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German Freight Forwarders Terms and Conditions (ADSp) amended

On Monday, 14 December 2015 Deutsche Speditions- und Logistikerverband (DSLV), the umbrella association of the German freight forwarders, published the new version of their Standard Terms and Conditions 2016 (ADSp). Enterprises in a lot of cases have to take into account a higher liability and should check their insurance cover. Amendments were also made for demurrage and maximum limits of liability for warehousing upon instruction. In addition, not only the ADSp 2016 but also DTLB (German Transport and Warehousing Terms and Conditions) will apply in future and bring about more legal uncertainty.

Raising the liability amounts

The new ADSp-version 2016 can be downloaded from the website of the association.

Whereas previously under the old ADSp-version liability was limited in principle to 5 € per kg, it is now generally increased to 8.33 Special Drawing Rights (SDR). Actually, the maximum liability amount of € 5/kg was applied very rarely onlyin the past, because the forwarder mostly was working on the basis of fixed prices or did the transport on his own, which means that his liability was calculated with 8.33 SDR.

After the amendment, however, the limits of liability in case of warehousing or in case of simple forwarding operations are twice as high now. In addition, the maximum limit of liability for warehousing upon instruction increased to € 25000 per claim. In these cases the value declaration pursuant to point 3.3 ADSp 2016 gains more importance because the party ordering can increase liability to € 50/kg or €10,000/package.

Other alterations

It was also laid down that loading and unloading may only take two hours at a maximum and that otherwise demurrage has to be paid. In the absence of agreement a scaling of contributions in conformity with space for euro pallets and/or handled weight was fixed, as laid down in point 11.1 ADSp 2016.

Uncertainty due to ADSp version 2016 and DTLB

After negotiations with the shipping representatives failed Deutsche Speditions- und Logistikverband now issued their own ADSp. This is not a set of rules negotiated jointly, as was the case before. Therefore, the associations of the shipping trade and industry in the meantime made up their own conditions, named DTLB (Deutsche Transport- und Lagerbedingungen). We have to wait and see whether ADSp 2016 and DTLB will meet with the legal requirements for Standard Conditions (§§ 307 et seq. BGB). Because both of these works did not come into life by joint negotiations anymore, the courts that have to decide whether these conditions are appropriate might be more rigorous in their judgement. Thus, we have to wait and see how things will develop.


Enterprises should check in this connection whether their insurance cover is sufficient in case the new conditions will be applied. In addition, enterprises wishing to apply ADSP 2016 or DTLB should take care that they are included properly, especially in

Should you need assistance with ADSp 2016 or DTLB, we are pleased to be at your disposal. Please contact us.

Rechtsanwalt Dr. Tristan Wegner

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