The Export of the Chinese Railway “Bill of Lading” System: A Milestone in China’s Global Rule-Making?

Zhang Huiyu 张惠宇 Peking University School of Transnational Law

Table of Contents

ABSTRACT 2

INTRODUCTION 2

SECTION I. Development of the “Railway Bill of Lading” System: from domestic practice to international proposal 5

A. Starting Point: Chongqing Practice and Sichuan Practice constitute the “dual-track” of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” system 5

1. Chongqing Practice: The Innovation of Unimodal Railway Bill of Lading 6

2. From Sichuan Practice to CIFA Bill of lading: The Development of Chinese Unified Railway Forwarder Bill 9

B. Turning point: The domestic legalization of the “railway bill of lading” 11

C. Current Point: The Internationalization of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” System 12

SECTION II. International Impact of the “Dual Track” System 14

SECTION III. Conclusion 15

ABSTRACT

Since the first whistle of China Railway Express (“CRE”), Sino-Europe overland trade development has stepped into a new phase. As most Chinese trading small and medium enterprises (SMEs) face financing difficulties, China developed a novel railway “bill of lading” transport document system to alleviate the overland trade financing burden. With the far-reaching ambition of reshaping global railway transport practice, the Chinese government later proposed its idea of building a “railway bill of lading” legal system internationally. This article, therefore, concentrates on analyzing whether the export of the Chinese “railway bill of lading” represents a milestone in the Chinese government’s attempt to transform international norms into ones that better reflect China’s priorities. By reviewing the way in which the Chinese “railway bill of lading” was created, this article observes that this system serves as the fruit of central-local collaboration to create new international norms that align with Chinese interests. Then, by tracking the impact of the Chinese railway bill of lading proposal internationally, this article concludes that this proposal seems to have reached a “temporary victory” in serving China to get a head start on the global reform of the railway transport document legal system.

INTRODUCTION

As key carriers for China-European overland trade, railway transport is of vital importance to the Chinese government’s strategic blueprint of forming a “new style” of international relations in global governance[1]. In 2013, President Xi Jinping initially introduced the Belt and Road Initiative[2] which epitomizes the Chinese government’s ambition for global governance – “tak[ing] an active part in leading the reform of the global governance system”[3] to better reflect China’s values. The essence of the BRI is to promote the connectivity of the Asian, European, and African continents and form a novel economic community where China has greater discourse power. With the advantages of being cost-effective and its excellent cargo capacity, the “railway” becomes an essential element in building the new Silk Road.[4] Railway transport, therefore, has a unique position in China’s reform of global governance because of its impact on Sino-Europe overland trade.

Nonetheless, SMEs’ inability to gain financing greatly restrains the development of rail-freight trade volume. The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) expressly stated that the shortage of SMEs’ liquidity restricted trade volume growth along with the CRE. SMEs’ difficulties in financing directly stem from the absence of a “bill of lading” in cross-border overland transportation, particularly by train.[5] Due to special features of international trade such as time-consuming transportation, SMEs tend to adopt a “letter of credit” financing model in which the foreign buyer’s bank guarantees the payment once the exporter forwards the required “bill of lading” to the exporter’s bank as proof (see fig. 1).[6] Neither rail-freight importers nor rail-freight exporters can obtain any bank financing in advance, considering that current railway consignment notes cannot serve as proof acceptable to Chinese banks because exporters lack property rights.[7] Due to the absence of bank financing, overland trading parties have to adopt the primitive barter business model in which the exporter cannot receive the payment until the importer receives the goods. The inability to finance, therefore, dramatically increases the exporters’ risk of collecting payments.[8]Accordingly, the absence of the “bill of lading” in the railway transport document system hampers overland trade along with the CRE, given that most CRE clients are Chinese export companies[9].

Figure 1:Business model with Bill of Lading
Figure 2: Business Model with Railway Consignment Note

Under this background, China developed its own railway transport document system to realize the idea of a railway “bill of lading”—a unified railway transport document that serves as a document of title acceptable to banks. Seeking to have a central role in global governance, the Chinese government presented several international proposals for its innovative railway “bill of lading.” Although the promulgation of the “railway bill of lading” is still in the process both domestically and internationally, this article will:

  1. Highlight the joint efforts of local governments, commercial actors, and the judiciary in creating the railway “bill of lading” system.
  2. Assess how well the Chinese government’s proposals are received internationally.

SECTION I. Development of the “Railway Bill of Lading” System: from domestic practice to an international proposal

The development of the Chinese railway bill of lading system was not achieved overnight but through persistent efforts of central government guidance, local government implementation, and judicial support. The birth of the “railway bill of lading” system began with the practice of Pilot Free Trade Zone (“FTZs”). Multiple government and railway commercial actors, including but not limited to the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (“MOFCOM”), China State Railway Group Company Ltd., and China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (“CBIRC”), jointly contributed to the design and the promotion of the “railway bill of lading.”[10] Meanwhile, judicial support led by the Supreme People’s Court (“SPC”) played an important role in the legal aspects of the “railway bill of lading.”

