Issued by Polish International Freight Forwarders Association
Approved by the Polish Chamber of Commerce
POLISH GENERAL FORWARDING RULES 2002(translation only –without prejudice)
The Polish General Forwarding Rules apply to the relationship between the
Freight Forwarder and his Customer.
2.1. A Freight Forwarder is a person who professionally, against remuneration,
on his own name but on the account of a Customer or in the name of a
Customer, covenants to forward or receive goods, to organize a part or whole
process of translocation of goods, as well as to render the other services related
with attendance and translocation of the goods.
2.2. The other services as mentioned in point 2.1. above consist of : advisory
services connected with transport, insurance, loading, storage, packing,1
consolidation, distribution, logistic and others similar to;
2.2.1.performed by the Freight Forwarder with his own equipment and staff ;
2.2.2. organized by the Freight Forwarder but entrusting the performance of
the operation to the third parties – in case he assumed the liability of the direct
2.3. With relation to these activities performed by the Freight Forwarder, the
general rules regulating a special kind of activity or other mandatory rules will
apply, provided that the Freight Forwarder declares that the aforementioned
rules, agreed upon by the third parties, with whom the Freight Forwarder has
entered into agreement in order to perform an accepted forwarding order, are
3.1. The Freight Forwarder can perform the carriage himself. In such case he
has the rights and obligations of a Carrier at the same time.
3.2. The Freight Forwarder has the rights and duties of the carrier provided
3.2.1. he performs carriage by his own means of transportation and issues his
own transport document;
3.2.2. he acts as sea carrier or multimodal transport operator issuing his own
bill of lading or FIATA bill of lading called the Negotiable FIATA
Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading ;
3.2.3. he performs a carriage by means of transportation owned by the third
party, but issues his own transport document (contracting carrier) ;
3.2.4. he accepts transport order.
Within the meaning of this Rules a Customer is a person / party concluding a
contract with the Freight Forwarder, ordering to the Freight Forwarder the
performance of services or activities, or a person entering into the rights of that
The provisions of these Rules do not apply to the forwarding of money,
securities, documents, jewelry and other valuables.
The Freight Forwarder’s offer covers only that services which are explicitly
listed therein and is valid only to the date specified for its acceptance.
6.1. The Freight Forwarder’s offer and agreements concerning the rates and
services (his own, or third parties) cover only the goods specified in the order
and assume typical conditions of the performance of such offer or agreement.
6.2. Unless otherwise stipulated each offer or quotation remains valid subject
to immediate acceptance by the Customer and if the order refers to that offer.
6.3. In case either component of the offer changes, due to the external
circumstances and beyond the control of the Freight Forwarder, the prices
quoted or agreed upon will be corrected accordingly up to the moment the
change occurred. The correction made due to the circumstances the Freight
Forwarder is liable for should be accepted by the other party – i.e. the
6.4. In case the Freight Forwarder, depending on the situation, applied “all
inclusive” rates, it is understood that unless otherwise agreed upon, the said
rates contained all costs born by the Forwarder during performance of the
The Forwarding Contract
7.1. By a Contract of Forwarding the Freight Forwarder is obliged -against
remuneration - within the frameworks of his commercial activity, to forward or
receive the goods, or to organize other services related with transport.
7.2. The Forwarding Contract is considered to be concluded upon receipt of
the order by the Freight Forwarder unless he informs the Customer without
delay about the refusal of its acceptance.
8.1. The Freight Forwarder performs the activities on the basis of the
8.2. The order does not require for its validity to be in a written form, however,
in order to avoid any misunderstandings and misrepresentation it is
recommended the order to be issued or confirmed in writing or by fax, e-mail.
8.2.1. The Freight Forwarder is not liable for the consequences of errors and
misunderstanding resulting from orders received verbally or by telephone.
8.2.2. The Freight forwarder is not liable for the consequences of
supplementary instructions provided by the Customer directly to the third
parties engaged in the performance of the forwarding process.
8.3. The order should indicate the scope of services ordered, the kind and
properties of goods, marks and numbers of the collies (packages), number of
pieces, weight, cubic measurements and any others particulars and documents
necessary for its proper executions.
