Syria - Time Bars

Legal briefing on time-bars

Time-bar provisions have been stipulated in several Syrian Laws, mainly: Civil Code, Mercantile Law, Mercantile Maritime Law, Labor Law and Penal Codes, among others.

As per the provisions of Article 380 of the Civil Code, all time-bar provisions are interrupted by filing legal actions even when the proceedings have been filed before an incompetent court or under a wrong jurisdiction. They also are interrupted by warnings, levying arrests and through whatsoever act the creditor may pursue to maintain his right.

Paragraph 1 of Article 382 of the Civil Code stipulates that when a time-bar is interrupted, a new time bar commences upon the termination of the effects resulting from the cause of interruption of the former. The new time bar period is the same as that of the former. Time-bar is also interrupted if the debtor explicitly or implicitly admits the creditor's right (Article 381), in which case, the time-bar becomes 15 years (Article 382).

Article 384 of the Civil Code stipulates that a court may not adjudicate time-bars on its own, but at the debtor's initiation or the request of his creditors or any person with interest even if this time bar is not maintained by the debtor.

It is possible to maintain the time-bar in whatsoever status of the proceedings even before a Court of Appeal. However, time-bar cannot be raised for the first time before a Court of Cassation.

On the following page, we list a table of time-bar periods for the requested matters:

Nature of ClaimTime Bar

Maritime Contracts of Carriage Time Bar is two years from the date the cargo has been delivered or from the date it should have been delivered.
Land Contracts of Carriage Time Bar is one year commencing from the date the cargo has been delivered or from the date it should have been delivered.
Statutory Contracts In general, time-bar period is 15 years commencing with the contract date with exceptions that specific laws stipulate in specific cases, where the time-bar period is set at 1 or 5 years.
Commercial Contracts Time bar is 10 years.
Labour Contracts Lawsuits arising from employment contracts, including those of seamen, Time Bar is one year from the end of the contract. This is provided that the employer swears under oath that he has paid all that is owed to the employee, or, otherwise, the time-bar is 5 years afterwards.
Personal Injuries Time bar is 3 years, with the exception of occupational deceases arising from the employment, in which case the time-bar is 1 year.
Latent Damage Claims Time bar is one year.

John & Nagib Habeishy

John & Nagib Habeishy Law Firm

Lattakia, Syria

Staff Author