The following parts will:

  1. Review the history of the development of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” system.
  2. Analyze the multiple roles of local governments, railway commercial actors, and judiciary in the formation process.

Starting Point: Chongqing Practice and Sichuan Practice constitute the “dual-track” of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” system

No railway transport document can function as a maritime “bill of lading” that facilitates financial settlement. Railway consignment notes and multimodal transport documents constitute the dual-track railway transport document system to facilitate the regular operation of the international railway carriage of goods. Railway consignment notes dominate the sector of unimodal railway transportation. Multimodal transport documents, on the other hand, are widely used in cross-border multimodal transportation that uses or coordinates at least two modes of transport, including but not limited to sea carriage, railway transport, and air freight, under one single transport contract. Nonetheless, in the regime of overland trading, neither of them can function as a negotiable document acceptable to banks because the holder lacks property rights.

China, therefore, developed its dual-track railway “bill of lading” system that invests both “railway consignment notes” and “multimodal transport documents” with contractual-based property rights.   On the track of unimodal railway transportation, the Chongqing pilot Free Trade Zone (“Chongqing FTZ”) created the “railway bill of lading.” What makes it unique is that its underlying contractual agreements embody property rights. This unimodal “railway bill of lading” works together with a traditional railway consignment note: the former is solely used for financing, whereas the latter continues to work as a transport document and serves the purpose of customs clearance.[11] Along the track of “multimodal transportation,” the Sichuan Pilot Free Trade Zone (“Sichuan FTZ”) explored the possibility of forming a “railway forwarder bill” that serves as a document of title for railway carriage of goods. Meanwhile, the China International Freight Forwarder Association (“CIFA”) moved the concept a small step forward by announcing its own multimodal bill of lading (“CIFA B/L”) to serve as a standardized railway forwarder bill that naturally embodies qualities of a document of title.

1. Chongqing Practice: The Innovation of Unimodal Railway Bill of Lading

The birth of the Chongqing Pilot Free Trade Zone (“Chongqing FTZ”) dates to 2017 when the State Council released the General Plan of the Chongqing Pilot Free Trade Zone, which included a request to Chongqing to “foster international combined transport by railway.”[12] The Chongqing local government subsequently promulgated its Regulations of China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade and reiterated that Chongqing FTZ should “strengthen regional cooperation, and actively promote the application of property rights of railway transportation documents (自贸试验区应当加强区域合作,积极促进铁路运输单证物权化的推广应用) .”[13]

The essence of the Chongqing FTZ’s unimodal “railway bill of lading” is to create a contractual-based railway transport document that embodies the right to delivery and, therefore, can serve as a negotiable document acceptable to banks. On 22 Dec. 2017, with the joint efforts of multiple parties, Chongqing FTZ launched the world’s first “railway bill of lading” (see fig. 3 below) to facilitate Chongqing Zhongji Auto-Trading Co. Ltd.’s import of cars from Germany.[14] In this case, Chongqing Zhongji Auto-Trading Co. Ltd. was the importer. Chongqing Logistics Financial Service Co. Ltd.(“CLFS”) and state-owned Sino-Trans Chongqing Logistics Co. Ltd. functioned as the consignee. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Chongqing branch (“ICBC Chongqing branch”) served as the issuing bank. They reached an agreement to embody their unimodal railway transport document with property rights and have it serve as the sole negotiable document. Based on that agreement, the ICBC Chongqing branch agreed to issue a letter of credit whenever the importer deposited a 20% margin. CLFS provided shortfall payment guarantees and default guarantees.[15] Meanwhile, Sino-trans Chongqing Logistics Co. Ltd., the actual carrier, launched the “railway bill of lading” under the supervision of CLFS.  Some German banks have also recognized the Chongqing FTZ’s unimodal “railway bill of lading” functioning as a letter of credit.[16]

CLFS played the central role in this Chongqing “railway bill of lading” financing model. As the only state-owned financial service institution approved by the Chongqing local government, CLFS took the lead in encouraging the importer, the issuing bank, and the consignee to reach a four-party agreement. More specially, CLFS persuaded the issuing banks to accept the settlement with a “railway bill of lading” by directly providing guarantees on behalf of importers[17]and permitting the import to use the “railway bill of lading” as a counter-guarantee[18].

