再論提單 20180312 台灣新生報航運網

◎王肖卿

論提單

        提單這個議題有點老生常談,因為市面上討論提單的書籍、論文太多了,筆者的專書就有「載貨證券」、「物流單證與國際運輸法規釋義」、「運輸單證與運送責任-鹿特丹規則的影響」、「鹿特丹規則與單證託運人」等,加上探討提單的論文;記名提單,提單與海運單的轉讓、提單種類等,類似的討論更是多得不可計數。

  如果定航運輸是海商法的重心,則提單就是其中的重中之重;一份提單中,可依提單的抬頭(headline)、運送人位址之簽字,找出負運輸責任的當事人。收貨與交貨地點證明提單之運送責任起迄地點,提單標頭也區別出是海運提單(port to port B/L)或多式聯運提單(multi-modal transport B/L)。裝貨港與卸貨港是海運履約方負責任範圍。適用哪個公約或哪國法規[1],則要看提單背面的首要條款(Paramount Clause)怎麼書寫。提單是運送契約之證明,1924的海牙規則、1968的威士比規則、1978的漢堡規則、甚至2008的鹿特丹規則,都要依提單首要條款怎麼印刷,決定是不是能適用於這份提單所代表的航程責任。這個決定未必要等待公約生效[2],也不論是否為締約國,更不待海商法是否參照納入,或者首要條款印刷的是不是相關當事人所在國家的國內法[3]。商事行為引導法律的適用、以商領法或以商領政,提單可真是獨一無二的證明。

   海商法或國際公約不論運送契約、運輸單證或提單,中文「提單」兩字,可說運輸單證的統合稱呼,陸運的提貨單、貨物收據,鐵路公約的委託單(consignor note),海運的載貨證券(bill of lading)、空運提單(air waybill),以及海運仿空運的海運單(sea waybill),提單兩字幾都可涵括。海運貨物運送單證歷經國際公約的演變,海運單、運輸單證、電子運輸紀錄、電子提單等名詞陸續加入,但提單一詞歷史最久,也最普及,為說明之方便,本文以下便以提單一詞,做綜合說明。

國際貨物海運公約與提單
   
國際貨物海運公約基本上幾都是以提單為基底,海牙規則英文全名是以

統一提單有關法規的國際公約(International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading),海牙威士比規則包括海牙的舊規定、威士比修正案、布魯塞爾議定書三個部分,全稱修正統一提單有關法規的國際議定書(Protocol to Amend the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading)與海牙規則幾都一樣,兩者為討論之方便,多稱海牙系列。兩公約都以統一「提單」的國際規範作為公約訂定之目的。漢堡規則改以海運貨物之聯合國公約(United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea),就因如此,在第一條名詞定義中,除了定義「運送契約」(contract of carriage by sea)之外,另外再定義「提單」(bill of lading)。這是因為海牙系列規則因名稱以提單為標題,名詞定義就不再定義提單。代表海運提單在海運貨物公約中的重要性;漢堡規則定義之提單,是運送契約的證明,也是運送人收、裝貨(taking over or loading)(裝貨港)交貨(to deliver),以及依提單規定交貨給記名者指示的人(to the order of a named person)、待指示的人(to order)、持有人(to bearer)等,構成提單之運作(constitutes such an undertaking)。使提單意義在漢堡規則中反有更清楚的表明。

   提單自海牙系列公約內,以及之後的漢堡規則,一直是代表貨物運送契約的證明[4] (evidence of contract)。鹿特丹規則更在定稿前在名稱上加上契約(on contract)兩字[5],使全稱以「全部或部分途程本於契約之國際貨物運送聯合國公約」(United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea),名稱與漢堡規則類似,冠上聯合國字樣。目前多式聯運之盛行,尤其仍以契約為基礎,才有根據及證據力。這也表示所有公約的基礎,仍是運送契約。鑒於定航運送除了批量,通常不簽契約,唯一以契約型態展現的,唯有海運提單,提單於定航運送、於國際公約的意義及價值。在此表露無疑。

