VIETNAM MARITIME CODE
Section D: PERFORMANCE
OF CARRIAGE OF CARGO
The carrier is bound to perform the carriage within
a reasonable time by the contractually determined route
or by the usual route, unless otherwise provided for
in the contract.
A deviation from the route for the purpose of saving
life or property at sea or for other justified reasons
which do not affect the contract of carriage does not
constitute an infringement of the contract of carriage.
The carrier is not liable for any damage resulting there
Where the vessel cannot enter the port of destination
on account of insurmountable hindrance, the cessation
of which cannot be anticipated within a reasonable time,
the carrier may direct the vessel to the nearest safe
port and should notify the charterer thereof for further
Where by virtue of contract the carrier allows for the
cargo the whole cargo space of the vessel the master
should, depending on the specific circumstances, ask
for and follow the instructions of the charterer. Where
it is impossible to follow the charterers instructions
or where the charterers instructions have not been received
in due time, the master may discharge the cargo or return
it to the port of loading, which may, in his judgement,
properly protect the interests of the charterer. The
charterer is bound to pay the carrier the distance freight
and costs connected therewith.
Where by virtue of contract the carrier allows for the
cargo a definite part of the vessels space, the master
is also entitled to act as stipulated in item 1 of this
Article if the charterers instructions have not been
received within five days from the time when the notification
for instructions has been sent or if it is impossible
to follow the charterers instructions. The charterer
is liable to pay the carrier the full freight and costs
Section E: DISCHARGE AND
DELIVERY OF CARGO
The provisions in this Chapter incident to loading of
cargo are also applicable in the same manner to discharge
and delivery of cargo.
The charterer has the right to dispose of the cargo
until its delivery to the entitled consignee if this
right has not been vested to any other person; and before
the commencement of the voyage he may demand redelivery
of the cargo at the loading port, and after the commencement
of the voyage alter his original indications as to the
consignee and the port of destination-against compensation
for all losses and expenses connected therewith.
Where the cargo is carried under a bill of lading, the
rights determined in item 1 of this Article are vested
to the legitimate consignee holding the original bill
of lading. The carrier is bound to follow his instructions
only after surrender of all copies of the original bill
of lading issued.
The rights determined in item 1 of this Article do not
lie if the execution thereof would cause a considerable
delay in commencing the voyage, unless the carrier has
given his consent thereto.
The carrier is bound to deliver the cargo at the port
of destination to the legitimate consignee holding even
a single original of the bill of lading or the way bill
or other similar way bill as determined in item 2 of
Article 80 of the present Code.
delivery of the cargo by the carrier against one original
copy, all the other copies of the bill of lading stand
Upon taking delivery of the cargo, the consignee is
bound to pay to the carrier the freight, compensation
money for detention of the vessel and all other charges
due to him by way of the carriage of the cargo unless
these amounts of money have been paid to the carrier.
the cargo is carried under a bill of lading, the consignee
is bound to pay only such amounts as are consequent
on the bill of lading as provided for therein.
The carrier may refuse to deliver the cargo and retain
it until the charterer and the consignee have fully
paid or properly secured the amounts being owing to
interest, base on the ruling rates announced by the
relevant transaction bank, is charged in addition to
the debts not payable within falling due.
debts as above mentioned will include the contribution
of the cargo in general average and salvage remuneration
falling on the cargo.
A carrier who has delivered the cargo to the consignee,
loses his right to pursue any claim against the charterer.
The consignee, as well as the carrier, may before taking
delivery of the cargo demand that a survey thereof be
carried out. Costs connected with the survey are borne
by the party who has ordered the survey.
the carrier fails to prove that the loss of or damage
to the cargo have occurred beyond his scope of liability,
he is bound to absorb the survey costs even in
case it has been demanded by the consignee.