 

Figure 3: Business Model with Chongqing FTZ’s Railway Bill of Lading

The Chongqing government served as the “shadow” supporter behind CLFS. In 2017, the Chongqing government granted special permission to support the establishment of the CLFS,  intending it to become the leader in innovating railway transport document financing.[19] From the perspective of the banks, this special permission signals that the CLFS has the implicit guarantee of the Chongqing government.[20] Benefitting from the Chongqing government’s implicit endorsement, CLFS reached letter of credit agreements with eight banking institutions, including the Bank of China, the ICBC, and the China Merchants Bank, and signed strategic cooperation agreements with 20 important financial companies such as China UnionPay.[21]

Meanwhile, railway commercial actors, such as the China State Railway Group Company Ltd. and the Bank of China, also supported the domestic reform of railway consignment notes. In Dec. 2017, the People’s Bank of China Chongqing Operations Office and nine relevant departments jointly issued the Guidance on Railway Bill of Lading Financing, marking the first time that a railway bill of lading was recognized as a letter of credit.[22] In 2018, the State Council expressly allocated the responsibility to the CBIRC, the National Railway Administration of the People’s Republic of China (“NRA”), and the China Railway Corporation to provide further support for innovating railway consignment notes.[23]

2. From Sichuan Practice to CIFA Bill of lading: The Development of Chinese Unified Railway Forwarder Bill

While developing a unimodal “railway bill of lading,” national policies initiated the innovation of the multimodal “railway forwarder bill” with the aim of “improving the financing model of the international railway bill of lading and making it play a better role in international trade.”[24]

Different from unimodal railway consignment notes, a multimodal freight forwarder transport document naturally embodies a right to delivery but merely when the multimodal transport includes a maritime segment.[25] The key issue is to “create” a multimodal transport document that can function as a document of rights regardless of the mode of transportation.

(1) Sichuan Practice: Contractual-based Rail Forwarder Bill

National policies initiated the innovation of Sichuan FTZ’s multimodal bill of lading. Launched in 2017, Sichuan FTZ targeted “innovating legal framework of unified multimodal transport legal system.”[26] Like the unimodal “railway bill of lading,” Sichuan FTZ’s multimodal rail forwarder bill also relies on the four-party agreement among the importer, the logistic financing platform, the multimodal transport operator (MTOs), and issuing bank.[27] The agreement embodies a “rail forwarder bill” that is a document of rights. Regardless of slight differences such as the percentage of margin the importer needed to deposit, both Chongqing FTZ and Sichuan FTZ adopted a similar idea to embody the original railway waybill with a contractual-based nature as a document of rights.

Meanwhile, local government and commercial actors jointly promoted the innovation of a multimodal railway forwarder bill. Like the Chongqing government, the Sichuan provincial government supported the establishment of Chengdu International Railway Port Investment Development Group (“CIPI”). [28] As a state-owned enterprise, CIPI played a similar role to CLFS. Both aimed to build an integrated financing service platform that supports overland trade, particularly by railway. Different from CLFS, CIPI also guided the direction of the multimodal railway forwarder bill strategy.[29] With the implicit guarantee of the Sichuan government, China Railway Chengdu Group Co., Ltd. cooperated with the Bank of China Sichuan Branch to launch the Pilot Rules on Building “One Document” International Letter of Credit System[30] and issue the world’s first international letter of credit based on the form of multimodal railway forwarder bill in 2018.[31]

(2) CIFA B/L: Standardization of the Unified Multimodal Railway Forwarder Bill

Based on the Sichuan FTZ’s contract-based “railway forwarder bill,” CIFA moved one small step ahead and focused on standardizing the unified multimodal railway forwarder bill. Under the guidance of MOFCOM, CIFA actively innovated the unified multimodal transport bill of lading.[32] Following Sichuan FTZ’s pattern, each “railway forwarder bill” needs to reach a new four-party agreement and therefore is inefficient. With the support of MOFCOM, CIFA announced its own standardized railway forwarder bill—CIFA B/L, and piloted it among Chongqing, Chengdu, and other FTZs national wide.[33]

The essence of the CIFA B/L is a “model contract.” Once parties agree to use CIFA B/L, they expressly accept and agree to all standardized provisions as an inherent part of this bill of lading.[34] CIFA B/L strictly complies with the Management Measures on International Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading.[35] Compared to the existing International Federation of Freight Forwarders (“FIATA”) B/L or Sino-Trans Limited B/L, CIFA B/L evolved in two ways: (1) CIFA B/L naturally embodies the right to serve as a document of title regardless of the mode of transportation it contains[36]; (2) CIFA explicitly clarified that the authorization terms of CIFA B/L are also applicable in the case of unimodal railway transport.[37]

Similar to the Chongqing FTZ’s “railway bill of lading” and the Sichuan FTZ’s “railway forwarder bill,” the innovation of CIFA B/L also benefits from multi-sector cooperation. MOFCOM encouraged CIFA to accelerate the development of a “single document” multimodal bill of lading system and extend the application of its CIFA B/L.[38] While designing this standardized bill of lading, CIFA continuously sought advice from the SPC as well as the China Maritime Arbitration Commission to better integrate CIFA B/L with the current industry standard of the multimodal bill of lading SB/T10800-2012/ISO.[39]

B. Turning point: The domestic legalization of the “railway bill of lading”

As the Chinese highest court, the SPC shoulders the duty to provide judicial guarantees and support for essential government initiatives.[40] In 2019, the SPC expressly mentioned its role to “promote the improvement of international multimodal transport document and cross-broader railway transport document legal system” (促进完善国际货物多式联运、跨国铁路单证等国际物流规则) in its Opinion on Providing Further Services and Guarantees for the Belt and Road.[41] Besides actively cooperating with MOFCOM[42], the SPC mainly fulfilled its duty through releasing model cases.

