Egypt is a country that has a long history of maritime trade and shipping, and, hence, the country has developed a comprehensive legal framework to regulate maritime activates in Egypt.
Law No. 8 of the year 1990 concerning issuing the Maritime Trade Law is the main legislation that governs Maritime Shipping in Egypt. The said Law covers a broad range of topics including maritime shipping of passengers and cargo, liability of ship owners for damages caused by their ships. The Egypt's maritime regulatory framework is overseen by the Egyptian Maritime safety Authority (EMSA) which is responsible for implementing and enforcing the country's maritime laws and regulations, the said Authority is also responsible for conducting inspections of ships, issuing licenses, permits and responding to maritime incidents.
In addition to the maritime laws, Egypt has also ratified a number of international conventions related to maritime shipping.
Overall the Maritime shipping laws and regulations in Egypt are designed to regulate all the matters regarding the shipping activities as well as promoting the country's economic interest through development of a strong and competitive maritime industry.
- Types of Maritime Shipping in Egypt:
There are two types of maritime shipping in Egypt:
Shipping of Cargo :
The maritime transport contract is a contract under which the carrier undertakes to transport goods or persons by sea in exchange of fees. The Maritime Transport Contract shall only be established in writing, and the carrier shall issue, at the request of the shipper upon receipt of the goods, a bill of lading, provided that the shipper shall submit in writing the data related to the goods when they are delivered to the carrier, and these data are recorded in the bill of lading.
The Responsibilities of the Carrier:
- Upon receipt of the goods, the carrier issues a bill of lading at the request of the shipper. In particular, the bill of lading shall indicate:
(A) Names and addresses of each of the carrier, the shipper and the consignee.
(B) The characteristics of the goods as recorded by the shipper, in particular their nature, the number of packages, their weight or size, the distinguishing marks affixed to them, and their apparent condition, including the condition of the containers placed in them.
(C) The name of the ship, if the bond was issued at the time of making the shipment or after it was made.
(D) The name of the master.
(E) The port of loading and the port of discharge.
(F) The transportation fare, if it is fully due upon arrival or the due part thereof.
(G) The place and date of issuance of the bond and the number of copies made thereof.
(H) Transportation takes place on the deck of the ship if it is carried out in this manner.
- The carrier must prepare the ship and equip it with what is necessary to make it fit for navigation, to carry out the agreed travel, and to transport the type of goods in which it is being shipped.
- The carrier is bound to load and unload the goods on/from the ship, and is also bound to stack the goods on the ship, transport them and deliver them upon their arrival.
- The carrier is obliged to preserve the goods that are loaded on the ship.
- With the exception of coastal navigation between Egyptian ports, the carrier may not load goods on deck unless authorized by the shipper to do so in writing, or if the carrier is obligated to load in this manner by virtue of the law in force in the port of shipment, or if the nature of the cargo requires or if custom in this port applies.
- If the ship stops continuing travel, whatever the reason may be, the carrier must take the necessary measures to prepare another ship to transport the goods to the port agreed upon and bear the expenses arising therefrom.
- The carrier guarantees the loss and damage of the goods if the loss or damage occurs in the period between the carrier's receipt of the goods at the port of shipment and his delivery at the port of discharge to the person entitled to receive them or deposit them.
The responsibilities of the shipper:
- The shipper shall provide in writing particulars relating to the goods upon their delivery to the carrier, and such particulars shall be indicated in the bill of lading
- If the goods are dangerous or subject to inflammation or explosion, the shipper must notify the carrier of that, and place a statement on the goods to warn of their danger, and a statement of how to protect them whenever possible.
- The shipper is responsible before the carrier for compensation for the damage that arises from the incorrectness of the data he provided about the goods, even if he relinquished the bill of lading to a third party.
- The shipper must deliver the goods to the carrier at the time and place agreed upon or as required by the prevailing custom at the port of shipment – if there is no agreement to the contrary – and the amount of compensation due upon delay in the implementation of this obligation may not exceed the amount of the fare.
- The shipper is obligated to pay the freight, and if the freight is due upon arrival, the person who has the right to receive the goods must also pay it if he accepts receiving it.
- The shipper shall be liable for the damage to the ship or the goods being shipped on it if the damage arose from his act or the act of his subordinates or from a defect in his goods.
Transportation of passengers:
- The contract of carriage of persons by sea shall be established by a document called the "travel ticket" and the following shall be mentioned in the travel ticket:
(A) The name of the carrier and the name of the passenger.
(B) A statement of the trip.
(C) The name of the ship.
(D) The port of embarkation and its date, the port of arrival and its date, and the intermediate ports designated for the ship's berthing.
(E) The freight.
(F) The class and number of the room occupied by the passenger or his place in the ship.
- The ticket may not be assigned to a third party without the consent of the carrier.
- The travel ticket may be replaced by another document showing the name of the carrier and the services he is obligated to perform, if the ship's total tonnage does not exceed twenty nautical tons, or if the ship performs services inside the port or in limited areas designated by the maritime authorities.
