International Trade & Shipping


Four of the top five biggest and busiest ports in the world. The largest exporter of industrial goods. The global leader of shipbuilding and container construction. And a national fleet of over 7,000 ships (more than 100 million in deadweight tonnage). In the realm of international trade and shipping, China needs no introduction.

Even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asia remained the world’s leading maritime cargo handling center, with the growth of China’s imports, exports, and transport services in the double digits. Yet, the modern Chinese international trade and shipping industry is still in its infancy, occasionally suffering growing pains while stretching to the ends of the earth, thus offering opportunities to the savvy, far-sighted, and adaptive.

DaHui has the specialized legal and practical expertise indispensable to advising and representing domestic and foreign cargo interests, vessel owners and operators, charterers, shipyards, banks and brokers, insurers and reinsurers, trading houses, financiers, commodity traders, importers and exporters, manufacturers and distributors, etc. Our dedicated international trade and shipping team regularly handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious marine and trade matters, while our labor, regulatory, antitrust, tax, intellectual property, and general corporate teams offer broad ancillary coverage. From managing “impossible” maritime crises, through structuring the most complex ship financings or construction, sale and purchase, or sale and lease-back contracts, to resolving shipping and trade disputes in courts or arbitration, our attorneys benefit from extensive experience and thus afford our clients confident and effective counsel.

China actually exited the pandemic with momentum to carry it and international trade well beyond pre-pandemic levels. With the largest trade agreement deal in history, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) among China and 14 other countries, coming into effect in 2022, along with numerous additional free trade agreements, with a renewed appetite for merchandise and raw materials, and with fresh views on geopolitics, the world’s second largest economy and first largest exporter is poised to make new inroads in international trade. Yet the key goods (and services) flowing ever more into trade, such as integrated circuits, new energy products, and natural resources to name a few, are implicated by ever more complex regulatory frameworks, including security reviews, sanctions, and environment, health, and safety rules.

DaHui’s lawyers are in tune with the principles and developments of the shipping and international trade industry. Our turnaround times match the general efficiency of China’s major ports; we are internationally oriented just as Chinese shipping-related interests are expanding across dozens of countries; and we innovate in ways analogous to new trade formats such as cross-border e-commerce. Above all, though, we aim to add value where most needed, just as industry players may find opportunities to enhance efficiency in China’s lagging inland ports, seek solutions for delayed or derailed investment projects, or explore new-fangled trade technologies.

At the same time, a solid and steady keel underlies all sound shipping and trade work, and DaHui provides full baseline support in areas such as compliance requirements, oversight responsibilities, and other diverse international rules, allowing our clients to tread any waters and weather any storm without the least worry. Finally, we understand that not all trade problems are purely or even primarily legal, and we always seek to combine legal with policy, economic, and other expertise.

Our services for international trade and shipping specifically include:

  • Advice on customs, import, and export controls, international investment reviews, anti-money laundering and anti-bribery compliance, economic and trade sanctions, and maritime compliance
  • Structuring, negotiation, and drafting of international sales of goods, charterparty, bill of lading, and other carriage transactions, and shipbuilding, sale and purchase, and sale and lease-back deals
  • Representation in national security reviews and other reviews implicated in international trade
  • Advice on syndicated, club, bilateral debt, export credit, leasing, and other forms of financing as well as on loan agreements, loan restructuring and work-outs, loan (including ship mortgage) enforcement, and insolvency issues
  • Dispute resolution in domestic and international litigation, arbitration, and mediation, including as counsel or PRC law expert in LMAA, LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL, SIAC, HKIAC, and other international arbitrations as well as every maritime court and arbitration institution in mainland China
  • Crisis management in ship arrest and in shipping disputes or casualties such as cargo loss or damage, collisions and allisions, bunker or cargo oil spills, ship stranding or grounding, and crew/passenger injuries
  • Assistance on other shipping and trading matters, drafting of terms and conditions, and general corporate support

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