VIETNAM MARITIME CODE
Section K: MARITIME LIEN
For securing privileged debts, a creditor is entitled
to a statutory lien on the cargo, even such cargo has
been liened, mortgaged, or hypothecated for security
of other debts arising from a contract or judicial decision.
The privileged debts are settled in the following order:
Law costs and costs of judicial execution; expenses
incurred in order to preserve, to sell the cargo and
to distribute the proceeds of its sale; duties and other
Salvage remuneration falling on the cargo as well general
average contribution due from the cargo;
Compensation for damages caused by the cargo;
Interests of the carrier.
A creditor may even exercise a maritime lien on the
amount of indemnity due to the cargo for damages to
the cargo incurred but not repaired, as well as to the
general average contribution due to the cargo.
2. A creditor
may not exercise a lien on insurance indemnity due to
Maritime liens on cargo extinguish on the delivery of
cargo to the legitimate consignee.
liens on the amounts due to the cargo extinguish on
payment of such amounts to the parties entitled thereto.
CONTRACT OF CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS AND LUGGAGE
A contract of carriage of passengers and luggage is
a contract signed between a carrier and a passenger
whereby a carrier agrees to carry a passenger by sea-going
vessel, in return for passage money to be paid to him
by the passenger, from the port of embarkation to the
port of destination.
Legal relationship between the carrier and the passenger
is governed by such a contract, while the ticket issued
to the passenger constitutes evidence of the conclusion
of the contract for passage.
The passenger is bound to pay the passage money, the
freight for his luggage and other service charge to
Any agreement limiting the rights of the passenger or
lessening or relieving the liabilities of the carrier
as provided for in the present Code shall be null and
Where the passage is performed by a sea-going vessel
other than a passenger vessel, the carrier has the right
to substitute the ticket by another similar voucher.
The passenger is obliged to observe the command of the
master and follow all rules and guidelines on board.
The passenger is entitled to the interests in compliance
with the classified ticket and not to pay the money
for the carriage of his hand baggage within the limit
of weight and kind designated by the carrier.
The carrier is bound to exercise due diligence that
the vessel is seaworthy and in every respect fit for
the carriage correspondently as provisions laid down
in Article 67 of the present Code.
The carrier is bound to take due care and to properly
protect the passenger together his luggage from the
time he has embarked on board upto the time he has safely
together with his luggage left the gangway at the port
of destination; where during the voyage an extraordinary
and unexpected event has occurred, the carrier is liable
to absorb the fare necessary to cover the transportation
of the passenger from and to the vessel as well as costs
of meal, and services for staying on board together
with entertainment fees.
The carrier is exempted from the occurrence during the
voyage that the passenger has been arrested by the competent
authorities by way of causes on the latters individual
part at the port at which the vessel has called.
Any person who is on board the vessel without the passenger
ticket is bound to pay full passage money for the covered
distance and a fine of a correspondent amount.
The master may disembark such person or transfer him
onto a vessel going to the port at which such person
boarded the vessel, the master is bound to give the
competent authorities information concerning the name,
age, citizenship of that person, the port at which he
boarded and concealed himself on the vessel. The person
who is on board without the passage ticket is still
obliged to comply with the provision set out in item
1 of this Article.
The carrier is entitled not to refund the collected
passage money if the passenger has not been present
on board at the fixed time including the period the
vessel calls at en-route port during the voyage.
Where the passenger has fallen seriously ill that he
cannot embark the vessel or die within twenty four hours
before the commencement of or during the voyage and
where the passenger refuses to continue the voyage on
account of causes on part of the carrier, the passenger
is entitled to take back the whole or part of passage
money corresponding to the remaining distance.
In case the vessel is unable to reach the port of destination
or fails to reach there within the fixed time by way
of causes beyond the carriers responsibilities, the
carrier is bound to refund to the passenger the passage
money corresponding to the remaining distance of the
voyage or to absorb the costs connecting with carrying
the passenger back to the embarkment port or port of
destination, whichever the latter wishes, by the sea-going
vessel or other means of transport if impossible to
carry him by the passenger vessel.
