Can Consignors Get Refund from Chinese Freight Forwarders When the Goods Are Lost at Sea?
On the night of November 30, ONE's large container ship "ONE APUS" with a capacity of 14,052 TEU was lost in the Pacific Ocean at 1,600 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii due to bad weather, resulting in collapsed stacks and damaged containers overboard. The accident caused 1,816 containers damaged or lost. When a consignor's goods are lost due to such bad weather, can the consignor refuse to pay the freight to a Chinese freight forwarder, or demand the freight forwarder to return the freight that has been paid?
According to Article 835 of the PRC Civil Code (中华人民共和国民法典), and referring to the cases of the PRC courts, when the consignor's goods are lost due to force majeure, the freight forwarder cannot ask the consignor to pay the freight of the lost goods, if the freight forwarder has collected the freight of the lost goods, the consignor has the right to require the freight forwarder to return the freight that has been paid.
According to Article 180 of the PRC Civil Code, force majeure is an unforeseeable, unavoidable and insurmountable objective situation.
Therefore, if the consignor’s goods are lost due to the bad weather or huge waves, the consignor has the right to refuse to give the freight and ask the freight forwarder to refund the freight under China’s laws.
The above are China’s regulations on the the freight of lost goods. If you have any more related questions, please do not hesitate to contact our professional Chinese lawyers.
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