   定航裝貨須簽提單,租船也簽提單[6],不論定航提單,或租船提單,提單簽發人就是運送人[7]。也就是說,無論為租船或自有船,無論船東或承租人簽提單,簽單人就是運送人[8]。簡單講不論定航或租船,就提單負運送責任的人只看其是否簽單,而不論在哪種身分或哪種情形下簽單。鹿特丹規則之前,提單的第一位持有人是託運人,身分通常是買賣契約的賣方、發貨人或供應商(supplier),其託運人身分填寫在提單託運人欄位上,也就是與運送人對應的提單當事人。鹿特丹規則為免在船上交貨(free on board, FOB)貿易條件下,不是賣方找的船運,傳統出口商卻因擔任當然的託運人,背負太多託運人對於貨物的責任,而增加單證託運人一詞[9],使船上交貨條件的賣方、發貨人、供應商,以單證託運人(documentary shipper)身分記載於提單,也就只是單證上出現的託運人,而不是真正的託運人。真正的託運人是貿易條件上訂定運送契約的人,是決定船運的人、就提單負責的當事人,也是首當其衝負提單責任的人[10]。這個改變使亞洲、尤其兩岸影響較大,由於大部分出口貨物類別,使亞洲區的貿易條件大多(台灣是八成)以類似FOB的條件成交,由買方決定船運,使買方成為託運人,出口商只是單證託運人。只見其害,未見其利的結果,造成短時間的恐慌。但這個改變也使大家感受鹿特丹規則立法技術之神奇,因為託運人的文字沒變,意義卻已不同於以往,在船上交貨FOB)貿易條件下,甚至意義相反。惟託運人是提單全程的貨方當事人這點不變,單證託運人的責任次於託運人的立場,也已在鹿特丹規則上標明[11]

   提單的轉讓,海牙、海牙威士比與漢堡、鹿特丹規則倒是相同,持有人隨提單之轉讓,使銀行、保方、受貨人,在轉讓過程中階段性持有提單,亦須各在該持有階段,負貨方之責任,而決定船運的第一位託運人,在階段託運人,包括單證託運人不負責任時,必須承擔責任,這是第一位託運人權利轉讓、責任與義務無法轉讓的事實。

   提單因只有運送人單方簽字;不論是船東、承租人、無船承運人,運送人因簽發提單,對提單所證明運送契約的運送責任負責,亦使提單僅是契約之證明,而非契約。這部分除海牙規則,此後公約也都維持這些實務及傳統,沒有改變。

提單所證明的契約

    國際公約向以契約的證明說提單,租約雖是最正式的契約,租約卻一

直以來被排除在適用範圍之外[12],鹿特丹規則對這點說得更徹底,排除租約之外,還排除其他以船舶或艙位租用為目的的契約(contracts for the use of a ship or of any space )[13]。因此提單所代表的契約只剩一種,就是定航貨運的契約了。對於鹿特丹新增的定航批量契約,鹿特丹第80條批量契約的特別規定(Special rules for volume contracts)裡,特別說明公約適用的批量契約,「可訂定較公約規定更大或更小的權利、義務及責任」[14],等於批量契約雖明文適用公約,實際上卻允許批量契約可以公約適用範圍以外的條件洽定,這個自由洽定的規定。實際上也等於是把批量契約排除在適用範圍之外了。

   排除租約、排除批量契約,範圍縮小之後,提單證明之契約,可明言僅為每份提單所代表的包裝貨(package cargo)的單位運送契約,這些契約可以各種形態出現,如諾成契約,也就是民法中的口頭承諾的契約、也就是事前的電話或電報約定。也可能由一種非屬任何格式的類別;運費協定(freight contracts )、大副簽收單(mate’s receipts )、不可轉讓之收據(non-negotiable receipts )、海運單(sea waybills)及轉運單證(through transportation documents)[15]而提單之簽發,也使這些之前簽立的契約,綜合在提單這份單證裡[16]

   考諸實際,提單欄位只填寫裝貨港與目的港,不填寫收貨地點(place of receipt)與交貨地點(place of delivery)的,大多代表的就是散裝貨運送契約,或是租船提單(charter party B/L),或非貨櫃船載運之雜貨(general cargo)運送契約。除了裝貨港與目的港之外,提單欄位填寫了收貨與交貨地點的,就是目前常見的貨櫃運送多式聯運契約。這種情形下,海商法需要不需要就多式聯運契約作特別說明?需要不需要特別界定運送人?或者多式聯運經營人?答案可說十分清楚。而運送人的責任範圍,只要根據提單,就能看出責任範圍;簽發單證為責任之始,收回單證則是責任之止。貨物送到內陸,交貨給受貨人,收回提單,責任就到交貨時為止,劃分可說十分清楚。

定航提單與租船提單

    定航運送最重要的部分就是提單(運輸單證),貨物運送的相關規定由提

單證明之,這是當運送契約沒有書面,或者運送契約零散出現在陸續船期通知等不具書面效力文件中的情形,因而需要提單做個總結[17]。以CGM CMA的格式條文為例,說「貨方同意所有與這批貨物運送相關的之前協議、運費協定等,均因本提單之簽發而停止運作,包括之前貨方與運送人、其代理人、次契約人、其受僱人、其船長或其船舶所約訂之任何協定亦然」(that all agreements or freight engagements for and in connection with the carriage of the Goods are superseded by the Bill of Lading, including any previous engagements between the Merchant and the Carrier, its agents, Subcontractors, employees, captains or vessels),代表提單就是唯一的契約決定性單證。

