China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) has issued a set of new guidelines to deal with foreign-related commercial and maritime cases stemming from or affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Under the fresh guidelines, parties facing difficulties due to the epidemic may apply for an extension of the time limit for submitting foreign-related certificates and evidence or filing an appeal.
The guidelines stipulated that the carrier or the shipper may request the cancellation of the contract prior to the commencement of the voyage, if the contract could not be performed due to the epidemic.
In terms of general carriage contract disputes, the SPC also stated that if the carrier informs the shipper in a timely manner, the carrier's exemption of liability for delay in delivery caused by the epidemic or containment measures shall be guaranteed.
The 19-article document is the third batch of guidelines issued by the SPC regarding civil disputes related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
 commencement: 开始，开端
 stem from: 出于，基于
 liability: 责任，义务