Maritime and Transport Law
Quarterly update April 2018: Maritime and Transport Law
NJORD Law Firm’s Shipping and Transport Department provides weekly news briefs on developments and current topics in Danish maritime and transport law via our firm’s LinkedIn profile. In our quarterly updates, we take a closer look at a selection of those news briefs to provide useful insight into the most important current legal trends in the Danish maritime and transport industry.
The Danish Western High Court recently issued a judgment in a dispute between a Danish and a Czech company under a contract for the sale of an industrial machine, which included the Incoterm condition “CIF Bratislava”. The machine was to be carried by road to the buyer. The parties had not agreed on the jurisdiction for disputes arising under the sale contract.
Incoterms provides a range of clauses usable for specific modes of transport, as well as some clause that can be used for any mode of transport. The FAS, FOB, CFR and CIF clauses are intended solely for carriage by sea and inland waterways, but cannot be used for road transport.
Drone technology is constantly evolving, as technical innovation continues to bring about more advanced drones. The use of drones for transport of cargo is becoming an increasingly hot topic, as is the use of drones for surveying and carrying out services such as repairs or information gathering.
However, what are the legal challenges to be aware of as the use of drones develop? For instance, how are the risks, obligations and rights relating to damage, delay and loss of cargo governed in the contractual relationship between the shipper, consignee and carrier? To the extent that drones are used to carry critical cargo – such as spare parts for vessels or offshore installations – the potential liability for delay or damage to the cargo could be very high. The same goes for liability for information gathered by drones that turns out to be flawed or incomplete, or for repairs carried out incorrectly.
Current Danish regulations does not apply to road haulage carried out by vehicles weighing less than 3.5000 kg. This means that road hauliers operating vans with a weight of less than 3.500 kg. are allowed to carry out road haulage without an operator’s license.
However, a new legislative proposal has been put forward that will expand the scope of the rules. If adopted, the use of vehicles that weigh more than 2.000 kg requires a license to carry out road haulage. The license for these operators is subject to similar requirements as the license for the road haulage companies operating vehicles weighing 3.500 kg or more. These include various requirements to the financial condition of the road haulage companies, and that the companies comply with applicable collective agreements concerning pay and working conditions.
The Danish government has recently adopted new rules regarding lorry parking at rest areas along the Danish highways. The new rules are an implementation of the 2018 Finance Law Agreement, which impose a time limit of 25 hours for parking at the rest areas along the Danish highways.
Due to the 25-hour time limit, the international road carriages to and from Denmark will face new challenges. The rules on driving time and rest periods operate with different categories of rest periods, which depend on the duration of the driving period. The new 25-hour time limit makes it difficult for the drivers to carry out their reduced weekly rest – currently, drivers can take such rest periods while parking along the Danish highways.