General Terms and Conditions for

Ship Brokers and Ship Agents in Germany



Article 1  Scope


(1)     These General Terms and Conditions (hereinafter referred to as “General Terms”) shall apply to any and all types of legal relationship (hereinafter referred to as “Assignment”) between [name of the ship broker] (hereinafter referred to as the “Ship Broker”, independent of the legal nature of the Assignment), a member company of the German Ship Brokers’ Association (Zentralverband Deutscher Schiffsmakler e.V.) and any other contractual partner which calls upon the services of the Ship Broker (hereinafter referred to as the “Client“), regardless of whether the Assignment of the Ship Broker is non-recurring or continuous.


(2)     These General Terms shall apply specifically, but without limitation, to the Assignment of a Ship Broker as (1) liner agent (including the right to enter into bills of lading in the name, and/or for the account, of the Client), as (2) port or canal agent and as (3) sale & purchase broker or chartering broker.



Article 2  Characteristics of Services










Article 3  Remuneration, Compensation for Expenses











Article 4  Offsetting, Right of Retention, Lien







Article 5  Liability of the Ship Broker




  1. an intentional or grossly negligent breach of duty;


  1. a culpable breach of duty resulting in an injury to life, body or health;


  1. non-fulfillment of a guaranteed characteristic; or


  1. the culpable violation of a fundamental contractual obligation. Fundamental contractual obligations (cardinal obligations) are deemed those obligations the proper performance of which is indispensable in enabling the relevant contract entered into on the basis of these General Terms to be performed and upon the compliance with which the Client customarily relies.






Article 6  Special Liability for Forwarding Services











Article 7  Time Bar


All claims against the Ship Broker, his official bodies, his employees and his other vicarious agents shall, independent of legal grounds, become time-barred upon expiry of one year from the relevant statutory beginning of the period of limitation unless any of the cases of liability as set forth in Article 5 Clause 2 Sub-clauses a. to d. has arisen.




Article 8  Embargos and Sanctions





Article 9  Dangerous Goods


The Client shall inform the Ship Broker immediately and without delay in writing if the Assignment involves any items or goods which require special handling in regard to their receipt, loading, discharge, storage, transport or delivery, or for which notification or a permit is required. This shall specifically include, without limitation, dangerous goods as defined under the International Maritime Code for Dangerous Goods (IMDG Code).


Article 10  Confidentiality


The Ship Broker is required to treat as confidential only such information and data of the Client which the Client has specifically identified as confidential in writing.



Article 11  Written Form


Any amendments of supplements to these General Conditions or to the contract of which these General Conditions are an integral part must be made in writing in order to be valid. This shall also apply to the nullification of or any amendments to the requirement of the written form.



Article 12  Place of Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Disputes with Consumers



To the extent that Art. 31 of the CMR or Art 46 § 1 of the CIM is applicable, the place of jurisdiction set out in the foregoing sentence shall not be exclusive, but additional. As far as Art. 39 of the CMR, Art. 33 of the Montreal Convention or Art. 28 of the Warsaw Convention are applicable, the first sentence of this Clause shall not apply. Further, the first sentence of this Clause shall not apply if a different place of jurisdiction is provided for in mandatory statutory law.







Copyright and sole distribution right:

German Ship Brokers’ Association

(Zentralverband Deutscher Schiffsmakler e.V.)

Schopenstehl 15, 20095 Hamburg, Germany

E-mail: info@schiffsmakler.de

Phone: +49 40/32 60 82   Fax +49 40/33 19 95


These General Terms and Conditions are available to all members of the German Ship Brokers‘ Association free of charge in German and English.



Please note that no liability claims can be derived towards ZVDS e.V. for the content of this manual, despite careful development and examination of this document!