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Friday, June 8, 2018

Carriage of goods ~ Carrier - Insurer - Time limits for notice of loss !


Though it could connote many things, to us, Marine is ‘sea or naval adventure’ – while  Marine insurance is insurance of goods in movement from one place to another – by a specific mode – be it Sea / Air / Road / Rail or .. .. inland waterways .. ..


Goods are entrusted to carriers for transportation and safe delivery at the intended / accepted destination.  It is the primary duty of the carriers to deliver the goods in safe condition, that was prevalent at the time of acceptance by them.  Carriers charge freight for performance of this contract of transport.  Their duties, obligation, extent of loss bearing and time limit for intimating loss / damage and for filing suit against the carriers. These are mostly determined by individual statues as applicable to the mode of carriage or by common law and other statues.

Here is a gist of the time limits for serving a notice on the Carrier and for filing suit – to keep recovery rights live and unextinguished :

SEA CARRIAGE  under Bill of Lading :

10.1 Notice - of loss or damage to Goods shall be given in writing to the Carrier or its agent at the Port of Discharge before or at the time of delivery. If the loss or damage is not apparent before or at the time of delivery, notice must be given within three (3) days of delivery to the Merchant or its agent.

Claims shall be submitted in writing addressed by the Merchant to the Carrier's agent at the Port of Discharge.

10.2 Time bar - In any event, the Carrier shall be discharged from all liability if suit is not commenced within one (1) year after delivery of the Goods or the date that the Goods should have been delivered for claims related to loss or damage during the Port-to-Port carriage, and for claims related to loss or damage during Inland Transport the shorter of nine (9) months or any time limit provided for by any applicable.

Air carrier::      No action shall be maintained in the case of damage to goods unless a written notice sufficiently describing the goods concerned the approximate date of the damage and the details of the claims, is presented to an office of the Company within 7 days from the date of receipt thereof, (This is applicable for carriages within India)

In respect of International Carriage :

10.1.1    in the case of damage to the cargo, immediately after discovery of the damage and at the latest within 14 days from the date of receipt of the cargo;
10.1.2   in the case of delay, within 21 days from the date on which the cargo was placed at the disposal of the person entitled to delivery.
10.1.3    in the case of non-delivery of the cargo, within 120 days from the date of issue of the air waybill, or if an air waybill has not been issued,within 120 days from the date of receipt of the cargo for transportation by the Carrier.
Time limit for filing Suit :  The right of damages shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within two years, reckoned from the date of arrival at the destination, or from the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived, or from the date on which the carriage stopped.

Port Trust (as Bailee) – this would be governed by the Major Port Trust Act or the specific Act that the Port could have enacted.

Limitation of proceedings in respect of things done under the Act. :  No suit or other proceeding shall be commenced against a Board or any member or employee thereof for anything done, or purporting to have been done, in pursuance of this Act until the expiration of one month after notice in writing has been given to the Board or him stating the cause of action, or after six months after the accrual of the cause of action.

Carriage by Road – governed by  Road Carriage Act 2007 :

Notice of loss to be lodged within 180 days from the date of booking of consignment

Suit to be initiated within 3 years.

Carriage by Rail -   governed by Indian Railways Act 1989 :

106. Notice of claim for compensation and refund of overcharge.—
(1) A person shall not be entitled to claim compensation against a railway administration for the loss, destruction, damage, deterioration or non-delivery of goods carried by railway, unless a notice thereof is served by him or on his behalf,—
(a) to the railway administration to which the goods are entrusted for carriage; or
(b) to the railway administration on whose railway the destination station lies, or the loss, destruction, damage or deterioration occurs, within a period of six months from the date of entrustment of the goods.

Suit to be filed within 3 years.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th June 2018.

Disclaimer : intended to be some source of knowledge sharing for Marine Insurers, those involved in Logistics and the like – not purported to be a reference material for legal purposes.  If there are errors do mail me at : samvijib17@gmail.com / if you find it interesting and useful, then too one can email me .. ..


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