What are the common risks of international shipping?

With the continuous development of the world economy, China’s foreign trade has undergone rapid changes. From being closed in the past to being open today, it has taken hundreds of years and encountered many difficulties. In addition to language and regional cultural differences, there are also issues related to geography, transportation, and different policies of each country, which to some extent hinder the development of foreign trade. According to statistics, more than two-thirds of the world’s trade is completed through ocean transportation.Due to the wide applicability of sea transportation, the weight and volume of goods that can be shipped are large, the transportation distance is long, and the cost is relatively low, so it is loved by merchants from all over the world. However, the resulting risks are also greater than those of other transportation.sea freightCommon risks encountered during sea transportationMaritime disaster riskThe risk of maritime accidents mainly refers to the risks that occur during or accompanying the transportation of ships and goods by sea. It includes natural disasters and accidents. Among them, natural disasters refer to disasters caused by destructive forces caused by natural variations. An accident refers to an accident caused by unexpected reasons.Non human induced external risksNon human induced external risks refer to risks caused by various external factors beyond maritime accidents. This type of risk can be roughly divided into two situations: general external risk and special external risk. Among them, the general external risk refers to the risk caused by theft, rain, moisture, heat, and other reasons during transportation of goods. Special external risks refer to the risks and losses caused by political, military, state prohibitions, and regulatory measures such as war, strikes, and refusal to deliver goods.In addition, new policies or control measures issued by certain countries, as well as certain prohibitions imposed by international organizations, may also result in the inability to export or import goods and cause losses.Maritime fraud risks in the trade processThere is currently no exact definition of maritime fraud internationally, and the widely accepted view is that people deceive or conceal transportation routes, cargo conditions, costs, etc. in order to obtain illegal profits and cause losses to innocent parties. The spread and rampant nature of this behavior has become a major obstacle to international trade, posing a serious threat to the commercial, shipping, insurance, and financial industries of various countries.Document fraud riskDocument fraud, also known as document fraud, refers to the act of unscrupulous merchants using forged ocean bills of lading, commercial invoices, insurance policies, certificates of origin, quality certificates, inspection certificates, consular invoices and other documents that meet the requirements of a letter of credit to obtain payment for foreign exchange. It is the most common and primary form of international maritime fraud.Ship fraud riskShip fraud refers to the fraudulent behavior of shipowners using ships, mainly including sunken ship fraud and ghost ship fraud. The most common issue encountered in international trade is ghost ship fraud. Ghost ships refer to ships with a “shadow” identity. The owner of the ghost ship is actually a leather bag company, sometimes even set up two days before the start of the operation, and uses temporary office locations, so the credibility of such ship owners is not high, even zero. If such ship owners transport goods, it is very dangerous.Fraudulent risks in charter partiesCharter party fraud is a method of using charter parties for fraud, which can be divided into two types: time charter party fraud and voyage charter party fraud.In the fraud of time charter contracts, fraudsters first register and establish a leather bag company in a distant tax haven, and then sign a time charter contract with the shipowner as the lessee. After the fraudsters paid the initial rent and rented the ship, they renamed the ship and sublet it as the second owner of the ship through voyage leasing. After fully loading the goods at the loading port, issuing a prepaid bill of lading for the goods, and depositing the prepaid freight received into one’s own account, declare bankruptcy or simply flee.Under the condition of voyage charter, the rent is calculated based on the distance of the voyage. The lessee first prepays the freight to the shipowner, allowing the goods to be loaded smoothly. However, in maritime transportation, shipowners demand changes in payment conditions or higher payment standards for various reasons, otherwise the ship may deviate or transfer the goods to sell in other regions. The shipper had to accept the shipowner’s conditions in order to avoid greater losses. In international trade, such fraudulent behavior is common.The Fraud Risk of Marine InsuranceFraud in marine insurance refers to the act of the insured or beneficiary in marine insurance business, using methods such as fabricating the insured subject matter, intentionally manufacturing, forging, or falsely reporting insurance accidents, with the intention of obtaining insurance compensation.Measures to be taken to address risks in maritime transportationChoose the appropriate transportation methodAccording to the characteristics and characteristics of the goods being loaded, suitable transportation vessels and routes should be selected. Of course, in order to meet the requirements of other factors such as the sales contract, reasonable shipping time should be arranged and transportation routes should be discussed.Hull inspectionWe must carefully inspect the safety issues of the shipping vessel and not make it a safety hazard for navigation; Correctly use navigation instruments and achieve scientific escort.Skill training to enhance professional knowledgeRegular skill training should be provided to offshore operators to enhance their professional knowledge and ensure the accuracy of navigation operations.You can choose the appropriate insurance category to insure the goodsMeasures to be taken to address the risk of maritime fraudDue to the enormous harm caused by maritime fraud activities, preventing maritime fraud should be a long-term and arduous task. This task is particularly urgent for China, which is strengthening its economic strength and moving towards the world. China’s foreign trade enterprises should be vigilant in responding to international maritime fraud and actively take preventive and remedial measures, which can be approached from four aspects:1. Enhance China’s risk awareness of foreign trade enterprises and strengthen credit investigations of partners.Before signing a trade contract with a foreign party, it is necessary to conduct a detailed investigation of its name, form of responsibility, registered capital, the true situation of its legal representative, balance sheet, bank of account opening, and commercial reputation. According to international practice, one can also request a credit certificate issued by an authoritative organization.2. Choose appropriate trade terms, consider contract terms, and prevent loopholes from occurring.Ensure that the conditions for contract performance are not easily changed during the execution of the contract; When signing import and export contracts, attention should be paid to choosing trade terms that are beneficial to oneself. In China’s export trade, efforts should be made to adopt CIF and CFR conditions as much as possible; In import trade, FOB terms can be used.In this way, our side has the initiative to charter and book space, which is conducive to the connection of cargo and prevents possible fraud during transportation. When the right to charter and book space cannot be obtained, strict charter standards should be formulated in the contract, and corresponding protection clauses should be added. At the same time, it is necessary to choose a reasonable payment method for the goods.3. Choose a safe vessel, strengthen supervision of loading and unloading goods, and timely grasp the shipping status of the vessel.We should choose a reputable shipping company for the shipment of goods. When the goods are loaded onto the ship at the loading port, we can send personnel to accompany us in verifying the condition of the goods and the vessel; After the goods set sail, the buyer should always be aware of the vessel’s heading and regularly inquire with the carrier or shipowner about the vessel’s position. If any abnormal situation occurs, it is necessary to immediately report to the insurance company and carry out the investigation work as quickly as possible4. Strengthen awareness of legal protection and actively adopt legal remedies.Strengthening legal protection awareness should not only be reflected in reviewing contract terms and eliminating loopholes, but also in actively seeking legal remedies and recovering economic losses after fraud occurs. After the incident, the parties should promptly make a claim within the claim period. In the arbitration method, they should first try their best to seek arbitration in domestic arbitration institutions in China. Secondly, international arbitration institutions with good work performance can be chosen for arbitration.Ocean transportation is developing faster and faster with the process of world economic integration. At the same time, the development of ocean transportation has also promoted the continuous progress of China’s foreign trade, presenting a thriving scene. In order to better develop China’s foreign trade, earn more foreign exchange funds, improve the country’s comprehensive strength, and effectively promote domestic economic development, it is necessary to make every effort to ensure the smooth progress of ocean transportation, and to prevent potential risks in transportation before they occur.

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