The SPC frequently uses model cases to fill gaps in legislation and to provide guidance to lower courts. [43]In the case of “railway bill of lading,” the SPC recognized the property nature of “railway bill of lading” provided by contractual agreement in its model case Fuqi (Chongqing) Motor Sales Co., Ltd v. Chongqing Sino-trans Logistics Co., Ltd. (Fuqi case).[44] The plaintiff was a domestic car dealer that signed the IMSA Auto-Sales Contract with Yingfeng Co., Ltd, the importer of the cars, and received the “railway bill of lading” launched by the defendant, Chongqing Sino-trans Logistics Co., Ltd. before the actual arrival of vehicles. Complying with the Chongqing FTZ’s mechanism of “railway bill of lading” (see fig. 3), Yingfeng Co., Ltd, the CLFS, and the defendant, Chongqing Sino-trans Logistics Co., Ltd., reached an agreement to recognize the property nature of “railway bill of lading” issued by the defendant. Nonetheless, the defendant refused to hand over the goods regardless of the plaintiff’s possession of the “railway bill of lading,” therefore the plaintiff filed suit.[45] The legal issue of this case is whether the possessor of the “railway bill of lading” who is not the importer that signed the agreement has property rights over the goods. The Primary People’s Court of Chongqing Liangjiang New Area court approved the property nature of the “railway bill of lading” and recognized the transfer of “railway bill of lading” as a special form of indication delivery.[46]

National policies steer the court’s approach towards the “railway bill of lading.” The SPC, in its rationale of the model Fuqi case, expressly emphasized the special meaning of the “railway bill of lading” as the fruit of the BRI overland trade.[47] It stated that the courts should therefore respect the autonomy of trading parties to invest railway waybill with a property right, considering the agreement itself does not violate any compulsory provisions of law or administrative regulations or any public social interests.[48] At the first session of the 2021 China Railway Express law forum, Judge Pingyang Danke of the SPC’s #4 Civil Division re-emphasized the vital strategic importance of the “railway bill of lading” as embodying China’s needs and willingness to make innovations to the international railway transport document legal system.[49]

C. Current Point: The Internationalization of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” System

The railway “bill of lading” innovation has paid off through years of domestic development. Since 2018, the central government has tried to promulgate this Chinese innovation of the railway “bill of lading” internationally through the joint efforts of the NRA and MOFCOM.

NRA took the lead in internationalizing the unimodal “railway bill of lading.” The current legal system of unimodal railway transport document has been long divided into two independent regimes: most European countries together formed the Intergovernmental Organization for International Carriage by Rail (“OTIF”) in 1893 and signed its first Convention concerning International Carriage by Rail (“COTIF 1980”), whereas most socialist countries initially signed the Agreement on Direct International Goods Transport by Rail (SMGS) in 1951 whose members later formed the Organization for Co-operation Between Railways (“OSJD”). China joined the OSJD in 1953. One fundamental difference between CIM and SMGS is their approach to the idea of the “bill of lading.” Article 6 under the Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Rail appended to COTIF expressly states that a railway consignment note cannot function as a bill of lading[50], whereas SMGS does not address this issue. To fill up this blank, NRA represented the Chinese government to appeal to set up an Ad Hoc Working Group on the issue of documents of title to railway carriage of goods twice at the OSJD Ministerial Conference.[51]

As to the track of innovating multimodal transport documents, MOFCOM worked on promoting the international legislation on multimodal transport documents. Different from the unimodal railway transport regime where COTIF and SMGS serve as dominant rules, there are no binding international conventions in the sector of multimodal railway transport. The United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods (the “MMT Convention”) could have fulfilled this blank space but failed due to the insufficient number of ratifications.[52] Instead, the UNCTAD/ICC Rules for Multimodal Transport Documents form the current basis of multimodal transportation practices. However, given its contractual nature, the UNCTAD/ICC rules are binding only when both sides of the transport contract agree to adopt the rule.[53] In 2019, MOFCOM submitted the “Proposal by the Government of the People’s Republic of China on UNCITRAL’s Future Work: Solving the problems of railway consignment notes which are not of the same nature as documents of title” at the 52nd session of the UNCITRAL Commission.

SECTION II. International Impact of the “Dual Track” System

Considering the absence of enforceable law in the sector of international multimodal transport, the promotion of  a “multimodal bill of lading” evolved much more smoothly compared to the innovation of a “railway bill of lading” under dominating COTIF or SMGS legal systems.