It is presumed that the consignee has fully and completely
taken delivery of the cargo in conformity with the contents
of the bill of lading unless he has given in writing
notice to the carrier of losses or damages at latest
at time of taking delivery, and in the case of damages
externally imperceptible-at latest within three days
of taking delivery of the relevant cargo. The notice
in writing is superfluous if the cargo has been survey
as stipulated in item 1 of this Article.
agreement contrary to this provision is valid.
Where the consignee does not claim delivery, or refuses
to take delivery of the cargo, or delays the discharge,
the carrier is entitled to discharge the cargo and place
it in custody at a safe and suitable place and notify
the consignee thereof. All costs and charges connected
therewith and losses resulting there from are borne
by the consignee.
Where at the same time several holders of the original
bill of lading or way bill or other similar way bill
claim delivery of the cargo, the carrier is entitled
to act in the same manner determined in item 1 of this
For detention of the vessel caused by discharging the
cargo and placing it in custody, as laid down in item
1 of this Article, and indemnity is due to the carrier
on the same basis as for the detention of the vessel
Where, within sixty days from the day of the vessels
arrival at the port of destination, the cargo placed
in custody has not been collected or the consignee has
failed to pay in full the outstanding debts or to make
an adequate security thereof, the carrier has the right
to sell the cargo by public auction. Such cargo may
be sold even before the expiration of the sixty day
period where the cargo incurs a risk of deterioration
or its putting in custody involves costs in excess of
the actual value of the cargo.
carrier is bound to notify the charterer of the cases
referred to in items 1,2 and 4 of this Article and also
his intention to sell the cargo for clearing debts as
determined in item 4 of this Article.
The Council of Ministers shall determine the detailed
procedures for sale on public auction of the cargoes
mentioned in this Article.
Out of the proceeds obtained from the public auction
of the cargo, the carrier covers the amounts due to
him from the consignee in connection with the costs
of placing cargo in custody and effecting public auction
as determined in Article 96 of the present Code, which
the balance is placed by him in a bank deposit with
a view to such sum being paid to the party entitled
Where the proceeds obtained from the public auction
of the cargo are not sufficient to cover in full the
amounts due to the carrier as mentioned in item 1 of
this Article, the carrier has the right to full claim
thereof from the parties involved.
Where within a period of one hundred and eighty days
from the date of public auction of the cargo, nobody
claims for the outstanding balance, the carrier will
transfer it to the State Treasure in conformity with
Section G: FREIGHT AND
Freight and additional charge for the carriage of the
cargo are determined on the basis of the tariff approved
by the Council of Ministers.
the absence of such tariff, they are agreed upon by
the contractual parties.
2. The period
and method of payment for freight and additional charge
are agreed upon by the contractual parties.
No freight is due on cargo lost during the carriage
through any accident whatsoever, and the freight paid
in advance is subject to refund. Where the cargo lost
has subsequently been saved or recovered, the carrier
has the right only to the distance freight if the party
interested in the cargo has gained no benefit from the
cargo having been carried over a part of the voyage.
A distance freight is the amount due for the carriage
computed in the proportion of the whole agreed voyage
distance to the part of the voyage actually covered
by the cargo, as well as in the proportion of the costs
and time, perils or troubles on the average connected
with the part of the voyage covered to what falls to
the remaining part of the voyage to be completed.
Where, during the course of carriage the cargo has been
damaged or wasted on account of its special nature or
the animals have died, the carrier has the right to
Where a larger quantity of cargo has been loaded upon
the vessel than provided for in the contract, the carrier
is entitled to the freight also on the surplus according
to rates agreed in the contract.
On cargo placed on board without permission of the carrier,
the latter is entitled to the double amount of freight
due for the carriage from the loading port to the port
of destination, as well as to compensation for losses
which the carrier has sustained by reason of such cargo
having been placed on board without his permission.
The carrier may discharge such cargo at any port whatever,
Section H: TERMINATION
The charterer has the right to rescind the contract
in the following cases:
The carrier has failed to place the vessel at the place
of loading at the agreed date, or has delayed in loading
the cargo upto the vessel or in commencement of the
voyage; the charterer is entitled to the compensation
for the damages resulting therefrom;
After the completion of the loading but still before
the commencement of the voyage or during the voyage,
the charterer may demand that the cargo be discharged
but he is bound to pay the full freight and costs connected
therewith to the carrier.
