Russia - Time Bars

Date: 31/01/2017
Source: Jurinflot International Law Firm
Russia - Time Bars

In general, Russian law does not contain a definition of time bars, it refers to provisions concerning a period of limitation of actions (hereinafter – the limitation period). Legal meaning of the limitation period is quite different from legal meaning of time bars. Russian Civil legislation stipulates that the limitation period is a period for defence of rights of a person whose rights have been infringed. Unless otherwise provided by law, the running of the limitation period shall commence from the day when the person became or should have become aware on infringement of his right and on proper defendant on the claim. A demand for the protection of an infringed right shall be taken for consideration by the court irrespective of expiration of the limitation period. The limitation period shall be applied by a court only on request of a party of the dispute, made before the rendering of a decision by the court. In absence of that request the dispute shall be considered by the court even in case if the limitation period has been expired.
It should be noted that limitation period shall not be applied to claims on compensation for harm caused to life or health of a citizen (personal injury). However, the claims made after the expiry of 3 years from the moment when the right to compensation of damage has arisen, shall be satisfied only for past 3 years preceding the filing of the claim.
The limitation periods in Russia are divided into two types: general and special. These periods are mandatory, established by law and cannot be changed by agreements of parties.  The general limitation period for claiming protection of infringed rights shall be 3 years and shall be applied to claims for which the law does not provide special limitation periods.
For some types of claims the law establishes special limitation periods, shorter or longer than the general period. In particular, the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter – the MSC) stipulate that the limitation period for passenger claims, marine insurance, collision and salvage claims shall be 2 years. The limitation period for cargo, towage, marine agency, marine brokerage, time and bareboat charter claims and general average claims shall be 1 year.
Whereas Russia is a Party of many maritime conventions which establish appliance of time bars, respective provisions on time bars were also included in internal legislation. In particular, the provisions of the MSC stipulate that claims on compensation for damage of oil pollution from vessels and damage of bunker pollution shall be time barred after expiration of 6 years from the day of the incident, claims on compensation for damage in connection with the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea shall be time barred after expiration of 10 years from the day of incident. 
Russian legislation does not contain special provisions on the limitation period for latent damage claims. However, it is specified in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation that limitation period cannot exceed 10 years, except longer limitation period is directly stated by law, from the day of infringement of the person’s rights. Basing on this the limitation period for latent damage claims shall be within the general or special period (depending on type of the claim) from the day when the person became or should have become aware on infringement of his right and on proper defendant on the claim, but this limitation period cannot exceed 10 years from the day of infringement of the person’s rights. 

The Civil Code of the Russian Federation

General limitation period -3 years; commences from the day when the person became or should have become aware on infringement of his right, unless otherwise provided by law.

No limitation period for personal injury; the claims made after the expiry of three years from the moment when the right to compensation of damage has arisen, shall be satisfied only for past three years preceding the filing of the claim.

Special limitation periods stated by the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Code

Claims arising out of contracts of carriage of a passenger by sea in a foreign travel

The limitation period - 2 years; commences:

  • in event of personal injury to the passenger, from the day of disembarkation of the passenger
  • in event of the death of the passenger having occurred during the carriage, from the day when the passenger should have disembarked
  • in event of personal injury during the carriage resulting in the death of the passenger after his disembarkation, from the day of his death, provided the said period does not exceed 3 years from the day of the disembarkation of the passenger
  • in event of loss of or damage to the passenger’s luggage, from the day when the luggage was or should have been discharged, whichever is later 
Collision of vesselsThe limitation period - 2 years; commences from the day of the collision
Marine insurance claimsThe limitation period - 2 years; commences from the day the right to bring the claim arose
Claims arising out of salvage operationsThe limitation period - 2 years; commences from the day of termination of the salvage operation
Claims arising out of contracts of carriage of goods by sea

The limitation period - 1 year; commences:

  • Compensation for damages resulting from the loss of goods, upon expiration of thirty days from the day when the goods should have been released, and in multimodal transport, upon the expiration of 4 months from the day of taking over the goods for carriage
  • Compensation for damages resulting from damage to goods, delay in their delivery and the return of surcharge or recovery of arrears of payments for carriage, from the day of the release of the goods or from the day the goods should have been released
  • Compensation for losses for non-arrival or late arrival of the vessel, demurrage payment, fee for loading or discharge of the vessel ahead of schedule, from the day when the month expires following that in which the carriage of goods was or should have been commenced
  • In all other cases, from the day of occurrence of the event which served the basis for the claim 
Claims arising out of contracts of towage, marine agency, marine brokerage, time and bareboat chartersThe limitation period - 1 year; commences from the day the right to bring the claim arose
Claims arising out of general averageThe limitation period - 1 year; commences from the day of the drawing-up of the average statement
Claims on compensation for damage in connection with the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea  The limitation period - 3 years, commences from the day of caused damage
After expiration of 6 years from the day of the incident claims shall be time barred
Claims on compensation for damage in connection with the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea

The limitation period - 3 years, commences from the day when the person who suffered damage became or should have become aware on damage and the owner of the vessel

After expiration of 10 years from the day of the incident claims shall be time barred.

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