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12 December 2018
A plaintiff claimed compensation from a forwarder for loss of goods during international transport by road.
The Verden Regional Court sentenced the forwarder to pay full compensation plus interest calculated at nine percentage points above the basic lending rate under the Civil Code. The forwarder appealed the high interest rate.
The Celle Higher Regional Court upheld the appeal and opined that such a high interest rate applies only to claims involving entrepreneurs. Futher, it would require an exchange of services between two companies. This criterion does not fulfil the simple obligation to pay damages. The court held that the interest in the present case should therefore be reduced to five percentage points above the basic lending rate.
While the Celle Higher Regional Court's reasoning is more sound than that of the Verden Regional Court, it is methodologically incorrect. Article 27 of the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road already provides for interest claims at five percentage points above the basic lending rate and should take precedence over the Civil Code in this regard.
For further information on this topic please contact Carsten Vyvers at Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein by telephone (+49 69 97 98 85 0) or email (email@example.com). The Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein website can be accessed at www.asd-law.com.
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