8.4. The Customer is obliged to ensure that the order is correct and complete.
The Customer is liable to the Freight Forwarder and third parties for any
consequences resulting from inaccurate, incomplete or incorrect data, also with
regard to the particulars contained in documents, correspondence or indicated
on the goods /e.g. weight, dimensions and properties/ as well as from defective
packing of the goods etc., even if the inaccuracy, incompleteness or
incorrectness occurred without his fault.
8.5. The Freight Forwarder is not obliged but is entitled to verify whether
information given in the order are complete and correct.
8.6. The Freight Forwarder is entitled but not obliged to verify the genuineness
of the signatures and power of attorney of the signatories to sign the orders,
notices, transfers, assignments and other documents.
8.7. In case of dangerous goods, the Customer delivering the order should
indicate their properties, degree and nature of danger, as well as necessary
precautions. In case of dangerous goods within the meaning of special
regulations covering transport of dangerous goods, the Customer is obliged to
indicate all particulars needed for the performance of the forwarding order,
especially their classification being in accordance with the regulations
concerning dangerous goods.
8.8. The Freight Forwarder is entitled to entrust the performance of the
received order and /or particular operations to third parties or their
subcontractors. In such case all regulations concerning limitation of the Freight
Forwarder’s liability pertaining to this General Forwarding Rules, apply to the
Completion of the order
9.1. The Freight Forwarder is obliged to perform his services in accordance
with the accepted order. In case the Forwarder is forced to act in the absence of
detailed instructions he should protect the goods observing proper care and
9.2. In the absence of detailed instructions from the Customer the Freight
Forwarder can act at his own discretion choosing the most favorable for the
Customer : time, means, conditions and mode of transportation. In any case the
Freight Forwarder acts taking into account the interest of the goods but at the
risk and the expense of the Customer.
9.3. Unless otherwise agreed the Freight Forwarder has always the option to
dispatch the goods by groupage transport.
9.4. The Freight Forwarder is not obliged to take over the consignment without
respective documents, but in case he undertakes to do it at the request of the
Customer he has the right to demand from the Customer adequate guarantees
and whilst waiting for such - to hold the consignment or documents as well as
the title for the indemnity covering the arisen costs.
9.5. The Freight Forwarder informs the Customer of realization of the order, of
any alterations in the time table and obstacles having influence on the
realization, informs him and the persons indicated by him of arrival or dispatch
of the goods, prepares the required documents and undertakes necessary steps
to obtain such documents from third parties in due time.
9.6. If the Freight Forwarder is obliged to send documents as registered letters
in such case he is not responsible for non – delivery or delay in delivery.
9.7. By taking over the consignment the Freight Forwarder, or person
authorized by him, is obliged to check whether it arrived in proper, undamaged
state without shortages and in conformity with accompanied documents (Bill
of Lading, Waybill, etc.).
9.8. If the consignment is discharged to the warehouse belonging to the third
persons checking of its state and conformity with the transport document is
arranged by the warehouse – keeper.
9.9. Should damage, or shortage in the goods, lack of seals or other protection
means be stated – the Freight Forwarder shall secure Customer’s rights in
relation to third parties responsible for damages, informing Customer
9.10. Certificate of Receipt of the goods issued by the Freight Forwarder
constitutes a presumption that the goods have been received by the Freight
Forwarder in such condition as indicated in the Certificate.
9.11. Executing the order covering export of the consignment the Freight
Forwarder is responsible for meeting the terms of dispatch and delivery
stipulated in the delivery contract (Letter of Credit etc.) unless it was caused
by the reasons beyond the control of the Freight Forwarder. In such case the
Freight Forwarder is obliged to notify and inform Customer accordingly.
10.1. The Freight Forwarder concludes „cargo insurance” agreement only upon
receipt of a explicit order in writing. Unless otherwise agreed in writing the
Freight Forwarder is not under any obligation to effect a separate insurance for
10.2. Indication of the value of the consignment in the order is not considered
as an order to effect “cargo” insurance.
