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Carriage of goods

International conventions

Is your jurisdiction party to any international conventions on the carriage of goods by sea? If so, does the relevant domestic implementing law contain any notable modifications (eg, extensions to the scope of application)?

The Malaysian Carriage of Goods by Sea Act incorporates the Hague Rules for shipments from a Malaysian port.

Carrier’s responsibility

What is the official extent of the carrier’s responsibility for goods?

The Carriage of Goods by Sea Act adopts the Hague Rules scheme in this regard.

Contractual limitation of liability

May parties contract out of any legal provisions governing cargo liability?

No; this is prohibited under the Hague Rules, which will invalidate any attempt. However, this may be possible for areas outside the scope of the Hague Rules.

Title to sue

Who has title to sue on a bill of lading?

The buyer and seller have title, subject to their having possessory rights to the cargo.

Time bar

What is the time bar for cargo claims?

One year under the Hague Rules.

Definition of ‘carrier’ and ‘goods’

How are ‘carrier’ and ‘goods’ defined in respect of cargo claims? Is there any especially pertinent case law on this issue?

The Malaysian Carriage of Goods by Sea Act adopts the definition set out in Article I of the Hague Rules.

Defences available to carrier

Under what circumstances may the carrier rely on the perils of the sea defence? What other defences are available to the carrier?

The defences available are those stipulated under Article IV Rule 2 of the Hague Rules.

Third parties

What legal protections and defences against cargo claims are available to agents of the carrier and other third parties (eg, Himalaya clauses)?

The mechanism of the Himalaya clause is effective to extend the defences.

Deviation from route

Under what circumstances is deviation from the agreed route allowed?

Deviation is allowed under Article IV Rule 4 of the Hague Rules for the saving of life or property at sea.

Claims against shipper

What claims can the carrier pursue in respect of the shipper’s failure to meet its obligations?

The carrier can pursue a claim against the shipper for loss or damage caused directly and indirectly. 

Multimodal carriage of goods

How is multimodal carriage regulated in your jurisdiction?

There is no regulation of multimodal carriage. Parties may regulate their dealings by contract.

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