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The Standard Shipping Terms 2008 define the obligations of the Contracting Shipper and the Carrier, as parties to the Contract of Carriage, in marine transportation of break bulk goods in Finnish ports.
The Standard Shipping Terms 2008 are based on the customary loading and unloading practices in Finnish ports. Their background is the Finnish Maritime Code as in force after 1st October 1994. In addition to a contract of carriage by sea, the Shipping Terms 2008 can, where applicable, be used also in transports under a charter party and in other kinds of transport.
Besides the Contracting Shipper and the Carrier who are parties of the Contract of Carriage, the Consignee has his role in carrying out the Contract of Carriage. The term “Contracting Shipper” covers in these Shipping Terms the Shipper who is a party of the Contract of Carriage and those subcontractors who act by order of the Shipper or on his behalf. The term “Carrier” covers the actual carrier, the subcontractor acting by order of the Carrier or any other subcontractor.
The Standard Shipping Terms 2008 have been devised to contain options, from which the parties can choose the Shipping Term which is the most suitable for their Contract of Carriage. In addition to a general reference (e.g. Standard Shipping Terms 2008/ ICC Finland), the parties must specify the shipping terms chosen in the way which is described in each Shipping Term, if the Shipping Term contains alternative courses of action. It is not necessary to repeat the contents of the chosen term in the Contract of Carriage, as a plain reference is binding enough.
The Contracting Shipper and the Carrier can freely agree on their mutual obligations in loading or in discharge within the law applied. If a Shipping Term is in conflict with such a contract, the latter must be applied. In other words, the Shipping Terms are applicable when the parties have decided to include one term in their Contract of Carriage, and in so far as it has not expressly been agreed otherwise.
“The Contract of Carriage” may concern one or several carriages or it may be a frame agreement for long term, e.g. for one year.
The Standard Shipping Terms 2008 are in harmony with
- The Finnish Maritime Code of 1994
- The Incoterms 2000 trade terms in so far as the trade term which describes the obligations of the Buyer and the Seller refers to the custom of the port, to the delivery of the goods to the Carrier or to the delivery of the goods to the Consignee.
Standard Shipping Terms and trade terms
The Standard Shipping terms deal only with the contractual relations between the Contracting Shipper and the Carrier. The Contracting Shipper must pay the freight in accordance with the Contract of Carriage. The Carrier must take delivery of the goods, issue a transport document in accordance with the contract, transport the goods in accordance with the Contract of Carriage and hand the goods over to the Consignee.
Correspondingly, Incoterm trade terms deal only with the contractual relations between the Seller and the Buyer and they do not affect the rights or the obligations between the parties to the Contract of Carriage. However, in accordance with several Shipping Terms, the Seller’s obligation to deliver and the Buyer’s obligation to take the delivery is in the end determined by when the Seller hands the goods over to the Carrier or when the Carrier hands the goods over to the Buyer or to his representative. From the point of view of the parties to the sales contract, it is important to choose such a Shipping Term which fulfils the conditions, set by the trade term, for delivering the goods.
The structure of the Shipping Terms
The structure of each Shipping Term is similar. In each term, the paragraphs concerning the same obligation have been set side by side so that the obligations of the contracting parties are easy to compare. It is s also possible choose different Shipping- Terms for loading and for discharge, in which case only the relevant part of the chosen term is applied.
These Shipping Terms define the obligations of the parties in the port of loading and the port of discharge, and they can be classified as follows:
- delivery of the goods to the Carrier and taking delivery from the Contracting Shipper, and respective obligation to give notice to the other party
- delivery of the goods to the Consignee and taking delivery from the Carrier, and respective obligation to give notice to the other party
- passing of costs
- the period of the Carrier’s liability
- other duties (packaging etc.)
The most important obligations are delivering the goods and taking delivery of them, which are described in the first paragraph of each Shipping Term.
The shipping of containers, other largesized unit loads and trailers
Compared to the previous Shipping Terms 1996, these Shipping Terms include two new terms, the Trailer Term and the C/Y term. The Trailer Term describes the obligations of the contracting parties when a separately shipped trailer or other similar wheeled large-sized unit load is to be transported. The C/Y Term deals with the transportation of a container or other similar large-sized unit load which can be handled in the same manner as a container.
In practice, the term "trailer", in these Shipping Terms, almost always means a semi-trailer, and very seldom to a full trailer.