usa_flagEnglish
 Hot line
 tel  : (+84)-903 63 63 78
 email  : liem.le@ltllaw.com.vn

Contracts of carriage of passengers and luggage by sea

Chapter VI
CONTRACTS OF CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS AND LUGGAGE BY SEA


Article 123.-Carriage of passengers and luggage
1. A contract of carriage of passenger and luggage by sea is a contract concluded between a carrier and a passenger, whereby the carrier agrees to carry a passenger and his/her luggage by seagoing vessel, in return for passage money and a luggage freight to be paid by the passenger, from port of embarkment to port of disembarkment.
2. A carrier is the person who personally concludes or authorizes another person to conclude a contract of carriage of passenger and luggage with a passenger.
3. An actual carrier is a person entrusted by a carrier to perform the carriage of passengers and luggage in whole or in part.
4. A passenger is a person carried by seagoing vessel under a contract of carriage of passengers or a person who is permitted by a carrier to accompany a means of transport or live animals carried under a contract of carriage of cargo.
5. Luggage is objects or means of transport carried under a contract of carriage of passengers by sea, excluding the following cases:
a. Objects and means of transport carried under a contract of carriage of cargo;
b. Live animals;
6. Hand luggage is luggage kept by a passenger in his/her compartment or under his/her supervision, care and control.

Article 124.- Documents of carriage of passengers and luggage
1. Documents of carriage of passengers and luggage incude:
a. Tickets constituting evidence of the conclusion of a contract of carriage of passengers;
b. Luggage receipt coupons constituting evidence of the dispatch of passengers’ luggage.
2. The carrier may substitute tickets with equivalent vouchers, if passengers are carried on board a seagoing vessel other than a passenger vessel.
3. The carrier shall stipulate the exemption and reduction of fares, prioritized purchase and refund of passenger fares and luggage freight.

Article 125.-Rights and obligations of passengers
1. The passenger shall be entitled to all interests in compliance with the class of his/her ticket and not have to pay money for the carriage of his hand luggage within the limit of weight and kind designated by the carrier.
2. The passenger shall be entitled to terminate the contract of carriage before the commencement of the voyage at any port at which the vessel calls for passengers to embark or disembark and to refund of his/her fare or an amount of money equivalent to the unused part of his/her fare, less expenses or fine, if any.
3. The passenger shall be obliged to observe the command of the master and follow all rules and guidelines on board, and follow the instructions of responsible officers and crewmen.
4. Any agreement limiting the rights of the passenger of lessening or relieving the liability of the carrier provided for in this Code shall be null and void.

Article 126.-Obligations and rights of carriers
1. The carrier shall be obliged to exercise due diligence that the seagoing vessel is seaworthy, properly manned, furnished and supplied from the commencement of carriage, throughout the process of carriage to the port of disembarkment.
2. The carrier shall be obliged to take due care of and properly protect the passengers together their luggage from the time they have embarked on board the seagoing vessel up to the time they have safely together with their luggage left vessel at the port of disembarkment; where during the voyage an extraordinary and unexpected event has occurred, the carrier shall be liable to pay the fares necessary to cover the transportation of the passengers from and to the vessel as well as costs of meal, and necessary daily-life services for staying on board.
3. The carrier shall be obliged to buy carrier’s civil liability insurance for passengers.
4. The carrier may refuse to perform the contract without having to pay compensation if the following circumstances have occurred:
a. War has broken out or another event has occurred, posing a threat of possible arrest of the seagoing vessel;
b. The port of embarkment or port of disembarkment has been declared bloackded;
c. The seagoing vessel has been arrested or detained by decision of a competent state agency not due to the faults of the contractual parties;
d. The seagoing vessel has been requisitioned by the State;
e. A ban has been imposed on carriage of passengers from the port of embarkment or into the port of disembarkment.
5. Where the carrier refuses to perform the contract of carriage under the provisions of Clause 4 of this Article before the commencement of the voyage, he/she must refund the passengers the passage money and luggage freight.
Where the voyage has commenced, the carrier must refund the passengers part of the passage money corresponding to the remaining distance of the voyage; at the same time, he/she shall be obliged to return the passengers to the port of embarkment on his/her own money or compensate them an equivalent amount of money.
6. The carrier may not refund the collected passage money if the passenger is not present on board at the fixed time including the period of time the vessel calls at an en-route port during the voyage.
7. The carrier may postpone the time of commencement of the voyage, alter the route of transportation or alter the place of embarkment or disembarkment if the sanitary and epidemiological conditions in the place of commencement of the voyage, the place of destination or along the route of transportation are unfavorable or other circumstances have occurred beyond their control. The carrier must, at the request of the passengers, pay the expenses for returning the passengers to the port of embarkment or compensate them for reasonable actual losses.
8. The provisions of Clause 7 of this Article shall not restrict the passenger’s right to refuse to perform the contract of carriage.