但如果提單代表的是租約,情況便大有不同,以波羅地海國際海運同盟(The Baltic and International Maritime Council)之標準型(Uniform General Charter)定型化國際租船提單(charter party B/L)[18]為例,類似提單其上必印有「雙方同意應依租約履行」(It is mutually agreed that this contract shall be performed subject to the conditions contained in this Charter Party……)[19],提單不是之前運送契約的總結,反是提單與租約衝突,須以租約為準,而非以提單為準。僅提單當事人不是承租人,即提單轉讓過程租約之外的其他持有人,提單是唯一之契約證明,這點漢堡規則說得最清楚[20];提單依租約簽發,如關係介於運送人與提單持有人、非承租人間時,公約規定適用提單(…bill of lading is issued pursuant to a charter-party, the provisions of the Convention apply to such a bill of lading if it governs the relation between the carrier and the holder of the bill of lading not being the Charterer),其他公約亦有類似文字[21]因此租船提單介於船方與非租約關係人之其他持有人間,提單與該租約提單代表之某次航程提單之權利、義務、責任依然以提單為本(適用公約規定)

結論-海商法的貨物運送該怎麼設計

    任何一張提單都可說是一個縮小版的單位貨物運送契約,從提單裡可

找到為該批貨物負運送責任的人、發單時貨方代表,也就是貨方的總負責人。運送責任的起始與終止地點是運送責任範圍、海運履約方的負責範圍則是兩港港區、並由責任範圍劃定提單代表的是多式聯運責任或港到港責任等。提單適用哪個公約或那個國內法,也可在提單內找到答案。

   依此,海商法的運送人責任與義務、託運人責任、貨物交付等之規定,均屬法律強制運送人該負的基本責任、基本義務與可享的基本權利。提單正、背面有低於該基本責任、義務之條款無效,高於該基本權利之條款亦無效[22]。等於默示只能容許高於該基本責任、義務之條款、低於該基本權利之條款方為有效。至於多式聯運經營人則應回歸運送人一個名詞;提單證明的契約是多式聯運,運送人自然就是多式聯運經營人。提單證明的契約是港到港,自然運送人的責任依然只有港到港之間。

   貨物運送章應該排除論程,不能把公約強制規定與契約的任意規定擺在一個章節,雖然論程租約特別說明尊重契約規定,兩者並存一章依然格格不入。

 基於以上分析,提單雖均為契約之證明,惟定航運送的提單與依租約簽發之提單,性質與地位卻不相同。

 定航為海商法之核心,提單又是定航運送重中之重,則海商法貨物運送章不納入運送單證或提單節,似乎說不過去。租船提單又與定航提單不同;性質不同,地位不同、意義也有差異,因此便有提單獨立一章的考量,以解決這個問題。

定航提單種類與各種單證的性質較複雜,定航提單大多轉讓次數多,租船提單則多為港到港提單(ocean B/L or port to port B/L),轉讓次數有限,關係人也較為單純。定航提單是總結所有運送契約的單證,租船提單則以租約為尊,除非在非承租人持有,始有提單之功能性,因此或也可以貨物運送章的提單與租約章的提單分開規定。更簡易的做法,是租約章除了做三種租約定義及定位外,亦訂定租船提單;闡明提單在租約下之定位與意義,則海商法這個部分的修訂或許能更為完整。

 

 



[1] 由於美國海上貨物運送法(carriage of goods by sea, 1936)之強制適用,美國航線之提單背面首要條款便有航經美國須適用美國海上貨物運送法之印刷條款。

[2] 一般說到鹿特丹之強迫適用就是這個意思貿易相對國適用則因迫於貿易現實而適用

[3] 以往台灣有運送人提單背面首要條款印刷以日本海商法作為首要條款的

[4] Article 1, (b),“ “Contract of carriage" applies only to contracts of carriage covered by a bill of lading or any similar document of title, in so far as such document relates to the carriage of goods by sea,..” of Hague Rules, Article 1 (b), “'Contract of carriage' applies only to contracts of carriage covered by a bill of lading or any similar document of title, in so far as such document relates to the carriage of goods by sea,…”, of Hague-visby Rules & Article 1, 7,  "Bill of lading" means a document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea and….” of Hamburg Rules.

[5] 全名United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea

[6] Article 1, (b) "Contract of carriage" applies only … covered by a bill of lading ….including any bill of lading or…. issued under or pursuant to a charter party” of Hague Rules.

