Every year it is part of the Christmas tradition to ship from us to singapore gifts by post to relatives, friends and business partners. Gradually it is time to send the parcels so that they arrive on time at the gift table. The editorial staff at anwalt.de explains what to do if the gift does not reach the recipient at all, does not arrive on time or is damaged.
Freight contract with AGB
The legal basis for parcel shipment is a freight contract in accordance with § 407 ff. of the German Civil Code. German Commercial Code (HGB). In addition, the provisions of the German Civil Code shall also apply, e.g. in the event of performance disruptions arising from the contractual relationship. The carrier undertakes to transport and deliver the freight to the consignee and receives the freight (postage) paid by the sender in return.
Since the success of this contract of carriage is also owed (delivery to the consignee), the contract of carriage is at the same time also a contract for work and services within the meaning of §§ 631 et seq. of the German Civil Code. BGB (GERMAN CIVIL CODE).
The parties to the contract of carriage are the parcel service and the sender. Although the recipient himself is not a party to the contract, he is also included in the scope of protection of the contract of carriage via the legal form of the contract in favour of third parties and can assert claims in his own name.
Possible service disruptions
If the Christmas parcel is lost, it is legally impossible to provide the service which assigns the sender a claim for damages against the carrier. He can also reclaim the paid freight in such a case. In the event of late delivery, the sender can also reclaim the freight, but the further damage caused by the delay is then limited to three times the parcel postage. The weight of the parcel also plays a role.
If the present has been damaged during transport, this is a case of poor performance of the underlying freight contract. The contract was therefore fulfilled, but not under the contractually agreed conditions. The parcel service is obliged to deliver the parcel and its contents undamaged. In this case, the damages for the damaged cargo are calculated by comparing the market value of the cargo and its value with the damage. The transport charge and all related costs will also be reimbursed.
The claim for damages refers only to the freight itself. Consequential damages (e.g. loss of profit, expert costs for damage assessment, costs for alternative transport) will not be compensated beyond the regular statutory claim for damages. If one wants to insure such damages, one can conclude an appropriate insurance.
However, the carrier shall only be liable if the event causing the default lies within his sphere of influence. However, he is not liable for other events beyond his control (natural disasters, strikes, etc.).
Limitation of liability
Only if the parcel service has damaged the freight or delayed its dispatch due to gross negligence or intent shall it be fully liable. In all other cases, in particular in the case of slight negligence, legal or contractual limitations of liability can intervene in favour of the parcel services in the event of performance disruptions.
The parcel services use, for example, general terms and conditions (AGB) which exclude individual legal liability situations, such as the liability of the service provider in the event of loss of the freight or the exclusion of the transport of special goods (for particularly valuable objects, animals, etc.).
Attention: It is worth taking a closer look at the general terms and conditions of the parcel service. This is because the general terms and conditions are usually drawn up very individually by the shipping companies.
Tips for shipping
If you receive a damaged parcel or it arrives late, you should report this immediately to the parcel service. If you receive a parcel, it is best to check that the contents are intact at the time of delivery. The damage can then be reported to the employee of the parcel service who delivered the parcel. The notification can be made by the sender or by the recipient.
If the disturbance is reported immediately, a legal presumption that the parcel service causes the damage or the delay or non-delivery has to represent. He can then only relieve himself if he can prove that the error was caused by the sender or recipient (inadequate packaging, inadequate marking, etc.).
Our experts with legal knowledge will be happy to advise you on which rules apply when shipping abroad, when you exchange a gift and how long you can redeem a gift voucher – on site, by telephone or by e-mail.