Article 127.- Liability of carriers and actual carriers in the carriage of passengers
The liability of the carrier and the actual carrier in the carriage of passengers by sea shall comply with the provisions of Article 77 of this Code.

Article 128.- Exemption of carrier’s liability for arrest of passengers
The carrier shall be exempt from liability for the arrest of the passenger by a competent state agency during the voyage due to the fault of the passenger at the port at which the vessel has called.

Article 129.- Handling of passengers on board without a ticket
1. A passenger on board without a ticket is a person who has embarked the vessel without the carrier’s, master’s or responsible person’s permission when the vessel is in the port or at a place within the port area and remains on board the vessel after it leaves the port or the place within the port area.
2. A passenger on board without a ticket shall be obliged to pay in full the passage money for the covered distance plus a fine equal to such amount.
3. The master may disembark a passenger on board without a ticket or transfer him/her onto another vessel going to the port at which such person embarked the vessel and must inform a competent state agency of the name, age and citizenship of that person, the port at which he/she embarked and hid on the vessel.
4. Where a passenger on board without a ticket is accepted to be carried over the remaining distance, he/she must buy a ticket and shall have the rights and obligations like other passengers.

Article 130.- Carriers’ liability to compensate for damage
1. The carrier shall be liable for loss of life or personal injury and damage to health of the passengers as well as loss of or damage to their luggage if the causal incidents have occurred in the course of carriage due to the fault of the carrier or his/her servant or agent within the scope of his/her assigned jobs.
The fault of the carrier, his/her servant or agent shall be deemed natural unless he/she proves that the occurrence of loss of life or personal injury and damage to health of the passengers as well as loss of or damage to their hand luggage has been caused by collision, shipwreck, destruction, running aground, explosion, fire or any defect of the seagoing vessel.
The fault of the carrier, his/her servant or agent shall be deemed natural unless he/she proves that the occurrence of loss of or damage to other types of luggage does not depend on such causes of loss or damage.
In other cases, the burden of proof of a fault shall be borne by the claimants.
2. The burden of proof of damage and the extent of the loss or damage caused during the voyage by collision, shipwreck, destruction, running aground, explosion, fire or any defect of the seagoing vessel shall be borne by the claimants.

Article 131.- Process of carriage of passengers and luggage
1. The process of carriage of passengers by sea starts from the time the passenger embarks the seagoing vessel and ends when the passenger leaves the vessel, including the transportation of the passenger by water from land to vessel and vice versa, if the fare for such transportation is included in the piece of the ticket.
2. The process of carriage of hand luggage of passengers is similar to that provided in Clause 1 of this Article. The process of carriage of luggage other than hand luggage starts from the time the carrier, his/her servant or agent receives such luggage at the port of embarkment and ends when such luggage is returned to the passenger at the port of disembarkment.