Despite NRA’s efforts, the promulgation of the “railway bill of lading” is still proceeding cautiously. In 2019, the OSJD approved Chinese advice of forming an Ad Hoc Working Group concerning the property nature of the railway consignment bill. This Ad Hoc Working Group, led by the Chinese government established in 2020 with three main tasks: (1) analyzing the relevant international experience of embodying railway consignment notes with property rights; (2) identifying bottlenecks of creating a “railway bill of lading” under current SMGS legal system; (3) drafting amendments of SMGS to solve the issue of SMGS notes not capable of functioning as a document of title.[54] Despite NRA’s initial achievement of progressing “railway bill of lading” under SMGS notes, there is no progress in promoting the “bill of lading” reform under the OTIF unimodal railway transport regime.

Comparatively speaking, UNCITRAL showed greater interest in the proposal of the Chinese government. The proposal suggested UNCITRAL adopt a unified, negotiable multimodal transport document to solve the problems of the railway or other consignment notes that cannot function as a document of title. UNCITRAL subsequently held one High-Level Symposium with the support of the Chongqing local government (also known as “the Chongqing Symposium”) and one Expert Group Meeting where China formally introduced its “dual-track” approach of forming the “railway bill of lading” system to worldwide experts representing OTIF, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (“UNCTAD”), the International Commerce Chamber Banking Commission and other relevant international organizations.[55]

Nonetheless, China is not the only proposer. The expert group under United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (“UNECE”) also worked on this issue. Starting from 2011, UNECE has worked on legislating and revising the unified railway law (“URL”) that 37 transport ministers already signed with the aim of “establishing unified legal conditions for railways.”[56] This expert group under UNECE’s working party on rail transport presented a proposal to add a novel type of negotiable transport documents that naturally embodied document of rights, namely a “consignment bill,”[57] into the original URL. Both UNECE’s “consignment bill” and China’s multimodal railway forwarder bill adopt a similar, contractual-based solution to solve the issue of current railway consignment notes not capable of serving as a bill of lading, indicating the high tension in leading the unified railway transport document innovation.

SECTION III. Conclusion

This railway “bill of lading” system is the fruit of the Chinese government’s central-local coordination in pursuing the unified goal of reshaping international railway transport norms. The whole system is designed to create a railway transport document that can independently serve as a negotiable document acceptable to banks for alleviating Chinese SMEs’ financing difficulties. The central government steered the direction of this innovation to serve Chinese interests better. Stimulated by national policies, the local governments initiated the innovation of the “railway bill of lading” and “railway freight bill” through regional market-based practices. Railway commercial actors engaged in the innovation process, according to national guidance. The judiciary provided the needed support. Once the local government’s pilot practice succeeded, the central government took up the baton to promote the railway “bill of lading” mode internationally to transform current railway transport document norms in a way that better aligns with Chinese interests.

The export of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” therefore epitomizes the Chinese government’s ambition to reflect China’s best interests through global rule-making. The proposal of both the unimodal “railway bill of lading” and the unified multimodal “rail forwarder bill” received a certain degree of receptive international responses. Because of the incompatibility with the dominant COTIF railway consignment note regime, the promotion of unimodal “railway bill of lading” encountered a greater obstruction. By contrast, the international actors warmly welcomed the Chinese government’s proposal of drafting an international instrument concerning negotiable multimodal transport documents such as the Chinese “railway forwarder bill.” Part of the reason for that is the current regulatory vacuum concerning multimodal transport. However, a far more crucial justification is that this proposal not merely serves China’s best interests but also conforms to the international appeal for a unified railway transport document system.

Nonetheless, the Chinese government still encounters European competitors in contending for the principal role in this new legal regime. The export of the Chinese railway “bill of lading” therefore serves as a perfect gambit for the intensified competition over the emerging unified railway transport document legal system. The future is too early to be predicted.

