, the application shall be filed with the intermediate people's court at the place of the property against which enforcement is sought or the domicile of the person against whom enforcement is sought.

CHAPTER III PRESERVATION OF MARITIME CLAIMS
Section 1 General Provisions
Article 12
Preservation of maritime claims means compulsory measures taken by a maritime court on the application of a maritime claimant against the property of the person against whom a claim is made to ensure the realization of the claim of the maritime claimant.

Article 13
A party who applies for preservation of maritime claims before instituting an action shall file the application with the maritime court at the place of the property subject to preservation.

Article 14
Preservation of maritime claims shall not be prejudiced by the jurisdiction agreement or arbitration agreement between the parties in respect of the maritime claim.

Article 15
A maritime claimant who applies for preservation of a maritime claim shall file the application in writing with a maritime court. Such an application shall specify the particulars of the maritime claim, reasons therefor, subject-matter of the preservation and the amount of security required, and enclose the relevant evidence.

Article 16
The maritime court, having entertained an application for preservation of a maritime claim, may enjoin the maritime claimant to provide security. The application shall be rejected if the maritime claimant fails to do so.

Article 17
The maritime court, having accepted an application, shall make an order within 48 hours. Where the order is to adopt measures for preservation of a maritime claim, it shall be executed forthwith; where the conditions for preservation of the maritime claim are not met, the application shall be rejected ]ay order.
Any party who is dissatisfied with such an order may apply for a review not mere than once within 5 days after receipt thereof. The maritime court shall give the result of the review within 5 days after receipt of the application therefor. Execution of the order shall not be suspended during the period of the review.
Where preservation of a maritime claim is objected by an interested person, the maritime court shall examine the objection and discharge the preservation against its property if the masons therefor are justified.

Article 18
Where a person against whom a claim is made provides security or a party applies for discharge of preservation of the maritime claim on justified grounds, the maritime court shall discharge the preservation promptly.
Where a maritime claimant fails to bring an action within the time limit prescribed in this Law or apply for arbitration in accordance with the arbitration agreement, the maritime court shall discharge the preservation or return the security promptly.

Article 19
Where legal proceedings or arbitral proceedings are not commenced in respect of a maritime dispute after the execution of the preservation of a maritime claim, any party may bring an action in respect of the maritime claim in the maritime court ordering preservation of the maritime claim or any other maritime court that has jurisdiction, unless the jurisdiction agreement or arbitration agreement between the parties provides otherwise.

Article 20
A maritime claimant who has wrongfully applied for preservation of a maritime claim shall indemnify the person against whom the claim is made or any interested person for loss sustained thereby.

Section 2 Arrest and Auction of Ships
Article 21
An application may be made for the arrest of a ship with respect to the following maritime claims:

Loss of or damage to property caused by ship operation;

Loss of life or personal injury in direct connection with ship operation;

Salvage at sea;

Damage or threat of damage caused by a ship to environment, coast-line or interests of other parties; measures taken to prevent, minimise or remove such damage; compensation paid in respect of such damage; costs for reasonable measures taken or to be taken for reinstatement of the environment; loss incurred or likely to be incurred by third parties in connection with such damage; and damage, costs, or loss of a similar nature to those identified in this subparagraph;

Expenses relating to the raising, removal, recovery, destruction or the rendering harmless of a ship which is sunk, wrecked, stranded or abandoned, including anything that is or has been on board such ship, and expenses relating to the preservation of an abandoned ship and maintenance of its crew;

Any agreement relating to the use or hire of a ship;

Any agreement relating to the carriage of goods or passengers;

Loss of or damage to or in connection with goods (including luggage) carried on board a ship;

General average;
 
Towage;
 
Pilotage;
 
Goods supplied or services rendered to a ship for its operation, management, preservation or maintenance;
 
Construction, re-construction, repair, conversion or equipment of a ship;
 
Dues and charges of port, canal, dock, harbour and other waterway;
 
Crew's wages and other moneys, including costs of repatriation and social insurance contributions payable on behalf of the crew;

Disbursements incurred on behalf of a ship or its ship-owner;
 
Insurance premiums (including mutual insurance calls) in respect of a ship, payable by or on behalf of the ship-owner or demise charterer;
 
Any commissions, brokerages or agency fees payable in respect of a ship by or on behalf of the ship-owner or demise charterer;
 
Any dispute in connection with ownership or possession of a ship;
 
Any dispute between co-owners of a ship in connection with the employment or earnings of the ship;
 
A ship mortgage or fights of the same nature; and
 
Any dispute arising out of contract for sale of a ship.

Article 22
A ship may only be arrested in respect of maritime claims specified in Article 21 of this Law, except for the enforcement of a judgement, arbitration award or other legal documents.

Article 23
The maritime court may arrest the ship concerned in any of the following circumstances:

The ship-owner is liable for the maritime claim and is the owner of the ship when the arrest is effected;

The demise charterer of the ship is liable for the maritime claim and is the demise charterer or owner of the ship when the arrest is effected;

The maritime claim is based upon a ship mortgage or rights of the stone nature;

The maritime claim relates to ownership or possession of a ship; or

The maritime claim is secured by a maritime lien.

