Indonesia Shipping Law – Cargo Claims

Pembaruan Hukum
Indonesia Shipping Law – Cargo Claims
2 November 2020

The Indonesian Commercial Code ("ICC") provides that a carrier is liable to provide compensation for any damages arising from its failure to deliver cargo, whether partially or entirely, or any damages to the cargo, unless such damage or failure to deliver was caused by force majeure.

Indonesia has not ratified the Hague/Hague-Visby/Hamburg/Rotterdam Rules.

In practice, either the shipper, the consigner, the lawful holder of the bill of lading, the cargo owner or the cargo insurer (by subrogating) is entitled to bring cargo claims against the carrier for loss or damages arising from the carrier's alleged default.

Article 513 of the ICC provides that if the bill of lading states that the "content / nature / amount / weight / size is unknown," or a similar clause to this effect, the carrier will not be responsible for any cargo claim, unless the carrier should have known the condition and type of the cargo or the cargo was quantified before the carrier.

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the ICC provides a one-year limit to bring legal claims related to: (i) the payment to be made by the consignee; (ii) the carriage of passengers and luggage against the carrier; and (iii) compensation for cargo damages.

Aside from the ICC, an injured party is also entitled to submit a civil claim on the basis of an unlawful act (similar to tort) under the Indonesian Civil Code. Like the ICC, the Indonesian Civil Code was promulgated in the 19th century and has not been amended since Indonesian independence.

The carrier shall be entitled to receive compensation for damages caused by incorrect or incomplete information related to the nature of the cargo, unless the carrier knew or should have known the nature prior to the voyage.

There is no regulation under Indonesian law providing time limits for maritime cargo claims specifically. However, Article 1967 of the ICC provides a time limit of 30 years to submit any civil claims in general, which would also apply to maritime cargo claims.

This is an excerpt from The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Shipping Law 2020.


This publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Any reliance on the material contained herein is at the user's own risk. All SSEK publications are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of SSEK.

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Stephen Igor Warokka
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