Transport Damage Liability

The carrier is liable for the loss and damage of the goods taken over for transport. The carrier can be held liable for such damage in transit which occurred during the time when the goods were in his care. The recipient must prove that the goods were damaged during the care period. This is particularly problematic if the recipient has issued a pure receipt upon receipt of the goods. Then it can be decisive whether the transport damage was recognizable or whether it was a concealed transport damage.

Liability for damage during transport

The amount of liability depends on the value of the goods at the place of acceptance of the goods. The market price of the goods must be taken into account. If such a market price cannot be determined, the value of the goods shall be the value of goods of the same type and condition. The carrier shall also bear the costs incurred in determining the damage. This can include, for example, appraisal costs.

Exclusion and limitation of liability for transport damage

The liability for transport damages is thus basically limited to the value of the goods. However, the German Commercial Code also provides that the carrier may invoke certain provisions which exclude or limit his liability. For example, a maximum of 8.33 Special Drawing Rights of the International Monetary Fund must be paid per kilogram of the consignment.

The limitation of liability shall, however, not apply if the carrier or his employees are at fault. In these cases he cannot invoke the relief of liability but must replace the full value of the goods.

The liability of the carrier for damage in transit is excluded if the loss or damage is due to circumstances which the carrier could not avoid even with the utmost care and whose consequences he could not avert. Even if the damage occurs because the goods have not been adequately packed by the consignor, the carrier cannot be held liable for the damage. The same applies if defective marking of the goods leads to damage or if the goods are prone to damage due to their natural condition.

Lawyer Dr. Tristan Wegner

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