- Any agreement concluded prior to the occurrence of the accident that resulted in the damage and the subject of which is one of the following matters shall be null and void:
(A) Exempting the carrier from liability towards the traveler, his heirs, or their dependents.
(B) Modifying the burden of proof that the law places on him.
(C) Determining the compensation to be less than what is stipulated in Article 258 of this law.
(D) Assignment to the carrier of the rights arising from insurance on the person of the traveler.
Responsibilities of the Carrier:
- The carrier is obligated to prepare the ship and equip it with what is necessary to make it fit for navigation and to carry out the agreed travel, and he is obligated to keep the ship in this condition throughout the travel period.
- The carrier shall be liable for any damage that may occur as a result of death of the traveler or any physical injuries the passenger sustains if the accident that resulted in the damage occurred during the execution of the carriage contract.
- The carrier shall be liable for the damage arising from the delay in the implementation of the obligations imposed on him by the contract, unless he proves that this delay is due to a foreign cause beyond his control.
- The carrier's obligation includes the carriage of the passenger's baggage within the limits specified by contract or custom.
- The carrier or his representative shall deliver a receipt for
the baggage that the traveler hands over to him for transportation,
and such baggage shall be recorded in a special book, Cars and
other vehicles handed over by the passenger to the carrier for
transportation with him on the ship are considered among the
- Responsibilities of the Passenger:
- The Passenger must appear for travel at the time and place indicated in the travel ticket. If the passenger fails to appear for travel or is late for the specified time, he remains obligated to pay the fare.
- If the passenger dies or an impediment arises that prevents him from traveling, the contract shall be rescinded, provided that he or his heirs notify the carrier of that at least three days before the date set for travel.
- In the event of a physical injury, the carrier must be notified
in writing of the injury within fifteen days from the date of the
passenger's departure from the ship, otherwise it is presumed
that he left the ship without injury, unless he proves
- Types of Claims :
- Cargo claims.
- Passengers claims.
- Cargo Claims:
- The lawsuits arising from the contract of carriage of goods by sea shall be filed before the competent court in accordance with the provisions of the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law. It is also permissible, according to the plaintiff's choice, to file the aforementioned lawsuits with the court in whose jurisdiction the port of loading, the port of discharge, or the port in which the ship is impounded is located, and every agreement is null. Prior to the emergence of the dispute, the plaintiff is denied or restricted the right to this choice.
- Claims arising from a contract of carriage of goods by sea shall lapse with the lapse of two years from the date of delivery of the goods or from the date on which the delivery should have taken place.
- The validity of the period shall be interrupted by a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt, the delivery of the documents related to the claim, or the assignment of an expert to assess the damages, in addition to the reasons stipulated in the civil law.
- The right of the person against whom the claim is directed to have recourse against other obligors shall lapse after ninety days from the date of filing the lawsuit against him or from the date on which he made the payment, even if the period referred to in Paragraph (1) of this Article has expired.
- If it is agreed in the contract for the carriage of goods by sea to refer the claims arising therefrom to arbitration, the arbitration shall be conducted according to the plaintiff's choice in the circuit of the court in which the port of loading or the port of discharge is located, or in the home of the defendant, or in the place of concluding the contract, provided that the defendant is in this place A main center or branch of an agency or in the place specified in the arbitration agreement or in the court district in which the port in which the ship is impounded is located, and any agreement prior to the emergence of the dispute that deprives the plaintiff of the right to this choice or restricts it.
- In the event of an agreement to refer the claims arising from the contract of carriage of goods by sea to arbitration, the arbitrators shall be bound to settle the dispute in accordance with the provisions stipulated in this law regarding the aforementioned contract, and any agreement prior to the emergence of the dispute that exempts the arbitrators from compliance with these provisions shall be null and void.
- The lawsuits arising from the contract of carriage of persons by sea shall be brought to the competent court in accordance with the provisions stipulated in the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law. It is also permissible, according to the plaintiff's choice, to file the aforementioned lawsuits to the court in whose jurisdiction the port of embarkation, the port of arrival, or the port in which the ship is impounded is located, and it is null and void. Every agreement prior to the emergence of the dispute stipulates that the plaintiff shall be denied or restricted the right to this choice.
- The claim for compensation for the damage arising from the death or injury of the traveler shall lapse with the lapse of two years, effective from:
(A) The day following the passenger's departure from the ship in the event of bodily injury.
(B) The day on which the passenger should have left the ship in the event of death during the execution of the contract of carriage.
(C) The day of death if it occurred after the passenger had left the ship and due to an accident that occurred during the execution of the carriage contract. In this case, the case shall lapse in any case after the lapse of three years from the date of the passenger's departure from the ship.
- A claim for compensation for damage arising from delayed arrival shall expire with the lapse of six months from the day following the passenger's departure from the ship.
- Claims arising from the carriage of baggage shall lapse with the lapse of two years from the day following the day the passenger left the ship or the day following the day on which he should have left it.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.