10.3. Offering to his Customer “cargo” insurance, or concluding it in his name
and on his account the Freight Forwarder ought to acquaint him with the
10.3.1. The Customer as well as all other persons in which interest or account
acts the Freight Forwarder subordinate to all conditions of the concluded
insurance, subject that they were informed accordingly by the Freight
11.1. The Freight Forwarder concludes contract for storage in the name and on
Customer’s behalf in accordance with the received order. The Freight
Forwarder, storing the goods entrusted to him in his own or third parties
warehouses, is obliged to notify the Customer thereof, indicating the name of
the warehouse and the conditions of storage.
11.2. The Customer is entitled to know the conditions of storage. He is obliged
to submit without delay his objections concerning the storage of goods and
choice of the warehouse in case they occurred. If he neglects this opportunity,
he resigns at the same time from all eventual claims concerning the kind and
manner of storage, subject that the selection and storage are carried with
Freight Forwarder’s due diligence.
11.3. The Customer is not allowed to execute any manipulation connected with
the goods ( for instance sampling) before previous notice given to the Freight
Forwarder, otherwise the Freight Forwarder shall be entitled to decline from
any liability for later ascertained damages.
11.4. If the consignee refuses to take over the consignment at the place of
destination, or the consignment has been stopped during transportation due to
the circumstances beyond the control of the Freight Forwarder – then the
consignment will be stored at the costs and risk of the Customer. The Freight
Forwarder is obliged to inform without delay the Customer and the insurer (in
case he insured transported consignment) that the consignment is stored
unexpectedly during the course of transportation.
11.5. In case the Freight Forwarder stores temporarily the consignment in the
warehouse belonging the third party, his relations with the Customer are
governed by the same rules, which governs the relationship between the
Freight Forwarder and above mentioned third party. At the request of the
Customer the Freight Forwarder is obliged to send him the storage conditions.
11.6. In case of perishable goods which are in danger to be spoiled, the
Customer has to instruct the Freight Forwarder with regard to further behavior
with the goods.
11.7. In case of reasonable doubts of the Freight Forwarder whether the value
of goods covers his claims the Freight Forwarder is entitled to establish for the
Customer a reasonable time limit during which the Customer should secure
Freight Forwarder’s claims. If the Customer does not accept that request, the
Freight Forwarder is authorized to cancel the contract without notice of
Obstacles in carrying out of Forwarding activities
Obstacles which are beyond the control of the Freight Forwarder or other party
acting on his order (acts of governmental authorities, natural disasters, strikes
etc. and other circumstances which can be regarded as force majeure) and
which make it, fully or in part, impossible for the Freight Forwarder to fulfill
his obligations, exempt him for the time of the duration of these obstacles from
responsibility for the execution of the order. Notice of such obstacles should be
given by the Freight Forwarder to the Customer without any delay. Should the
obstacles last too long, the Freight Forwarder can withdraw from the contract,
even if it has been partly executed. However, prior to the withdrawal, the
Freight Forwarder is obliged to protect the goods and secure the interests of the
Customer upon consulting him. In case of canceling the contract for the
aforesaid reasons, the Freight Forwarder is entitled to reimbursement of
expenses incurred in execution of the order and to appropriate part of
remuneration for operations already performed. In case the parties refer to the
“force majeure” then the interpretation of the force majeure of the International
Chamber of Commerce in Paris (ICC 650*) should be applied.
* ICC interpretation February 2003
Remuneration of the Freight Forwarder, reimbursement of
13.1. The Freight Forwarder is entitled to the remuneration from the Customer
in accordance with the provisions of the Contract.
13.2. For the services not agreed upon in the Contract, but duly performed by
the Freight Forwarder upon consultation with the Customer, the Freight
Forwarder is entitled to appropriate remuneration as well as to reimbursement
of expenses occurred.
13.3. In case of lack of separate agreement the Freight Forwarder’s
remuneration is defined by Freight Forwarder’s Tariff.
The Freight Forwarder is entitled to demand advance payment (e.g. freights,
port charges, custom dues etc.) before execution of the order. The Freight
Forwarder is also entitled to demand immediate reimbursement of expenses
already incurred, before proceeding with further execution of the order.
