Maritime Law and Practice in China
Procedures for trial, constitution of limitation fund for maritime claim, recognition and payment of debts, exigence of maritime lien
The maritime courts and its higher courts shall apply the Civil Procedure Law (the “CPL”) and the Special Maritime Procedure Law (the “SMPL”) in the trial of a maritime case. Where the SMPL provides for the rules of the trial of a maritime case, the court shall apply the special rules; otherwise the general rules as provided for in the CPL shall be applied.1 The SMPL lays out some special rules on the trial of certain maritime cases, namely, collision of ships, general average and marine insurer’s subrogating claim. In addition, it also specifically provides for trial procedures that are unique to certain kinds of maritime cases (i.e., the procedure for the constitution of limitation fund for marine claims, procedure for the registration and payment of debts and procedure for the exigence of maritime liens). Moreover, it adds some rules to those procedures that are applied in the trial of a maritime case (i.e., the summary procedure, the procedure for urging the payment of debt and the procedure for the public notice of exigence of claim) in order to adapt them for the character of a maritime case.2 This chapter will review both the general rules and special rules that are applied in the trial of a maritime case.