Passenger shipping

VIETNAM: Liability of the carrier in the carriage of passengers by sea 

Vietnam not a signatory to the Athens Convention or its protocols relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea. However, liability of the carrier in carriage of passengers by sea is governed the Maritime Code. 

Responsibility of the carrier  

In the event that incidents resulting in such loss or damage during the voyage are at the fault of the carrier, his servants or agents and occur within the scope of his assigned duties, the carrier shall be liable for compensation for any loss or damage arising out of passenger death, injury or other harm to health. Their fault is deemed obvious unless it could be demonstrated that the ship collision, wreck, destruction, grounding, explosion, fire, any defect, or latent defect is to blame for the passenger’s loss or damage. 

In the light of this Code, the burden of proof of loss or damage and its amount resulted from ship collision, wreck, destruction, grounding, explosion, fire or defects during the voyage shall lay on the claimant. 

Limitation of liability of the carrier  

The carrier’s liability is the same as that provided for in the Athens Convention of 1974 as amended by its 1976 SDR Protocol shall be limited to 46,666 SDR per passenger per a contract of carriage for the death, injury or other health-related damage of the passenger. The total amount of limitation of liability of the carrier shall not exceed 25 million SDR. Vietnamese law does not allow the carrier and the passenger to agree a higher limit of liability. 

If it is established that the carrier’s action was taken intentionally, recklessly, or with knowledge that a loss would likely occur, the carrier is not entitled to have its liability limited. 


The statute of limitation for submission of a claim for compensation for loss resulted from a passenger’s death, injury or suffering from other health-related damage lasts for 02 years. Such statute of limitation shall be calculated from the date of passenger’s disembarkation or the date on which such passenger should have left the ship in respect of a passenger’s injury or a passenger’s death occurring during the voyage respectively.  

Where the passenger’s injury occurring during the voyage results in the death of this passenger after his disembarkation from the ship, it should be calculated from the date of this passenger’s death and shall be restricted to 03 years from the date of his/her disembarkation from the ship. 




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