  1. See Ben Blanchard, Xi says China must lead way in reform of global governance, Reuters, 23 June 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-diplomacy-idUSKBN1JJ0GT .
  2. See Hu Biliang, Belt and Road Initiative: Why, What and How, 15 May 2018, http://belt.china.org.cn/2018-05/15/content_51319227.htm#:~:text=From%20an%20overall%20point%20of%20view%2C%20the%20Belt,and%20is%20therefore%20an%20initiative%20of%20strategic%20significance.
  3. See Xi urges breaking new ground in major country diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics, Xinhua, 24 June 2018, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201806/24/WS5b2eceb4a3103349141de698.html .
  4. See Gramer Robbie, All abroad China’s ‘New Silk Road’ Express, Foreign Policy, 4 Jan. 2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/04/allaboard-chinas-new-silk-road-express-yiwu-to-london-train-geopolitics one-belt-one-road/
  5. See the Ministry of Commerce/商务部, “The reply to No. 7503 proposal of the Second Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress/商务部对十三届全国人大二次会议第7503号建议的答复, 08 July 2019, https://www.pkulaw.com/chl/26985be518a41d3ebdfb.html?keyword=%E5%95%86%E5%8A%A1%E9%83%A8%E5%AF%B9%E5%8D%81%E4%B8%89%E5%B1%8A%E5%85%A8%E5%9B%BD%E4%BA%BA%E5%A4%A7%E4%BA%8C%E6%AC%A1%E4%BC%9A%E8%AE%AE%E7%AC%AC7503%E5%8F%B7%E5%BB%BA%E8%AE%AE%E7%9A%84%E7%AD%94%E5%A4%8D
  6. See the International Trade Administration, “Methods of Payment: Letter of Credit”, Letter of Credit (trade.gov).
  7. See Ajendra Srivastava, Carriage of Goods by Rail and Road. In: Modern Law of International Trade. International Law and the Global South, Springer, Singapore, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-5475-9_12 .
  8. See Official Records of the General Assembly, Seventy-fourth Session, Supplement No.17(A/74/17), para.216.
  9. See Lasserre, Frédéric, Huang L , Mottet R ., The Emergence of Trans-Asian Rail Freight Traffic as Part of the Belt and Road Initiative: Development and Limits[J]. China Perspectives, 2020, p.50, https://www.google.com.hk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiO5sGAj9P4AhWumVYBHZL0BTgQFnoECAIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cefc.com.hk%2Fdownload.php%3Ffile%3Ddeb4b99d7bed1c4fecddc8835fc58a60%26id%3D100078282&usg=AOvVaw32FPG3hJEGyIgSZ6mNrD-o .
  10. See State Council/国务院, Notice of the State Council on Several Measures for Supporting the Deepening of Reform and Innovation in Pilot Free Trade Zone/关于支持自由贸易试验区深化改革创新若干措施的通知, Guo Fa [2018] No.38/国发〔2018〕38号, https://www.pkulaw.com/en_law/8c600a255e8ed572bdfb.html?keyword=%E5%85%B3%E4%BA%8E%E6%94%AF%E6%8C%81%E8%87%AA%E7%94%B1%E8%B4%B8%E6%98%93%E8%AF%95%E9%AA%8C%E5%8C%BA%E6%B7%B1%E5%8C%96%E6%94%B9%E9%9D%A9%E5%88%9B%E6%96%B0%E8%8B%A5%E5%B9%B2%E6%8E%AA%E6%96%BD%E7%9A%84%E9%80%9A%E7%9F%A5 .
  11. See Yang Linping/杨临萍, A Synergistic Innovation Mechanism to Jointly Develop Railway Bill of Lading and Railway Waybill/一带一路背景下铁路提单与铁路运单的协同创新机制[J] China Legal Science No.6 2019 p.74 /《中国法学》2019年第6期,第74页.
  12. See State Council/国务院,General Plan over Chongqing Pilot Free Trade Zone/中国(重庆)自由贸易试验区总体方案,Guo Fa [2017] No.19/国发〔2017〕19号, https://www.pkulaw.com/en_law/73edfe6b6769d502bdfb.html?keyword=%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD%EF%BC%88%E9%87%8D%E5%BA%86%EF%BC%89%E8%87%AA%E7%94%B1%E8%B4%B8%E6%98%93%E8%AF%95%E9%AA%8C%E5%8C%BA%E6%80%BB%E4%BD%93%E6%96%B9%E6%A1%88 .
  13. See Chongqing Government/重庆市政府, Regulations of China (Chongqing) Pilot Free Trade/中国(重庆)自由贸易试验区条例,16 Oct. 2019, http://sww.cq.gov.cn/zymyq/zcfg/zcfg_111645/202008/t20200804_7750869.html .
  14. See Huang Guanghua/黄光华, The pioneer of adopting international railway bill of lading as letter of credit/ 首创铁路提单国际信用证, Chongqing Daily/重庆日报,26 Dec. 2017, https://epaper.cqrb.cn/cqrb/2017-12/26/013/content_190066.htm .
  15. See Li Pan, Wang Qiong, Niu Binjing/李攀、王琼、牛彬婧,Comparative Study on Innovative Mechanism of Railway Consignment Notes Financing/基于铁路货运背景的铁路运单融资创新模式对比研究[J] Corporate Technology and Development No.12 2021, p.95 /《企业科技与发展》2021年第12期,第95页.