[7] Article 1, (a) "Carrier" includes ….who enters into a contract of carriage with a shipper.” of Hague Rules. & (b) "Contract of carriage" applies only ….covered by a bill of lading or….” of Hague Rules.

[8] Article 1,” (a) "Carrier" includes the owner or the charterer who enters into a contract of carriage with a shipper.” & (b) "Contract of carriage" ….covered by a bill of lading or…so far as…relates to the carriage of goods by sea, including any bill of lading or ….issued under or pursuant to a charter party from the moment …. regulates the relations between a carrier and a holder of the same.” of Hague Rules.

[9]Alexander von Ziegler, Johan Schelin, Stefano Zunarelli(以上作者為鹿特丹的擬稿人,書頁XX foreword by Editors), The Rotterdam Rules 2008, Commentary to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, 7. Obligations of the Shipper to the Carrier(by Johan Schelin) , Published by Kluwer Law International, p.158.

[10] 同上註,單證託運人次之p.159

[11] Article 33,2 of Rotterdam Rules.

[12] Article 5 ”The provisions of this Convention shall not be applicable to charter parties ….” of Hague Rules, Article V “The provisions of these Rules shall not be applicable to charter parties, but if….” of Visby amendments, & Article 2(scope of application),3 “3. The provisions of this Convention are not applicable to charter-parties. However, where…” of Hamburg Rules.

[13] Article 6(specific exclusions),” 1. This Convention does not apply to the following contracts in liner transportation: (a)Charter parties; and (b)Other contracts for the use of a ship or of any space thereon.” of Rotterdam Rules.

[14] Article 81, 1” 1….., as between the carrier and the shipper, a volume contract to which this Convention applies may provide for greater or lesser rights, obligations and liabilities than those imposed by this Convention.” of Rotterdam Rules.

[15] 原文”Depending on the manner in which the ship is employed, the contract of affreightment may be contained in a charterparty or contained in, or evidenced by, a bill of lading. But the classical division into charterparties and bills of lading is not exhaustive. Contracts of affreightment may be contained in or evidenced by documents which do not strictly fall into either category: e.g. freight contracts, mate’s receipts, non-negotiable receipts, sea waybills, ship’s delivery order, and through transportation documents.”Bernard Eder et al, Scrutton on Charterparties and Bills of Lading, 22nd edition, Sweet & Maxwell 2011, para.1-001.

[16] CMA CGM B/L Clause 3. (REMITTANCE AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE BILL OF LADING)"….In accepting this Bill of Lading, the Merchant agrees to be bound by all stipulation,…. face and back hereof, whether written, typed, stamped or printed,…. , and agrees that all agreements or freight engagements for and in connection with the carriage of the Goods are superseded by the Bill of Lading, including any previous engagements between the Merchant and the Carrier, its agents, Subcontractors, employees, captains or vessels.”

[17] 提單中常見之印刷文字,如”THE RECEIPT. CUSTODY, CARRIAGE AND DELIVERY OF THE GOODS ARE SUBJECT TO THE TERMS APPEARING ON THE FACE AND BACK HEREOF AND TO CARRIER’S APPLICABLE TARIFF”(Maersk Line B/L) 或者"….In accepting this Bill of Lading, the Merchant agrees to be bound by all stipulation,…. face and back hereof, whether written, typed, stamped or printed,…. , and agrees that all agreements or freight engagements for and in connection with the carriage of the Goods are superseded by the Bill of Lading, including any previous engagements between the Merchant and the Carrier, its agents, Subcontractors, employees, captains or vessels.”(CMA CGM B/L Clause 3. REMITTANCE AND ACCEPTANCE OF THE BILL OF LADING)

[18] Code name:GENCON B/L

[19] 同上註page 1.

[20] Article 2(scope of application),3. “The provisions of this Convention are not applicable to charter-parties. However, where a bill of lading is issued pursuant to a charter-party, the provisions of the Convention apply to such a bill of lading if it governs the relation between the carrier and the holder of the bill of lading, not being the charterer.” of Hamburg Rules.

[21] Article 1,(b) & Article 5 of Hague Rules, Article 1,(b) & Article V of Visby Amendments.

[22] Article 5 “A carrier shall be at liberty to surrender in whole or in part all or any of his rights and immunities or to increase any of his responsibilities and obligations under this Convention, provided such surrender or increase shall be embodied in the bill of lading issued to the shipper.” of Hague Rules. &Article V “A carrier shall be at liberty to surrender in whole or in part all or any of his rights and immunities or to increase any of his responsibilities and obligations under these Rules, provided such surrender or increase shall be embodied in the bill of lading issued to the shipper. The provisions of these Rules shall not be applicable to charter parties, but if bills of lading are issued in the case of a ship under a charter party they shall comply with the terms of these Rules ….. of Visby Amendments.

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