A limitation period is the period of time within which a claimant may commence legal proceedings in respect of his claim. The limitation period may be contractually agreed between the parties or in the absence of such agreement, be contained in Civil Codes or imposed by statutes.  In the majority of jurisdictions, the expiration of a limitation period can be interrupted by the claimant issuing legal proceedings. In some jurisdictions, it may be possible for the parties to agree extensions to limitation periods, or alternatively, to make applications to the court for extensions.  A failure to extend or to interrupt the applicable limitation period may result in the claim becoming time barred i.e. invalidated.    

It is therefore very important for claimants to be aware of limitation periods for their claims.  Different types of claims are subject to different limitation periods. In order to know when limitation periods end, it is necessary to know when they start to run from.    

The UK P&I Club, with the assistance of our network of correspondents and legal contacts put together this online guide on International Time Bars for claims, particularly for maritime claims.   

We would like to take this opportunity to express our thanks to everyone who has contributed to this resource.   

This Briefing is not intended to be a comprehensive source on Time Bars in different jurisdictions.  It is published as a general source of reference for Members. Should more detailed advice be needed, the correspondents and lawyers who have kindly contributed to this Legal Briefing may be contacted directly for further assistance.  

The UK P&I Club can take no responsibility for the contents of the individual articles. We nevertheless hope Members will find this to be a useful source of reference. We welcome feedback and suggestions from all readers so that regular improvements and updates can be made to this resource. Please address all feedback and suggestions to jacqueline.tan@thomasmiller.com.

This update is one of a continuing series which aims to share the legal expertise within the Club with our Members. A significant proportion of the expertise in the Managers' offices around the world consists of lawyers who can advise Members on general P&I related legal, contractual and documentary issues. These lawyers participate in a virtual team, writing on topical and relevant legal issues under the leadership of our Legal Director, Chao Wu.

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