15.1. Unless otherwise agreed the amounts due to the Freight Forwarder are
due at the moment of execution of the order. In case of consecutive deliveries
the Freight Forwarder is entitled to demand partial payments of his dues.
15.2. If the customer does not pay due amount within the time limit the Freight
Forwarder is entitled to debit him with the interests.
Seizure, loss of the consignment due to force majeure, confiscation or other
acts of government authorities shall not affect the claims of the Freight
Forwarder against the Customer unless they have not resulted from the
negligence of the Freight Forwarder.
Placing of an order with the Freight Forwarder on account of a third party
does not exempt the Customer from the obligation to pay the amounts due in
connection with the execution of the order.
The Freight Forwarder is obliged to check whether the amounts due to
subcontractors for services connected with the execution of the order, have
been calculated correctly. In case of any incorrectness the Freight Forwarder is
obliged to lodge a claim without delay. The Customer is obliged to reimburse
the Freight Forwarder his expenses connected with the claim.
19.1. The Customer is obliged to reimburse the Freight Forwarder all expenses
connected with the execution of the order including detention, demurrage and
freight which were born by the Freight Forwarder in the result of indicating
him by the Customer or his contracting party in the sea carrier’s Bill of Lading
or Airway Bill of Lading as a consignee.
19.2. If the Freight Forwarder on the basis of Customer’s order is presented in
the sea carriage in the B/L as shipper or consignee, the customer shall
indemnify him in respect of any claims of General Average or other nature,
which, according to the Law, may be charged on him and shall provide such
security as may be required by the Freight Forwarder in this respect.
19.3. The obligation (as written in par. 19.2.) is in force when the Freight
Forwarder on the basis of Customer’s order is presented in the Air Waybill as
shipper or consignee in the air carriage and claims are made towards him upon
the airfreight transport rules.
20.1. In relation with the claims of the Freight Forwarder arising from the
Forwarding Contract, contract of carriage, and any other claims it is allowed to
deduct or detain only the exactable counterclaims.
20.2. If the Freight Forwarder during executing the order disburses his own
funds, he has the right for special commission (outlay commission) from the
outlaid amount. The amount of the commission is fixed in the tariff or agreed
upon with the Customer.
Liability of the Freight Forwarder
The Freight Forwarder’s liability depends on the scope of the contract
22.1. The Freight Forwarder is liable for damages resulting from nonperformance
or improper performance of the duties arising from the
Forwarding Contract, unless he proves that he could not prevent the damage in
spite of exercising due diligence.
22.2. The Freight Forwarder is liable for carriers and subsequent freight
forwarders and other parties chosen by him, unless he is not at fault in their
22.3. The Freight Forwarder is obliged to take all necessary steps to enable the
Customer to pursue his claims against the parties participating in the execution
of the order, even if the Freight Forwarder is not liable for their activities or
non – activities. Upon the assignment of rights the Freight Forwarder shall
pursue these claims at the risk and expense of the Customer.
23.1. If the Freight Forwarder is entitled to the statutes of the carrier then his
rights and duties are subject to the provisions of the law applicable to the mode
of transport or service concerned, as well as the additional conditions expressly
agreed upon or - failing expressed agreement - by the usual conditions for such
mode of transport or service.
23.2. Acting as multimodal transport operator the Freight Forwarder is liable
according to the Bill of Lading conditions applicable to the respective mode of
Limitations and exclusions of the Freight Forwarder’s
24.1. The Freight Forwarder is not liable for :
24.1.1. Valuables or Dangerous Goods unless declared as such to the Freight
Forwarder in the concluded contract ;
24.1.2. loss following the delay of delivery unless expressly agreed in writing ;
24.1.3. indirect and/or consequential loss such as, but not limited to, loss of
profit , loss of market, etc.;
24.1.4. decrease of weight by break bulk cargoes resulted from their propriety,
not exceeding the limits for the said kind of cargoes specify in the respective
provisions and in case of lack of such , limits customary accepted.