Article 132.-Limitation of liability of carriers of passengers and luggage
1. The liability of the carrier for the death, personal injury or other damage to the health of a passenger shall not exceed 46,666 units of account per contract of carriage of passenger and luggage with the total compensation amount not exceeding 25,000,000 units of account; for cases where, the payment of compensation, by decision of courts, is made in installments, the total amount of such compensation money shall not also exceed the limit specified in this Clause.
2. The liability of the carrier for loss of or damage to hand luggage shall not exceed 833 units of account per passenger per contract of carriage of passenger and luggage.
3. The liability of the carrier for loss or damage to means of transport, including all luggage carried on board such means of transport, shall not exceed 3,333 units of account per means of transport per contract of carriage of passenger and luggage.
4. The liability of the carrier for loss of or damage to luggage other than luggage specified in Clauses 2 and 3 of this Article shall not exceed 1,200 units of account per passenger per contract of carriage of passenger and luggage.
5. The carrier and the passenger may agree to lessen the liability of the carrier by deducting no more than 117 units of account in case of damage to a means of transport and no more than 13 units of account per passenger in case of loss of damage to other kinds of luggage.

Article 133.- Loss of the right to liability of limitation
1. The carrier shall lose the right to limitation of liability provided for in Article 132 of this Code if the occurrence of the loss or damage is proved to be the consequence of the carrier’s intentional acts of causing such loss or damage or neglect and knowledge that such loss or damage may occur.
2. The provisions of Clause 1 of this Article shall be applied similarly to the carrier’s servants and agents.

Article 134.-Loss of and damage to valuables and other valuable property
For valuables, money, valuable documents, works of arts or other valuable property, the carrier shall be liable to compensate when on delivering such property for safe keeping the passenger has declared their characteristics and value to the master or the officer responsible for luggage.

Article 135.- Liens on luggage
1. The carrier, for securing his/her legitimate interests, may have a lien on the luggage of the passenger who has not yet paid in full his/her debts until when the passenger pay such debts or provide a proper security.
2. For the luggage which has not been collected, the carrier may take it ashore and deposit it in a safe and appropriate place and inform the passenger or his/her authorized person thereof. All costs and charges arising therefrom shall be paid by the passenger.

Article 136.- Notification of loss or damage to luggage
1. The passenger must inform in writing the carrier or his/her agent of the loss of or damage to luggage in the following cases:
a. Apparent damage to hand luggage must be informed before or when the passenger disembarks the vessel;
b. Apparent damage to luggage other than hand luggage must be notified before and at the time of delivery of the luggage;
c. Externally imperceptible loss of or damage to luggage must be notified within fifteen days after the date the passenger disembarks the vessel or the luggage should have been delivered.
2. Where the passenger fails to comply with the provisions of Clause 1 of this Article, his/her luggage shall be deemed to be delivered and received without any loss or damage, unless the contrary is proved.
3. The passenger shall not be required to make such notification in writing if upon delivery, the luggage has been jointly inspected or surveyed by the carrier and passenger.

Article 137.- Statute of limitations for initiation of lawsuits regarding the carriage of passengers and luggage.
1. The statute of limitations for initiation of lawsuits for compensation for loss of life, personal injury or damage to the health of passengers and for loss of or damage to luggage is two years.
2. The statute of limitations specified in Clause 1 of this Article shall be determined as follows:
a. In case of personal injury of the passenger, counting from the date the passenger disembarks the vessel;
b. In case of loss of life of the passenger during the voyage, counting from the date the passenger should have disembarked the vessel.
In case of personal injury of the passenger during the voyage resulting in his/her loss of life after disembarking the vessel, the statute of limitations shall start from the date such person was dead but must exceed three years as from the date of his/her disembarkment.
c. In case of loss of or damage to luggage, counting from the date the passenger disembarks the vessel or should have disembarked the vessel, depending on which date is later.3. Not with standing the suspension or interruption of the statute of limitations for initiation of lawsuits for compensation specified in Clause 1 of this Article, the statute of limitations for initiation of lawsuits shall not exceed three years as from the date the passenger disembarks or should have disembarked the vessel, depending on which date is later.