The carrier is entitled to refuse the charterers demand
to discharge the cargo as mentioned in point b, item
1 of this Article where such would cause a delay of
the voyage or affect the interest of the parties concerned
on account of the alteration of the fixed schedule.
Where by virtue of contract the charterer has at his
disposal the whole space of the vessel, he ahs the right
to rescind the contract of carriage before the commencement
of the voyage, however he is bound to compensate the
costs arising there from and, depending on the moment
of the rescission of the contract moreover to pay the
freight on the following principles:
One half of the freight, where he rescinds the contract
still before the agreed loading time to count.
The full freight, where he rescinds the contract after
the agreed loading time to count or after the agreed
time for demurrage to count if the contract has been
concluded for a single voyage.
The full freight for the voyage, before the commencement
of which he rescinds the contract, and plus one half
of the freight for subsequent voyages if the contract
has been concluded for a number of voyages.
Where the charterer has rescinded the contract in conformity
with the provision laid down in item 1 of this Article,
the carrier is bound to detain the vessel at the place
of loading until the cargo discharge has been completed
even though this may detain the vessel beyond the agreed
loading and demurrage times.
Where by virtue of contract the charterer has at his
disposal only a definite part of the vessels cargo space,
he is entitled to rescind the contract and liable to
compensate the costs connected therewith, and depends
on the moment of the rescission of the contract, he
is bound to pay the freight on the following principles:
A half of the freight where he rescinds the contract
after the agreed time for supplying cargo;
Full freight where he rescinds the contract during the
Where the cargo has been loaded on board insufficiently
as compared with the contracted quantity and the total
value of the quantity of such loaded cargo does not
secure the freight and other amounts expended by the
carrier on the cargo, the carrier may rescind the contract
before the commencement of the voyage, unless the charterer
has paid the full freight or provided and adequate security,
the charterer is bound to refund to the carrier the
amounts expended by the latter on the cargo discharge
and a half of the agreed freight.
Either party to the contract may rescind the contract
without obligation to compensate for damages sustained
by the other party, where, before the departure of the
vessel from the place of loading, the following events
War has broken out threatening the safety of the vessel
and cargo; the loading port or port of destination has
been declared blockaded;
The vessel has been detained by order of the local authorities
for reasons beyond the control of the contractual parties;
The vessel has been requisitioned for State purpose;
An embargo has been declared on carriage of the cargo
from the loading port or to the port of destination.
Where the contract has been rescinded by reasons as
set out in item 1 of this Article, the costs of discharge
are borne by the party who has so rescinded the contract.
By reasons as set out in item 1 of this Article either
party may rescind the contract also during the voyage,
the charterer is bound to pay the distance freight and
costs of discharge.
Reciprocal obligations of the parties automatically
extinguish where, after the conclusion of the contract
and before the departure of the vessel from the place
of loading, by the following reasons for which neither
party is responsible:
The vessel designated in the contract has been sunk,
missing, captured or considered unfit for repairs or
not worth repairing economically;
The cargo specifically designated in the contract has
Where the circumstances as set out in item 1 of this
Article have occurred during the voyage, the carrier
retains his right to the distance freight. Where only
the vessel has been damaged while the cargo has been
saved or returned, the carrier retains his right to
the distance freight as to so saved or returned cargo.
Where the contract has been terminated in conformity
with the provisions laid down in this Section, the carrier
is still liable to take the care of the cargo until
it has been returned.
Section I: IABILITY OF
CARRIER FOR LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO CARGO
The carrier is bound to take due care of the cargo and
is liable for loss of or damage to the cargo in the
period from its receipt for shipment until its delivery
to the consignee. The carrier is obliged to pay for
compensation for loss of or damage to the cargo if he
fails to prove that the loss or damage has occurred
not through his fault.