The passenger may rescind the contract and demand the
refund of passage money if his cancellation of the trip
has been notified to the carrier latest seven days-in
international passenger transport; and one day-in domestic
passenger transport before the commencement of the voyage.
The carrier is entitled to retain twenty five per cent
of passage money if he fails to sell such a ticket to
The passenger may rescind the contract and demand the
refund of passage money in full where a passenger vessel
has not set out the voyage at latest within three days,
and any other vessel within seen days, of the schedule
date of the commencement of the voyage.
Where the carriage is to be performed by a vessel other
than a passenger vessel, the carrier has the right,
before the commencement of the voyage, to rescind the
contract of passage and refund passage money to the
passenger if the voyage has not materialized without
the carriers fault.
For the reason as set out in item 1 of this Article
the carrier may also during the voyage rescind the contract
of passage but he is obliged to comply with the provisions
set out in item 3 of Article 121 of the present Code.
Where before the commencement of the voyage or during
the voyage the cases as set out in item 1 of Article
105 of the present Code occur, either party may rescind
the contract without obligation to compensate for damage
sustained by other party; the carrier is liable to refund
a portion of passage money calculated in proportion
to the part of the voyage not made by the passenger.
The contract of passage is automatically dissolved in
the event of the vessel being lost, sunk, destroyed
or unfit for repairs or not worth repairing economically.
Passage money will be refunded to the passenger as provided
for in Article 124 of the present Code.
The carrier is liable for loss of life or personal injury
and damage to health of the passenger which have occurred
in the course of carriage if he fails to prove that
he himself or his representatives, servants have not
had fault in occurrence of the accidents causing the
damage by reason of or in connection with collision,
shipwreck, destruction, running aground, explosion or
fire. Any agreement lessening or relieving this liability
of the carrier is invalid.
If the carrier proves that the accident has occurred
due to the intentional fault or gross negligence on
the part of the passenger he is partly lessened in the
liability set out in item 1 of this Article.
The course of carriage is deemed to be included the
period during which the passenger remains on board,
including embarking and disembarking as well as the
transportation of the passenger by water from land to
vessel or vice versa, if the fare for such transportation
is included in the price of the total ticket, or if
the means of transferring the passenger supplied by
For loss of life or personal injury and damage to health
of the passenger, the carrier is liable within the limitation
of liability determined by the Council of Ministers
or by the international treaties signed, or recognized
The carrier is not entitled to the benefit of this limitation
of his liability where the damage has resulted from
the personal fault of the carrier or from the fault
of his representatives, servants on board when they
perform the obligations designated by the carrier.
The carrier is liable for loss of or damage to the passengers
luggage according to the provisions concerning the liability
of the carrier for loss of or damage to the cargo determined
in Chapter V of the present Code.
The carrier is only liable for loss of or damage to
the passengers hand baggage which her or his servants
on board has knowingly or unintentionally caused or
which has occurred by undue care of the carrier when
he has received the baggage for custody.
In respect of valuables, money, valuable documents,
works of arts or other particularly valuable objects,
the carrier is liable only where on delivering such
for carriage as baggage they have been specifically
declared with indication of their characteristics and
value to the master or the officer appointed by him
for this purpose.
The carrier, for securing his interests, has a statutory
lien on the passengers luggage until when his interests
have been settled or otherwise properly secured.
The passengers luggage which has not been collected
will be solved according to Article 96 of the present
Any loss of life or personal injury and damage to health
of the passenger should be immediately notified to the
carrier after it has occurred and the claimant is bound
to lodge with the carrier the claim in writing at latest
fifteen days of disembarkation.
The claim for loss of or damage to the passengers luggage
should be lodged with the carrier within seven days
from the day on which the luggage has been delivered
or should have been delivered.
Any claim for compensation for loss of life or personal
injury or damage to the health of the passenger is barred
after two years from the date when the passenger has
disembarked; in the event of a passengers death on board,
this period runs from the day on which the passenger
should have disembarked.
