- Project Runeberg -  A practical guide for Russian consular officers and all persons having relations with Russia /
281

(1916) Author: Alfons Heyking - Tema: Russia
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P. VI., Сн. XX. SHIPWRECK AND DAMAGE.

281

More explicit instructions regarding shipwrecks and damage to
vessels are to be found in the Consular agreements concluded by
Russia with France, 20th March/rst April 1874 ; Germany, 26th
November/8th December 1874 ; Italy, i6th/28th April 1875 ; Spain,
nth/23rd February 1876.1

In accordance with these agreements, and in the absence of a
representative of the charterer or owner of the ship, the Russian
Consul must undertake the procedure in average in the following
cases :—

1. If all the persons interested are Russian subjects ; in which
case the application of Russian law cannot be objected to by
them.

2. If a special agreement has been come to by all the persons
interested empowering the Consul to undertake the procedure in
average. In practice this is only possible when the average is
unimportant, and when it is, above all, desirable to minimise expense.

Both the above cases are rather exceptional. As a general rule
the interests of several nationalities are involved in a merchant
ship.

Thus, Russian ships and cargoes are for the most part insured in
Hamburg, Copenhagen, and London, where the conditions and
formalities are simpler and less costly than in Russia. Most of the Russian
export trade is in the hands of foreigners. The interests, therefore,
of foreign insurers, consignees, shipbrokers, agents, and, finally, of
all persons who have taken part in salving the ship and cargo, are
involved in nearly every case of average of a Russian ship. The
procedure in average is, consequently, in the majority of cases,
undertaken by the local authorities, the action of the Consul being confined
to instituting the inquiries mentioned above and to drawing up a
report on the subject for the Russian Government.

The rules contained in the above agreements as to the procedure
in average meet the conditions of international trade. It is clear
that, in cases of average, the Consul can have no legal power over
foreigners. Consuls are recommended, therefore, to call the
attention of interested parties to the fact that, as a document concerning
average drawn up in the Consulate may possibly be of no value outside
the Russian Empire, it is, generally speaking, advisable that the
protest be drawn up before a competent local authority.

Foreigners living in Russia are, in questions of collision or average
of ships, under the jurisdiction of the local commercial or district
courts, whether as regards disputes among themselves, or with Russian
subjects, in accordance with Art. 224 of the Russian Civil
procedure.

1 Identical stipulations are to be found in the Consular Agreements concluded
between Italy and Portugal (Art. 15), Germany and Spain (Art. Г7), Italy and
the Netherlands (Art. 15), Italy and Belgium (Art. 13), Italy and the United
States of North America (Art. T4), the United States of North America and
the Netherlands (Art. Г3), the United States of North America and Belgium
(Art. 13), Italy and Roumania (Art. 29), Belgium and Spain (Art. 13), Germany
and Greece (Art. 13).

§345.
Shipwreck,
agreements
with
France,
Germany,
Italy and
Spain

§ 345.

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