Carrier’s Legal Liability Under Shipping Law

Carrier's Legal Liability Under Shipping Law

Carrier’s Legal Liability Under Shipping Law

In shipping law, a carrier is legally liable for the loss, damage and delay of the cargo. The shipping law provisions of the Turkish Commercial Code has integrated both The Hague-Visby Rules and the Hamburg rules regarding the carrier’s legal lability, its limits, the breaking of the limits and the carrier’s exoneration.

Under shipping law, the carrier is legally liable for any loss and damage to the cargo and for any delay in the delivery of the cargo that occur or stem from an incident which occur while the cargo is in the possession of the carrier. The carrier may exonerate itself by either proving itself and its personnel not at fault, or by proving that the loss, damage or delay was caused by the technical management of the ship, by fire, force major or by the fault of the shipper.

Carrier’s legal liability in shipping law is limited based on its weight and this limit is measured in monetary units called Special Drawing Right (SDR). Under shipping law, the carrier’s legal liability for any loss and damage to the cargo is limited to 2 SDR per kilo of the gross weight of the cargo or 666,67 SDR per packing unit, whichever is higher. Unless otherwise agreed, this SDR is converted to the national currency at the exchange rate on the day of the payment. However, if the value of the cargo was declared in the bill of lading, then this limit is not applicable.

On the other hand, for delay in the delivery of the cargo, the carrier’s legal liability is limited to 2,5 times the freight amount of the delayed cargo or the total freight amount of the entire cargo, whichever is lower.

Under shipping law, the carrier loses its right to limit its liability if the loss, delay or damage is caused from an incident which occurs due to the carrier’s willful misconduct. In any case, the statute of limitation for the carrier’s legal liability is 1 year from the date of maturity of the receivables.

Antalya Attorney Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya Law Firm advise their clients in all subjects of shipping law and maritime law, including but not limited to the carrier’s legal lability, its limits, the breaking of the limits, the carrier’s exoneration, freight insurance and reinsurance, contracts of carriage, charter agreements, recap of fixture, disputes arising from the bill of lading and other fields of shipping law.