The maritime court may arrest other ship or ships which, when the arrest is effected, is or are owned by the ship-owner, demise charterer, time charterer or voyage charterer who is liable for the maritime claim, except for claims with respect to ownership or possession of a ship. Ships engaged in military or governmental services are not subject to arrest.

Article 24
A maritime claimant may not apply for arrest of a ship which has been arrested and released in respect of the same maritime claim except in any of the following circumstances:

The person against whom a claim is made fails to provide sufficient security;

The surety is unlikely to be able to perform the obligations under the security in whole or in part; or

The maritime claimant agrees to release the ship under arrest or return the security provided on reasonable grounds; or the maritime claimant could not by taking reasonable steps prevent the release of the ship under arrest or the return of the security provided.

Article 25
A maritime claimant may apply for arrest of the ship concerned notwithstanding that the name of the person against whom the claim is made cannot be ascertained forthwith.

Article 26
When issuing an order for arresting or releasing a ship, the maritime court may give a notice to relevant organisations for assistance in execution of the order. Such a notice shall specify the scope and requirements of the assistance in execution, and the relevant organisations have the obligation to assist the execution. The maritime court may directly send officers on board for purpose of supervision if it thinks necessary.

Article 27
Where preservation of a ship has been adopted by order, the maritime court may, with the consent of the maritime claimant, allow the ship to resume operation with restraints on disposing or mortgaging the ship.

Article 28
The time limit for ship arrest for preservation of a maritime claim is 30 days.
Where a maritime claimant brings an action or applies for arbitration within 30 days, or where a maritime claimant applies for arrest of a ship during legal proceedings or arbitral proceedings, the arrest of the ship is not subject to the time limit prescribed in the foregoing paragraph.

Article 29
Where the person against whom a claim is made fails to provide security on the expiry of the time limit for arrest of a ship, and it is not appropriate to keep the ship under arrest, the maritime claimant, having brought an action or applied for arbitration, may apply for auction of the ship to the maritime court ordering the arrest of the ship.

Article 30
The maritime court shall, after receipt of an application for auction of a ship, examine the application and make an order to allow or disallow the auction.
Any party who is dissatisfied with such an order may apply for review not more than once within 5 days after receipt thereof. The maritime court shall give the result of the review within 5 days after receipt of the application therefor. Execution of the order shall be suspended during the period of the review.

Article 31
Where a maritime claimant, having filed an application for auction of a ship, applies for termination of the auction, the maritime court has discretion to allow or disallow the termination by order, ff the maritime court terminates the auction of the ship by order, the expenses incurred in preparation for auction of the ship shall be home by the maritime claimant.

Article 32
The maritime court that orders auction of a ship shah issue au announcement in newspapers or other news media. In the case of auction of a foreign ship, such an announcement shall be issued in the newspapers or other news media for overseas distribution.
Such an announcement shall contain:
(1) name and nationality of the ship for auction;
(2) reasons and grounds for auction of the ship;
(3) constitution of the ship auction committee;
(4) time and venue of the ship auction;
(5) time and venue for demonstration of the ship for auction;
(6) formalities to be completed for taking part in bidding;
(7) particulars necessary for registration of claims; and
(8) other matters which need to be announced.
The announcement period for ship auction shall not be less than 30 days.

Article 33
The maritime court shall issue a notice 30 days before auction of a ship to the ship registrar of the registry state of the ship for auction and to the known maritime lien holders, mortgagees and ship-owners.
Such a notice shall contain the name of the ship for auction, time and venue of the ship auction, reasons and grounds for the ship auction, registration of claims etc.
Means of such a notice include written form and other appropriate forms the receipt thereof can be confirmed.

Article 34
Auction of a ship shall be conducted by a ship auction committee. A ship auction committee shall consist of 3 or 5 persons, including the enforcement officer of the maritime court and the auctioneer and ship surveyor retained by the maritime court.
The ship auction committee is responsible for arranging assessment and evaluation of the ship; arranging and presiding over the auction; signing auction confirmation with the bidder; and completing ship delivery formalities.
The ship auction committee is responsible to and under the supervision of the maritime court.

Article 35
Bidders shall register with the ship auction committee within the prescribed time limit. Certificates of identification of the person who registers with the committee, the legal representative of the enterprise or the responsible officer of other organisation and the power of attorney of the authorized proxy shall be submitted at the time of registration for examination together with payment of a certain amount of bidding deposit.

Article 36
The ship auction committee shall, before auction of a ship, demonstrate the ship for auction and make the ship available for inspection and provide relevant documents and information of the ship.

Article 37
A buyer, having signed the auction confirmation, shall pay forthwith not less than 20% of the purchase price; the balance shall be paid within 7 days after the date of the purchase, unless the ship auction commit

Copyright 2016-2026 Ningbo Maritime Court All Rights Reserved