25.1. The indemnity paid by the Freight Forwarder to the person authorized by
the conditions of concluded forwarding contract shall be determined according
to the current commodity value, stated in the commercial invoice, and in case
of lack of it - according to the current commodity exchange price, market price
or basing on the normal value of the goods of the same kind and quality.
In no case the indemnity payable by the Freight Forwarder shall exceed the
equivalent of 2 SDR per 1 kilograms of the gross weight of the goods lost or
damaged, and totally the amount of 50.000 SDR for each event, unless a
higher amount is recovered from a party for whom the Freight Forwarder is
25.2. The valid value of SDR is fixed on the basis of the rate of exchange
noted and published by the Polish National Bank on the day of the damage.
25.3. The limits of the Freight Forwarder’s liability and indemnification
having the status of the carrier are subjected to the provisions of the Law
applicable to the mode of transport concerned.
The Customer is solely entitled to submit to the Freight Forwarder a claim
related to the forwarding services ordered.
27.1. Customer’s claim against the Freight Forwarder should be handed over in
writing within 6 days after the date in which the Customer learned or had to
learn of the damage.
The Freight Forwarder is obliged to reply to the claim within 14 days of its
receipt at the latest. In special cases the said time – limit can be reasonably
extended, while in the time – limit of 14 day from the day of receiving of
claim, the Freight Forwarder is obliged to confirm its receipt and inform the
interested party concerning the manner and date of his investigation.
27.2. Claim for damage or shortage in the goods should be supported by the
documents stating the condition of the consignment and the circumstances in
which damage or shortage occurred.
27.3. The evidence that the damage of the consignment occurred during
transport on the précised means of transportation is the obligation of the
claimant. In case when the place of the damage is unknown, the Freight
Forwarder, at the demand of the Customer or consignee, should supply
documentary evidence concerning the route of transport, specifying the places
of reloading of the consignment from one means of transport to another.
Lien on the goods and retention
28.1. In order to secure the collection of his outstanding debts against the
Customer (present and overdue) the Freight Forwarder is entitled to keep the
Customer’s goods and / or documents until his outstanding debts have been
paid by the Customer.
28.2. The Freight Forwarder has the statutory right of lien on the goods,
documentation and monies as long as they remain in his possession due to any
reason or for any reason, in case the Freight Forwarder is or may be entitled to
lodge a claim against the Customer and/ or the owner of the goods or any other
party demanding handing over such consignment, documentation or monies.
28.2.1. The Freight Forwarder is entitled to realize his rights guaranteed to him
in point 28.2. concerning the amounts due to the Freight Forwarder from the
Customer for the previously executed orders.
28.3. In case if according to the order of the Customer the consignment should
be placed at the disposal of the third party or handed over to the third party, the
Freight Forwarder is entitled to lien on the consignment.
28.4. All costs connected with the lien of the consignment and / or documents
are debiting the goods.
29.1. Claims under the forwarding contract are subject to time bar of one year.
29.2. The limitation period commences:
29.2.1. In case of claims for damage to or shortage in the goods – from the date
of their delivery,
29.2.2. In case of total loss of the goods or their delayed delivery – from the
date when the goods should have been delivered,
29.2.3 In all other cases – from the date of the completion of the order.
In case when the Freight Forwarder subject to § 3 acquires the status of the
carrier, any claims under the contract of carriage are subject to limitation of the
provisions of domestic and international Law regulating the said issue.
Settlement of disputes and applicable law
The contracting Parties may arrange for that the claims resulted from the
contracts of forwarding regulated by the present Rules shall be submitted for
the jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration accredited by the Polish
International Freight Forwarders Association.
In the absence of a separate agreement between the Parties, all disputes arising
from the forwarding contract to which the present Polish General Forwarding
Rules apply, shall be settled :
32.1. in case where both Parties of the contract have their place of business
/domicile/ in Poland – by the Polish common courts in accordance with
general regulations to be applied in this respect.
32.2. in case when one of the Parties has his place of business or domicile
abroad, the competence of the court is to be established by the agreement of
the both Parties, and in case of its absence the respective provisions of the
In the absence of a different agreement between the parties, the Polish Law shall apply.