Survey of Package Limitation by Jurisdiction

June 1999 (Updated September 1999)

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COUNTRY LIMITATION REGIME LIMIT
(PACKAGE/WEIGHT)
Algeria Hague Rules 2,000 Dinar
Argentina (1) Hague Rules 400 Gold Pesos
Australia (2) Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Austria Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Bahamas Hague Rules £100
Bahrain Bahrain Maritime Code 100 Dinar
Bangladesh Bangladesh COGSA, incorporating
Hague Rules
£100
Barbados Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Belgium Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Bolivia Hague Rules £100
Botswana Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Brazil No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Brunei No statutory limitation -
Bulgaria Bulgarian Merchant Shipping Code,
adopting Hague Rules Limitation
280 Levs
Cameroon Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Canada Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Chile Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
China (PRC) Chinese Maritime Code,
adopting Hague-Visby
Protocol limitation
666.67 SDR
SDR 2.00 SDR
Colombia No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Costa Rica No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Croatia Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Cuba Hague Rules £100
Cyprus Hague Rules £100
Czech Republic Local legislation, adopting
Hague Rules limitation
KCS 2,000
Denmark (3) Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Dubai UAE Maritime Law 10,000 Dirhams
30 Dirhams
Ecuador (4) Hague-Visby Rules 10,000 PGF
30 PGF
Egypt (5) Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
El Salvador No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Estonia Local legislation, adopting
Hague Rules limitation
EEK 2,000
Ethiopia Ethiopian Maritime Code
adopting Hague Rules limitation
500 Birrs
Fiji Hague Rules £100
Finland (3) Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
France Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Germany German Commercial Code,
adopting Hague-Visby SDR
Protocol limitation
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Greece Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Guatemala No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Guinea Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Honduras No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Hong Kong Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Hungary Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Iceland Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
India Indian COGSA, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
limitation
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Indonesia No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Iran Hague Rules £100.00
Iraq Local legislation, adopting
Hamburg Rules limitation
350.00 Dinar
1.25 Dinar
Ireland Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Israel Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Italy Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Japan Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Jordan No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
unlikely to be effective
-
Kenya Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Korea (South) Korean Commercial Code 500 SDR
Kuwait Hague Rules 250.00 Dinar
0.75 Dinar
Latvia Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
limitation
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Lebanon Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Liberia Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Luxembourg Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Malawi Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Malaysia Hague Rules
(Sabah & Sarawak 850 Ringgit)
£100
Malta Exports: Hague Rules by local legislation
Imports: Law of country of shipment
LM 100
£100
Mauritius Hague Rules £100
Mexico Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Monaco Hague Rules £100
Morocco Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Netherlands Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
New Zealand Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Nicaragua No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Nigeria Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Norway (3) Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Oman Oman Maritime Law 300 Rials
Pakistan Local legislation, adopting
Hague Rules
£100.00
Panama No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
  -
Papua New Guinea Hague Rules £100
Paraguay Hague Rules £100
Peru Hague Rules £100
Philippines Local legislation, adopting
Hague Rules
US$ 500.00
Poland Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Portugal Hague Rules 100,000 Escudos
Qatar Qatari Maritime Law 1,000 Riyals
Romania Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Russia Local legislation adopting
Hague Rules limitation
250 Roubles
Saudi Arabia No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Senegal Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Sierra Leone Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Singapore Hague-Visby Rules S$1,563.65
S$4.69
South Africa Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Spain Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Sri Lanka Hague-Visby Rules 10,000 PGF
30 PGF
Sweden (3) Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Switzerland Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Syria Hague-Visby Rules SP 20,000
SP 60
Taiwan Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
limitation
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Tanzania Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Thailand Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby Rules limitation
10,000 Baht
30 Baht
Tonga Hague-Visby Rules 10,000 PGF
30 PGF
Tunisia Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Turkey (6) Hague Rules TkL 100,000
Uganda Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR
Ukraine Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
limitation
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
United Arab Emirates UAE Maritime Law 10,000 Dirhams
30 Dirhams
United Kingdom Hague-Visby SDR Protocol 666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
U.S.A. (7) US COGSA, adopting
Hague Rules limitation
US$500
Uruguay No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
unlikely to be effective
  -
Venezuela No statutory limitation
Contractual limitation
may be effective
-
Vietnam Maritime Code of Vietnam,
adopting Hague-Visby Rules
limitation
10,000 PGF
30 PGF
Yemen Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby Rules limitation
30,000 Rials
100 Rials
Yugoslavia Local legislation, adopting
Hague-Visby SDR Protocol
666.67 SDR
2.00 SDR
Zambia Hamburg Rules 835.00 SDR
2.50 SDR

NOTES

  1. Argentina applies the Hague Rules package limitation of £100 if the relevant cargo is shipped from a country where the Hague Rules apply.

  2. Australia adopted a number of amendments to the Hague-Visby Rules, which became effective on 1 July 1998. The principal amendments included an extension of the carrier’s period of responsibility, the imposition of a liability for unjustifiable delay (limited to 2.5 times the value of the freight paid on terms similar to the Hamburg Rules) and clarified the carrier’s position in relation to unauthorised deck carriage.

  3. Apart from claims for delay, which are subject to the Hamburg Rules limitation of 2.5 times the value of the freight paid for the goods delayed.

  4. Despite Ecuador’s adoption of the Hague-Visby Rules regime, courts of Ecuador may apply the national Code of Commerce, disallowing package limitation.

  5. Notwithstanding Egypt’s adoption of the Hamburg Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules may still be applied in particular circumstances.

  6. Turkish courts have disregarded the applicable package limitation if either invoice or letter of credit details are included in the bill of lading.

  7. The USA text adopting COGSA refers to the limit of US$500 applying "per package or customary freight unit". The issue of what is meant by a "customary freight unit" or what constitutes a package for the purposes of COGSA requires consideration on a case by case basis. The principle of "fair opportunity" discussed in Vol. 16 of "Sea Venture" (page 25) also still applies and remains substantially unchanged. In addition draft amendments, which incorporate a number of provisions similar to those of the Hamburg Rules, are under consideration in the USA.
  • Other countries which are believed to apply the Hague Rules (or a similar regime) include: Angola, Antigua & Barbuda, Belize, Dominican Republic, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malagasy Republic, Mozambique, Nauru, St. Kitts-Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Trinidad & Tobago, Tuvalu and Zaire.
  • In addition it is believed that the Hamburg Rules apply in Burkina Faso and Lesotho.
  • This Summary does not address which countries deal with Hague Rules limitation of £100.00 (or equivalent) on a "gold value" basis.

Definitions:

"Hague Rules" The International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law Relating to Bills of Lading, Brussels, 1924.
"Hague-Visby Rules" The Hague Rules as amended by the Brussels Protocol 1968.
"Hague-Visby SDR Protocol" The Hague Rules as amended by the 1979 Protocol.
"Hamburg Rules" The United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea, Hamburg, 1978.
PGF Poincare Gold Francs. (No attempt has been made to ascertain the statutory basis of conversion of PGF into local currency).
SDR Special Drawing Right used by the International Monetary Fund
 

 

With thanks to Middletons Moore & Bevins for providing the information relating to this survey.