“Limitation period” refers to the deadline to institute an action before a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction (depending on the jurisdiction or chosen method of dispute resolution, these are often referred to as a “Statement of Claim”, “Motion to Institute Proceedings” or “Notice of Arbitration”). “Notice period” refers to the deadline to submit a preliminary notice (“Notice of Intent to Claim” or “Notice of Claim”) that a claim is or will be made. Subject to the specific requirements of the proper jurisdiction and the applicable contract, a Notice of Intent to Claim or Notice of Claim should be submitted in writing to all relevant parties and should specifically reference: the parties at fault or in breach of the contract; the shipment or incident; the contract or bills of lading; the date of carriage and the date of the incident, if known; the damaged items and the estimated quantification of the damages; and, all other relevant information to properly document the claim.
Failing to adhere to an applicable limitation or notice period can be fatal to a claim. This summary is intended to provide a rough guide only and is not a substitute for legal advice. Determining the applicable law and the corresponding applicable limitation and notice period can be a complicated affair. In the event of any doubt, professional advice should always be sought. In some cases, limitation and notice periods may be varied by private contract, which should always be consulted for greater certainty.