  16. See Xie Li/谢力,Chongqing Shapingba District advances solidly on constructing the connecting point of the Belt and Road Initiative and Free Trade Zone/重庆市沙坪坝区扎实推进‘一带一路’连接点和自贸区建设, Liangjiang News/两江新闻网,23 Aug. 2017, http://www.liangjiang.gov.cn/Content/2017-08/23/content_373297.htm .
  17. See Jia Ke/贾科,A New Exploration of Overland Trade Regulations Based on the First Railway Bill of Lading Case/从首例铁路提单纠纷案看陆上国际贸易规制的新探索, China Court Website/中国法院网,31 Mar. 2022, https://www.chinacourt.org/article/detail/2022/03/id/6609421.shtml .
  18. Id.
  19. See Chongqing Logistics Financial Service Co. Ltd. Finally Launched! The Creation of Logistics Financial Ecosystem/重庆物流金融服务公司正式成立!打造重庆物流金融生态圈, Sohu News/搜狐网,6 Dec. 2017, https://www.sohu.com/a/212769484_482003 .
  20. See Yan Ziqiao, Li Yue, Signaling through government subsidy: Certification or endorsement[J]Finance Research Letters, Volume 25, 2018, P 90, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.frl.2017.10.007.
  21. See supra note 15.
  22. See the People’s Bank of China Chongqing Operations Office, The People’s Bank of China Chongqing Operations Office Together with other 9 departments launched Guidance on Financing Railway Bill of lading to Help Promote the Development of Chongqing Overland Trade/人民银行重庆营管部等9部门联合印发运单融资指导意见 助推重庆陆上贸易加快发展, The People’s Bank of China Chongqing Operations Office Official Website/中国人民银行重庆营管部官网,04 Jan. 2018, http://chongqing.pbc.gov.cn/chongqing/107665/3456329/index.html .
  23. See supra note 10.
  24. See National Development and Reform Commission/国家发改委,The Framework Plan for New Land and Marine Routes for Western Regions/西部陆海新通道整体规划,Fa Gai Ji Chu[2019] No.1333/发改基础〔2019〕1333号,https://www.pkulaw.com/en_law/aab1a5bcc5cdbb9abdfb.html?keyword=%E8%A5%BF%E9%83%A8%E9%99%86%E6%B5%B7%E6%96%B0%E9%80%9A%E9%81%93%E6%95%B4%E4%BD%93%E8%A7%84%E5%88%92 .
  25. Possible future work on railway consignment notes – Note by the Secretariat (A/CN.9/1034), para. 6.
  26. See Sichuan Government/四川省人民政府,China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone Regulations/《中国(四川)自由贸易试验区条例》, http://www.scftz.gov.cn/zcfg/-/articles/4262895.shtml .
  27. See China (Heilongjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone/中国(黑龙江)自由贸易试验区,Case No.39:‘Tie Yintong’the Innovation of Financing Railway Consignment Notes/案例39:‘铁银通’铁路运单金融化创新,China (Heilongjiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone Official Website/中国(黑龙江)自由贸易试验区官网,04 Mar. 2021, http://ftz.hlj.gov.cn/gjdxal/491.html .
  28. See Introduction of the Chengdu International Railway Porty Investment & Development (Group) Co., Ltd., Chengdu International Railway Porty Investment & Development (Group) Co., Ltd. Official Website, http://cdirs.cdiport.com/Jsp/webIndex/en_US/about/company-profile.jsp .
  29. See Karl Yan, Rethinking China’s quest for railway standardization: competition and complementation[J] Journal of Chinese Governance, 2020, p.127.
  30. See Sichuan Provincial Development and Reform Commission, The Second Typical Case of Promoting Belt and Road Initiatives: Innovating Unified Multimodal Bill of Lading/四川省推进‘一带一路’建设工作典型案例之二铁路多式联运“一单制”金融创新试点, Sichuan Provincial Development and Reform Commission Official Website/四川省发展和改革委员会官网,02 July, 2020 http://fgw.sc.gov.cn/sfgw/scdt2/2020/7/2/3b95689cb5e945dfabeef73a0bf11963.shtml .
  31. See Chengdu Administration China (Sichuan) Pilot Free Trade Zone/中国(四川)自由贸易试验区成都管理委员会, The First Releasement of Railway Multimodal Transport Document As an International Letter of Credit Russian Pine Wood Transport to China Through Zhong Rong Europe Line/全国首单国际铁路联运运单作凭证 俄罗斯松木搭中欧班列来蓉, The People’s Government of Sichuan Province/四川省人民政府官网, 28 Dec., 2018, https://www.sc.gov.cn/10462/12771/2018/12/28/6a48f2b3556943839bc1f658db316576.shtml .
  32. See General Office of the Ministry of Commerce/商务部办公厅, Notice by the General Office of the Ministry of Commerce of Effectively Conducting Such Work as the Business Recordation of International Freight Forwarders in 2020/商务部办公厅关于做好2020年度国际货运代理企业业务备案等工作, Letter No. 1010 [2021] of the General Office of the Ministry of Commerce/商办服贸函〔2021〕101号, https://www.pkulaw.com/en_law/85474c33fca331e1bdfb.html?keyword=%E5%95%86%E5%8A%A1%E9%83%A8%E5%8A%9E%E5%85%AC%E5%8E%85%E5%85%B3%E4%BA%8E%E5%81%9A%E5%A5%BD2020%E5%B9%B4%E5%BA%A6%E5%9B%BD%E9%99%85%E8%B4%A7%E8%BF%90%E4%BB%A3%E7%90%86%E4%BC%81%E4%B8%9A%E4%B8%9A%E5%8A%A1%E5%A4%87%E6%A1%88%E7%AD%89%E5%B7%A5%E4%BD%9C
