Vietnam - Time Bars

Vietnam - Time Bars

The time bars are defined under Article 149 of the Civil Code 2015 (to become effective from 01 January 2017 that time bar means a time-limit provided by law where, upon its expiry, a legal consequence arises as prescribed by law.
Application of time bars in the civil proceedings
The Civil Procedure Code 2015 with effect from 01 July 2016 is considered as the procedural law applicable to all the legal proceedings at the courts of Vietnam. Article 184.1 of the Civil Procedure Code provides that the time bars provided in the Civil Code shall be applicable to the legal proceedings. However, Article 184.2 of the Civil Procedure Code further provides that the courts shall only apply the regulations on time bars according to the requests for application of time bars of one or more parties, provided that such requests are made before the first-instance court issues the judgments/decisions on such matters/cases.
Table of time bars under the Vietnam civil law and other relevant laws

Type of ActionLimitation PeriodsAct/Statute
Civil Contract ClaimsWithin 3 (three) years of the date on which the party entitled to claim knows or should know that their lawful rights and interests are infringed. (Note: Currently within 2 (two) years of the the date on which the rights and interests are infringed under Article 427 of the Civil Code 2005 which becomes invalid from 01 January 2017)Art. 429 of the Civil Code 2015 with effect from 01/01/2017
Commercial contract claimsWithin 2(two) years of the the date on which the rights and interests are infringed except for claims for cargo damage/loss under logistics contracts that are within 9 (nine) months from the day of cargo deliveryArt. 319, Art. 237, subpar 1, point  of the Commercial Law
Claims in TortWithin 3 (three) years of the date on which the party entitled to claim knows or should know that their lawful rights and interests are infringed. (Note: Currently within 2 (two) years of the date on which the rights and interests are infringed under Article 607 of the Civil Code 2005 which becomes invalid from 01 January 2017).Art. 588 of the Civil Code 2015 with effect from 01/01/2017
Personal Injury/DeathSee claims in tort above

Table of time bars under the Vietnamese maritime law and other relevant laws*:

Type of ActionLimitation PeriodsAct/Statute

Claims for cargo loss/damage under bills of lading

Claims for cargo loss/damage under contracts of carriage including B/Ls

Within 1 year of the day of the delivery of the goods or the date the goods should have been delivered.

Within 1 year of the day of the delivery of the goods or the date the goods should have been delivered

(Art. 97 of the Maritime Code 2005 which becomes invalid from 01 July 2017)

(Art. 169 the Maritime Code 2015 which becomes effective from 01 July 2017)

Claims for performance of voyage C/PWithin 2 years of the date on which the party entitled to claim knows or should know that their lawful rights and interests are infringed(Art. 118 of the Maritime Code 2005 & Art. 195 of the Maritime Code 2015)
Recourse actions under bills of ladingRecourse actions subject to nature of original right of claims subrogated to the insurers. It means that the time limit of recourse action for cargo loss/damage is also within 1 year of the day of the delivery of the goods or the day the goods should have been delivered. The law provides that the insurers perform the right of recourse in accordance with the provisions applicable to the assuredArt. 247 of the Maritime Code 2005 & Art. 326 of the Maritime Code 2015
General AverageWithin 2 years of the day of the occurrence of the GAArt. 216 of the Maritime Code 2005 & Art. 297 of the Maritime Code 2015
Assistance and SalvageWithin 2 years of the day of the termination of the assistance or the salvage operations.Art. 195 of the Maritime Code 2005 & Art. 274 of the Maritime Code 2015
Freight, wages of officers, seamen and other crew members Within 1 year of the date on which the rights and interests are claimed to be infringed. (no provisions in the Maritime Codes)
Art. 202, subpar 2 of the Labour Code
Oil pollution and other environment pollution claims
Applying regulations on claims in tort

Please refer to claims in tort above.

Please be advised that Vietnam acceded to CLC 1992 and therefore regulations of the CLC 1992 will be applicable. Similarly, within 3 years of the day when the damage occurred. In no case shall an action be brought after 6 years from the date of the incident which caused the damage. When the incident consists of a series of occurrences, the six years period shall run from the day of the first of such occurrences.

(Art. 161, subpar 3 of the Law on Environment Protection 2014)
Collision, damage caused by execution or non execution of a manoeuvre or by non-observance of regulations, even if no collision actually takes placeWithin 2 years of the day of the incident. However, the right to obtain contribution from other vessels in fault in respect of damages caused to third parties becomes time-barred within 1 year of the day of the payment.Art. 211 of the Maritime Code 2005 & Art. 290 of the Maritime Code 2015
Passenger claims (dead, injury, loss of personal belongings)Within of 2 years from the date of the disembarkation in case of injury, within 2 years of the day the passenger should have been disembarked in case of death, with a maximum of three years if the death resulting from the injury occurs after the disembarkation, within 2 years of the day of the disembarkation or the day the disembarkation should have taken place for the loss of personal belongings.Art. 137 of the Maritime Code 2005 & Art. 214 of the Maritime Code 2015

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