In the event of a passengers death occurring after completion
of the voyage, the claim is barred after three years
from the day when the passenger has disembarked.
Any claim for compensation of loss of or damage to the
passengers luggage is barred after six months from the
day when the luggage has been delivered or should have
been delivered to the consignee.
When a shipowner agrees for remuneration to place at
the disposal of a charterer an entire vessel for
a specified period of time or for the duration of several
consecutive voyages for the purpose as provided by the
contract, such an agreement is called the charter party.
The charter party determines the legal relationship
between the shipowner and the charterer.
2. The charter
party is concluded in the form agreed by and between
the parties concerned.
When by a charter party the shipowner undertakes to
place at the disposal of the charterer a crewed vessel,
such a charter party is called the time-charter party.
Where the charter party provides that the shipowner
places at the disposal of the charterer a vessel without
crew, such a charter party is called bare-boat charter
By the agreement provided in the contract, the charterer
may sublet the vessel to the third party, this, however,
does not relieve the charterer of the obligation to
execute the contract concluded by him with the shipowner.
2. When subletting
the vessel to the third party, the charterer is entitled
to the benefit of the rights, and is bound to fulfill
the obligations of the shipowners provided for in this
The shipowner is bound to deliver to the charterer at
the right agreed place and on the right agreed date
the vessel in a seaworthy condition, properly supplied
and adapted for the purposes of employment determined
in the contract.
2. In case
of time-charter, the shipowner is also bound to supply
a complement of crew qualified for the purposes of employment
determined in the contract and to pay the wages and
secure the other legitimate interests of crew throughout
the currency of the charter.
The charterer is entitled to dispose of the entire space
in the vessel appropriated for the carriage of cargo
and for the accommodation of passengers.
the shipowners consent, the charterer is not entitled
to dispose of the other space on board the vessel for
the purposes set out in item 1 of this Article.
Under the time-charter party, the charterer is relieved
of the obligation to pay to the shipowner the charter
hire for any period during which the vessel is unfit
for operation on account of technical breakdown and
or lacking supplies, or on account of the crew being
incompetent. In this case the charterer is also relieved
of the obligation to pay the costs of the vessels operation.
the vessels unfitness for operation has resulted from
he reason on the part of the charterer, the shipowner
is entitled to the agreed charter hire and to the compensation
for damage connected therewith.
During the currency of the time-charter party, the master
and other members of the crew remain employees of the
shipowner and are under his labour control. The shipowner
is completely liable for all matters pertaining to crew.
the employment of the vessel, the master is the representative
of the charterer and should comply with the instructions
given by charterer.
3. For the
acts of the master determined in item 2 of this Article,
the shipowner is liable jointly and severally with the
charterer, unless the master has clearly stated, when
contracting, that he acts in the name of the charterer.
If during the currency of the time-charter party the
vessel involves in salvage services, the remuneration
due to her is divided equally between the shipowner
and the charterer after deducting, first, the sum covering
losses caused through salvage and, then, the share of
remuneration due to the crew.
The charterer is obliged to employ the vessel for the
purposes as determined in the contract and to take due
care of the shipowners interests.
2. When the
period for time-charter has terminated, the charterer
is obliged to redeliver the vessel to the shiponwer
at the agreed place and time and in technical conditions
as concluded in contract.
The charterer is obliged to pay charter-hire until the
redelivery of the vessel to the shipowner.
3. The charterer
is obliged to carry out the maintenance of the vessel
as well as of the other equipments on board, unless
otherwise provided for in the contract.
4. The charterer
during the currency of the bare-boat charter party is
also obliged to repair the damages of the vessel and
to keep the shipowner advised thereof. The shipowner
is liable refund the repair costs occurred beyond
the scope of the charterers liability.