  33. See Tong Cuilan/佟翠兰, Multi-site Pilots on CIFA Bill of Lading/多地试点CIFA多式联运提单, China Commercial News/中国商务新闻网, 24 Sept. 2020, https://epaper.comnews.cn/xpaper/news/424/4725/23694-1.shtml .
  34. See Instruction on the CIFA International Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading, China International Freight Forwarder Association Official Site, http://www.cifa-china.com/cn/about-bol.html .
  35. See The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China/中华人民共和国商务部, Management Measures on International Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading /中华人民共和国国际货物运输代理业管理规定实施细则, http://www.cifa-china.com/cn/bol-manage-rules.html .
  36. See articles on the front page of a CIFA B/L, http://www.cifa-china.com/cn/about-bol.html .
  37. See CIFA, The Usage of CIFA Bill of Lading/CIFA提单使用,China International Freight Forwarder Association Official Site, http://www.cifa-china.com/cn/bol-usage.html
  38. See supra note 32.
  39. See supra note 33.
  40. See Susan Finder, Supreme People’s Court Updates Its Belt & Road Policies, Supreme People’s Court Monitor, 28th Jan. 2020, https://supremepeoplescourtmonitor.com/2020/01/28/supreme-peoples-court-updates-its-belt-road-policies/
  41. See the Supreme People’s Court, Opinion on providing services and guarantees for the Belt and Road Initiatives/关于人民法院进一步为‘一带一路’建设提供司法服务和保障的意见,The Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China Official Site, 27th Dec. 2019, https://www.court.gov.cn/fabu-xiangqing-212931.html
  42. See supra note 5.
  43. See Susan Finder, “Supreme People’s Court to Issue White Paper on Judicial Review of Arbitration and Related Model Cases”, Supreme People’s Court Monitor , 28th Aug. 2020, https://supremepeoplescourtmonitor.com/2020/08/27/supreme-peoples-court-to-issue-white-paper-on-judicial-review-of-arbitration-and-related-model-cases/
  44. See the Supreme People’s Court, “The Third Group of Model Cases Involving Building of the ‘Belt and Road’/第三批涉‘一带一路’建设典型案例”, 28th Feb., 2022, https://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-347711.html
  45. Id.
  46. Id.
  47. Id.
  48. Id.
  49. See China Maritime Arbitration Commission, “The First Session of China Railway Express Law Forum/首届中欧班列法治论坛”, 28 Jan. 2021, https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/rB2qV8_0ZIqZxX6wSv7jMQ .
  50. See Uniform Rules concerning the Contract for International Carriage of Goods by Rail, Appendix B to COTIF(“CIM-COTIF”), as amended by the Protocol of Modification of 1999, www.cit-rail.org/en/rail-transport-law/cotif/
  51. See supra note 5.
  52. See United Nations Treaty Collection, United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods, https://www.google.com.hk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiD-ffXw7H4AhWRzIsBHUfjAmEQFnoECAQQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftreaties.un.org%2Fpages%2FViewDetails.aspx%3Fsrc%3DTREATY%26mtdsg_no%3DXI-E-1%26chapter%3D11%26clang%3D_en&usg=AOvVaw1TQVfLndQqxGOEVtYMiNrd
  53. See UNCTAD, UNCTAD/ICC Rules for Multimodal Transport Document, 7 January 1992, TRADE/WP.4/INF.117/CORR.1, UNCTAD/ICC Rules for Multimodal Transport Documents .
  54. See Organization for Co-operation Between Railways, Report on the Activities of the Organization for Co-operation between railways for 2019, https://en.osjd.org/en/9194 .
  55. See supra note 25.
  56. See UNECE, Unified Railway Law: Breakthrough towards a Euro-Asian and even a global legal regime for rail transport, 28 February 2013, https://unece.org/transport/press/unified-railway-law-breakthrough-towards-euro-asian-and-even-global-legal-regime#:~:text=The%20Unified%20Railway%20Law%20would%20bridge%20the%20two,landlocked%20countries%2C%20despite%20having%20access%20to%20sea%20ports.
  57. See UNECE, Proposal on provisions about a negotiable transport document in the URL, 7 Aug. 2019, ECE/TRANS/SC.2/GEURL/2019/16, ECE-TRANS-SC2-GEURL-2019-16e.pdf (unece.org) .

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.