Liability information of the forwarding agent according to § 451 g HGB and behavior in the event of damage

scope of application

The carrier (hereinafter referred to as the forwarding agent) is liable according to the transport contract and the German Commercial Code (HGB). The same liability principles apply to the transport of goods to and from places outside of Germany. This also applies if different types of transport are used.

Liability Principles

The transport company is liable for damage caused by loss of or damage to the transported goods in the period from acceptance for transport to delivery or by exceeding the delivery period (custody liability).

maximum liability

The forwarder's liability for loss or damage is limited to an amount of € 620.00 per cubic meter of loading space required to fulfill the contract.

If the delivery period is exceeded, the liability of the forwarding agent is limited to three times the amount of the freight.

If the freight forwarder is liable due to the breach of a contractual obligation associated with the execution of the transport for damages that are not caused by loss of or damage to the transported goods or by exceeding the delivery period, and if the damage is other than property damage and personal injury, this In this case liability is limited to three times the amount that would have to be paid if the goods were lost.


If the freight forwarder is to pay compensation for loss, the value is to be compensated at the place and time of acceptance for carriage. If the transported goods are damaged, the difference between the value of the undamaged goods and the value of the damaged goods must be compensated. It depends on the place and time of acceptance for transport. The value of the transported goods is usually determined by the market price. In addition, the costs of determining the damage must be reimbursed.


The freight forwarder is released from liability if the loss, damage or exceeding the delivery period is due to circumstances which the freight forwarder could not avoid even with the greatest care and the consequences of which he was unable to avert (inevitable event).

Special Disclaimers

The freight forwarder is relieved of his liability insofar as the loss or damage is due to one of the following risks:

  1. Carriage of precious metals, jewels, precious stones, money, stamps, coins, securities or documents;
  2. inadequate packaging or labeling by the sender;
  3. Handling, loading or unloading of the transported goods by the sender;
  4. Carriage of goods in containers not packed by the carrier;
  5. Loading or unloading of goods to be transported whose size or weight does not correspond to the spatial conditions at the loading or unloading point, provided that the freight forwarder has previously informed the sender of the risk of damage and the sender has insisted on the performance of the service;
  6. Transport of live animals or plants;
  7. The natural or defective condition of the transported goods, as a result of which they are particularly susceptible to damage, in particular through breakage, malfunctions, rust, internal spoilage or leakage.

If damage has occurred which, according to the circumstances of the case, could have arisen from one of the risks listed under 1. to 7., it is assumed that the damage arose from this risk.

The freight forwarder can only invoke the special reasons for the exclusion of liability if he has taken all the measures he is responsible for under the circumstances and has observed special instructions.

Non-Contractual Claims

The exemptions from and limitations of liability also apply to non-contractual claims by the sender or recipient against the freight forwarder due to loss of or damage to the transported goods or exceeding the delivery period.

Maturity of the agreed fee

The invoice amount is due and payable in cash before the start of unloading for domestic transport and before loading for international transport. If the sender does not meet his payment obligation, the furniture removal company is entitled to stop the removal goods or to store them after the start of the transport at the sender's expense. § 419 HGB applies accordingly.

cancellation costs
The termination of the contract must be in writing. If the sender cancels a removal order before it is carried out, the following lost profit will be calculated as a percentage: if the cancellation is made no more than three days before the planned transport, 75% of the order amount. If canceled earlier, 50% of the order amount will be required.

Elimination of liability exemptions and limitations

The exemptions and limitations of liability do not apply if the damage is due to an act or omission committed by the freight forwarder intentionally or recklessly and with knowledge that damage is likely to occur.

liability of the people

If claims for damages from non-contractual liability due to loss of or damage to the goods being transported or due to exceeding the delivery period are raised against one of the furniture carrier's employees, they can also invoke the liability exemptions and limitations. This does not apply if he acted intentionally or recklessly and in the knowledge that damage would probably occur.

delivery of the good

The goods to be transported are handed over to the Schwalbe removals company unpackaged. In the case of goods that have already been packed, damage can only be claimed if the packaging is also damaged and this is reported to Schwalbe removals company before unpacking.


Schwalbe removals company has a right of lien on the transported goods due to all claims based on the removal contract. He can refuse to hand it over as long as the agreed fee has not yet been paid.

Acting freight forwarder

If the transport is carried out in whole or in part by a third party (performing freight forwarder), then this third party is liable for damage caused by loss of or damage to the goods or exceeding the delivery time during the transport carried out by him, in the same way as the freight forwarder. The executing freight forwarder can assert all objections to which the freight forwarder is entitled under the contract of carriage. The freight forwarder and the executing freight forwarder are jointly and severally liable. If claims are made against employees of the executing freight forwarder, the provisions on the liability of employees apply to them.

Liability Agreement

The freight forwarder advises the sender of the possibility of agreeing on a more extensive liability than that provided for by law in return for payment of a corresponding fee.

transport insurance

The carrier informs the sender of the possibility of insuring the goods against payment of a separate premium.

Electrical and installation work

Unless contractually agreed, the employees of Schwalbe removals company are not authorized to carry out electrical, gas, dowel and other installation work.

damage indicator

In order to prevent the expiration of claims for compensation, the following must be observed:

  • The sender is obliged to examine the goods upon delivery for externally visible damage or losses. These are to be recorded on the delivery receipt or a damage report - specified - or reported to the forwarding agent no later than the day after delivery.
  • Damage or loss that is not externally visible must be reported to the forwarding agent within 14 days of delivery.
  • Flat-rate damage reports are never sufficient.
  • Claims for exceeding the delivery period expire if the recipient does not notify the forwarding agent of the excess within 21 days of delivery.
  • If a notification is made after delivery, it must be made in writing and within the specified deadlines in order to prevent the loss of entitlement. The damage report can also be transmitted with the help of a telecommunications device. A signature is not required if the exhibitor can be identified in some other way.
  • Timely dispatch is sufficient to meet the deadlines.

Dangerous cargo

If the transported goods include dangerous goods (e.g. petrol or oils), the sender is obliged to inform the transport company in good time of the nature of the danger posed by the goods (e.g. fire hazard, corrosive liquids, explosive substances, etc.).

Agreement: German law applies.

Status: August 2017