Where the failure to comply with the obligations set
out in item 1 of Article 134 of the present Code has
resulted from the fault on the part of the shipowner,
the charterer is entitled to rescind the contract and
to the compensation for the damages connected therewith.
party may rescind the time-charter party without compensation
to other if owing to an outbreak of war, civil commotions
or the actions condemned by the authority hindering
the performance of the contract of which the circumstances
are unable to come to and end within a reasonable time.
The charter party is automatically terminated when the
vessel has been lost, sunken, destroyed or has been
considered unfit for repair or not worth repairing economically.
2. In case
the vessel under the charter party has been lost, the
charter hire is calculated until the date when the last
report of the vessel is received.
Any claim arising from a charter is barred at the expiration
of two years from the day on which the contract expired.
SHIPS AGENT AND SHIPBROKER
Section A: SHIPS AGENT
By a contract of agency, the ships agent undertakes
for remuneration to act as a permanent representative
of the shipowner at a given port or in a certain area.
2. The shipowner
concludes with his ships agent a contract of agency
for a certain call or for a specific period of time
as mutually agreed. The scope of authority given by
the shipowner to the ships agent must be clearly described
in the contract of agency.
3. The contract
of agency shall constitute ground to determine the legal
relationship between the two parties and also an evidence
of the shipowners authority to his agent in relation
to a third party.
By a contract of agency, the ships agent is authorized
to undertake, in the name of the shipowner, to perform
routine services connected with shipping trade including
arrangement of all necessary formalities in connection
with ships operation at the port, to conclude on behalf
of the shipowner contracts of carriage, marine insurance
contracts, contracts for cargo handling, charter parties,
and recruitment agreements, to issue and sign bills
of lading or similar documents, to receive and pay all
amounts incident to the ships operation, and to pursue,
in the name of the shipowner, claims arising from contracts
of carriage and or marine accidents.
2. When concluding
a contract in the name of the shipowner the ships agent
may also act on behalf of the charterer or other contracting
party, provided that the shipowner has given his consent
the ships agent, while performing a legal act in the
name of the shipowner, has gone beyond the limits of
his authority, the said the said act is nevertheless
binding upon the shipowner unless the latter has, immediately
upon receipt of information concerning the act, notified
the other party that he does not ratify the act of the
The ships agent should care for the interests of the
shipowner; comply with his orders and instructions;
render him immediately the necessary information about
relevant developments; render accounts for the amount
received and spent pertaining to the authorized services.
2. The ships
agent is obliged to indemnify the shipowner for losses
and or damages resulting from his fault.
The shipowner is obliged to instruct his agent to carry
out the authorized service when necessary and to give
the agent, on demand, adequate advances for meeting
the expenses connected with the authorized agency services.
The parties to the contract of agency shall mutually
agree on the amount of the ships agents remuneration
and in the absence of such agreement, it shall be determined
Either contracting parties may rescind the contract
in accordance with the provisions thereof.
Claims arising from the contract of agency are barred
at the expiration of two years from the day of their
Section B: SHIPBROKER
The shipbroker undertakes for remuneration to act, on
the individual authority of his principal, as an intermediary
in concluding contracts of carriage, of marine insurance,
of charter, of sale and purchase of vessel, towage contracts,
recruitment agreements and contracts of other activities
pertaining to maritime shipping activities.
The shipbroker is entitled to remuneration for his mediation
only when the contract has been concluded as a result
of his efforts. The shipbrokers commission is mutually
agreed by and between the shipbroker and his principal,
in the absence of agreement the shipbroker and his principal,
in the absence of agreement the shipbrokers commission
is determined by customs.
On the authority of his principal, the shipbroker concludes
contracts, and or receives payments in the name of the
principal, unless the authority contains an express
limitation known to other party.
The shipbroker may undertake to act on behalf of both
contracting parties where such have commissioned him,
he is, however, obliged to advise each party of the
fact that he is acting also on behalf of the other contracting
party, and in acting as an intermediary he should consider
the interests of both parties.
Claims arising from the relationship between the shipbroker
and his principal are barred at the expiration of two
years from the day of their falling due.