Vietnam - Time Bars

Vietnam - Time Bars

Last updated November 2018

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. Time bar for commencing a legal action is the time-limit within which such legal action should be initiated at the competent tribunal for resolution of a civil case; otherwise, the right to initiate such legal action shall be lost upon expiry of the time bar. However, application of the time bars at the civil proceedings is considered only at the requests or arguments of one or more parties involved in such civil proceedings at or before the first instance hearing

Table of time bars under the Vietnam civil law and other relevant laws

Type of Action Limitation Periods Act/Statute
Civil Contract Claims

Within 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.

Art. 429 of the Civil Code 2015
Commercial contract claims

Within 2 (two) years of the date on which the rights and interests are infringed except for claims for cargo damage/loss under logistics contracts (non-carriage) that are within 9 (nine) months from the day of cargo delivery.

Art. 319, Art. 237, subpar 1, point  of the Commercial Law
Claims in Tort Within 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. Art. 588 of the Civil Code 2015
Personal Injury/Death See claims in tort above  

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

Type of Action Limitation Periods Act/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. 169 of the Maritime Code 2005

Art. 169 of the Maritime Code 2015

Claims for performance of voyage C/P Within 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. 195 of the Maritime Code 2015
Recourse actions under bills of lading

Recourse 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 (one) year of the day of the delivery of the goods or the day the goods should have been delivered. The maritime law provides that the insurers perform the right of recourse in accordance with the provisions applicable to the assured

Art. 326 of the Maritime Code 2015
General Average Within 2 (two) years of the day of the occurrence of the GA Art. 297 of the Maritime Code 2015
Assistance and Salvage Within 2 (two) years of the day of the termination of the assistance or the salvage operations. Art. 274 of the Maritime Code 2015
Freight, wages of officers, seamen and other crew members Within 1 (one) 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 2012
Oil pollution and other environment pollution claims
Applying regulations on claims in tort

Please refer to claims in tort above. Similarly, within 3 (three) years of the day when the damage occurs. Vietnam acceded to CLC 1992 and therefore regulations of the CLC 1992 will be applicable. In no case an action shall be brought after 6 (six) years from the date of the incident which causes the damage. When the incident consists of a series of occurrences, the 6 (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 place

Within 2 (two) 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. 290 of the Maritime Code 2015
Passenger claims (dead, injury, loss of personal belongings)

Within 2 (two) 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 3 (three0 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. 214 of the Maritime Code 2015

Emergency Contacts


If you need to call our offices out of hours and at weekends, click After Office hours for a up to date list of the names of the Duty Executives and their mobile phone numbers. 

Ship Finder


This Ship Finder is updated on a daily basis. Members who need to advise the Club of updates to their recorded ships' details should advise their usual underwriting contact.

You are currently offline. Some pages or content may fail to load.