Cto (China) Global Logistics Ltd v Sanama International Ltd

CourtDistrict Court (Hong Kong)
Judgment Date02 February 2007
Judgement NumberDCCJ5528/2006
Subject MatterCivil Action
DCCJ005528/2006 CTO (CHINA) GLOBAL LOGISTICS LTD v. SANAMA INTERNATIONAL LTD

DCCJ 5528/2006

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

CIVIL ACTION NO. 5528 OF 2006

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BETWEEN

  CTO (CHINA) GLOBAL LOGISTICS LIMITED Plaintiff
  and  
  SANAMA INTERNATIONAL LIMITED Defendant

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Coram : Deputy District Judge W. C. Li in Chambers (open to public)

Date of Hearing : 29th January 2007

Date of Handing Down Decision : 2nd February 2007

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D E C I S I O N

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1. The Plaintiff was a limited company carrying on the business as freight forwarder and the Defendant was its customer. The Plaintiff’s claim was for the sum of HK$305,282.00, mainly being freight charges and for other charges related to the freight.

2. The Plaintiff applied for summary judgment after the issue of the writ. The Defendant contested the application saying that it was not liable to pay the Plaintiff as it was only acting as an agent of a company in Germany called Best Connection, i.e. the company that had received the freight sent by the Plaintiff, and that it had a counterclaim for damages for delay on the part of the Plaintiff in delivery. No draft defence and counterclaim was filed by the Defendant.

3. The correspondence by electronic mails between the Plaintiff and the Defendant had amply shown that the Defendant had directly contracted with the Plaintiff and had agreed to be responsible for all the charges that were invoiced and claimed by the Plaintiff.

4. The Defendant contended that the terms “Freight Collect” and “Collect as arranged” in the Bills of Lading/Airway Bills meant that the Plaintiff’s charges were to be paid by Best Connection and not by the Defendant upon delivery. The correspondence between the Plaintiff and the Defendant had clearly shown that for the 1st shipment, the freight were held up pending customs clearance when it was not clear who were to pay for the customs duties. This was resolved when the Defendant agreed to pay the customs duties for this first shipment, and for all freight and other related charges, albeit the Plaintiff would, as an exception for this 1st shipment only, pay the customs duties on clearance on the Defendant’s behalf. It was agreed between the Plaintiff and the Defendant that for all other shipments, Best Connection would pay the duties...

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