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Cargo Claim Procedure

Guide to Cargo Claims Handling

With a differentiated claim handling performance, we pursue world-class customer satisfaction.

Our aim is to minimize the inconvenience of our customers.
This guide was prepared to guide you through the process of cargo claim to help your understanding for a prompt processing of a claim. Any claim that has been received by SM Line will be handled according to the terms and conditions of our bill of lading.

For more details, please refer to the following.

See reverse terms and conditions of
Original B/L Download
Seawaybill Download

  • Once cargo loss/damage has been found upon receipt of your cargo, please immediately contact your cargo insurer, if the cargo is insured. Subsequent processing will be followed with the guidance of the cargo insurer.
  • If the cargo is uninsured, please contact SM Line with the details of the cargo loss/damage including the Bill of Lading number and the Container number.
  • The claim notice must be made within 3 days of the date of receipt of the cargo.
  • It is not necessary to appoint a surveyor in all cases, but it is recommended to have a surveyor to identify and to determine the cause of damage and mitigate the damage.
  • Please keep the condition of the cargo as it is and, if necessary, request for a joint survey with SM Line. It will be decided whether to conduct a joint survey or not without delay, depending on the cargo value and the quantum of the damage.
  • as a matter of law, you are obliged to mitigate the damage when a claim occurs. To minimize loss, please take mitigation measures such as segregating damaged cargo, repairing, repackaging and selling the remaining cargo.
  • The reasonable costs incurred to mitigate the damage may be included in your claim.
  • If the following documents are submitted when the formal claim is filed, it will enable us to process your claim in more prompt manner.
    • Claim letter: a letter stating the cause of the damage/loss of the cargo, details, amount, etc.
    • SM Line Bill of Lading copies
    • Commercial Invoice, Packing List
    • Delivery Receipt or Record
    • Survey report
    • Letter of Subrogation, Insurance Policy, etc
  • We will acknowledge a claim within 15 days after a formal claim is received. We aim to process the claim documents within 60 days from the date of complete filing, but it is subject to change according to circumstances.
  • We will confirm our receipt within 15 days of receiving the formal claim. Additional documentation may be required in addition to the above documents if necessary.
  • We will investigate the cause of loss/damage of cargo and judge whether or not we are liable.
  • We will notify you of the results of our review after we have evaluated the merits of the claim in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of SM Line Bill of Lading, the Hague Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules and the relevant domestic and international laws.