The carrier is completely exempt from liability for
loss of or damage to the cargo resulting from:
Act, neglect, or default of the master, other members
of the crew, pilot, or servants of the carrier in the
navigation or in the management of the ship;
Fire, unless caused by the actual fault or privity of
Perils or accidents on the sea, or in navigable waters;
Act of War;
Hostilities, actions hostile to public welfare order;
Acts or restraint of authorities or people, or court
seizure for legal process;
Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods,
his agent or representative;
Strikes or lock-outs or other similar circumstances
from whatever cause which hold up or restrain work in
general or in part;
Riots and civil commotions;
Saving or attempting to save life or property at sea;
in bulk or weight or any other loss or damage arising
from quality, inherent defects, or vice of the goods;
Insufficiency of packing;
Insufficiency or inadequacy of marking of the cargo;
Latent defects not discoverable in spite of exercising
Any other cause arising without the actual fault or
privity of the carrier nor the fault or neglect of the
agents or servants of the carrier.
If by virtue of statute or contract anybody is entitled
to the benefit of the aforesaid complete exemption of
the carrier, the burden of proof shall be on him to
show that neither the actual fault or privity of the
carrier nor the fault or neglect of the agents or servants
of the carrier contributed to the loss or damage.
The charterer is not obliged to compensate the loss
of or damage to the vessel or the carrier if he proves
that neither his privity nor his agents or servants
have caused the action, neglect or fault contributed
to the loss or damage.
Unless the nature and value of such cargo have been
declared by the shipper before its loading and inserted
in the bill of lading, the way bill or similar way bill,
neither the carrier nor the ship should in any event
be or become liable for any loss or damage to or in
connection with the goods in an amount exceeding the
equivalent of Poincare Francs (*) 10,000 per package
or unit or Poincare Francs 30 per kilo of gross weight
of goods lost or damaged, whichever is the higher.
The total amount recoverable shall be converted into
Vietnamese currency according to the official rate of
exchange announced by the State Bank of Vietnam at the
time of compensation.
The total amount recoverable shall be calculated by
reference to the value of such cargo at the place and
time at which the cargo is discharged from the vessel
in accordance with the contract provision or should
have been discharged.
The value of the cargo shall be ascertained according
to the commodity exchange price, or if unable so fixed,
according to the current market price, or if there be
no such prices, by reference to the normal price of
cargo of the same kind and quality at the place of compensation.
Where the kind and the value of the cargo have been
declared by the shipper before its loading and have
been accepted and inserted by the carrier in the bill
of lading, way bill or other similar way bill, the carrier
is obliged to compensate for loss of or damage to the
cargo on the basis of so declared value and on the following
As to cargo lost-by the value declared;
As to cargo damaged-by the difference between the value
declared and the value remained of the cargo.
The remaining value of the cargo shall be fixed according
to the market price at the place and time at which the
cargo is discharged or should have been discharged,
where such value of the cargo is unable to be ascertained
it is based on the market price at the place and time
at which the cargo has been loaded plus the costs and
charges connected with the delivery of cargo upto the
port of destination.
In any case, the carrier or the vessel is free from
liability for any loss of or damage to the cargo or
losses relating to the cargo where the kind and value
of the cargo have been knowingly misstated by the shipper
during loading and so knowingly misstated declaration
has been inserted in the bill of lading, way bill or
other similar way bill.
In carriage of the cargo under a bill of lading, any
agreement lessening or relieving the carrier from the
obligations and liabilities provided in Articles 67,
108 and 110 of the present Code shall be invalidated.
Where a bill of lading is issued for cargo carried under
a voyage charter party, the provision of item 1 of this
Article is applicable from the time when the bill of
lading has been transferred to a third party.
The contractual parties may only agree to lessen the
carriers liability in a manner different from that provided
in item 1 of this Article in the cases connected with:
The period of time from the receipt of cargo for carriage
to the commencement of its loading on the vessel and
from the completion of discharge to the delivery of
The carriage of live animals;
The cargo which, according to the contract, is carried