Limitation of Forwarding Contract Claims

Regional Court of Bonn, judgment of 25 February 2016 – 12 O 18/15.


The decision of the Regional Court of Bonn is unspectacular, but it clearly shows the dangers of a delayed assertion of claims sourcing from forwarding and freight contracts.

An automotive supplier made claims under the forwarding contract against the forwarder, which had transported a ,, show car “. The court dismissed the action because the defendant successfully raised the plea of limitation.

According to sec 463, 439 German Commercial Code, claims from the forwarding contract are barred 1 year after the expiry of the day on which the goods were delivered. Only in case of intent or a similar behavior, the limitation period is 3 years.

The assertion of intent or similar behavior is subject to considerable uncertainty. Therefore claims sourcing from freight or transport contracts should always be made before the limitation periodof 1 year expires.