Saudi Arabia: The new Carriage of Goods by Sea Rules


Published: 10 February 2014

The Association is grateful to Capt. Larry Heron of Mutual Marine Services Al Mushtaraka Ltd., Jeddah for alerting the Association of this important new development. The Association would also like to express its gratitude to Messrs. Hatem Abbas Ghazzawi & Co. for being able to republish their article.

Members are alerted to a significant recent development in respect of the Carriage of Goods by Sea in relation to the jurisdiction of Saudi Arabia.

Re-published here for Member's benefit is an overview of the legal developments that took place in 2013, as well as a copy of the new Rules, prepared by Law Firm Hatem Abbas Ghazzawit & Co.

The new Saudi Arabian Rules are a significant development, in that they represent a formal codification and update on the law. This should provide greater certainty and clarity on what to expect in the future with respect to cargo claims and related issues in this jurisdiction.

The Rules are not the equivalent of Hague-Visby or other international frameworks, and if dealing with shipments to and from Saudi Arabia it would be prudent to familiarise oneself with these new Rules in full, in order to ensure they are clearly understood.

Important to note are the provisions with respect to:

  1. Bills of Lading (Articles 17 and 48)
  2. Defences to claims (Articles 25, 26 and 28)
  3. Trade Allowance for shortage claims (Article 27)
  4. Limitation of liability (Articles 34 to 38)
  5. Cargo Liens (Article 43)
  6. Time Bars (Article 46)

We would reiterate, however, that in order to ensure that a full understanding is achieved of the Rules, one will need to review the entire enacting legislation issued by the Minister of Transport in Resolution No. 1/12 of 19th Muharram 1434 (or 3rd December 2012). In case of specific issues, it may be necessary to consult Saudi Arabian legal service providers.