What Is Maritime Law?

Maritime law under the Turkish legal framework encompasses matters including maritime transportation, trade, port activities, and the legal dynamics among ship owners, sailors, and port operators. It addresses a spectrum of legal issues pertinent to ships, the sea, and trade, encapsulating the diverse facets of this domain.

What Is Maritime Trade Law?

Maritime trade law, within its purview, encompasses commercial aspects pertaining to ships and sea ports. Matters such as the registration of commercial vessels, laws governing their transportation, regulation of commercial contracts, and ship leasing fall under the jurisdiction of this legal framework. Navigating trade in Turkey can be intricate. Seeking guidance from a qualified maritime attorney is advisable for clarity and assistance in addressing complexities effectively.

What Is Transport Law?

The regulatory framework governing the transportation of goods and individuals is delineated within the purview of Turkish Transportation Law. This legal domain encompasses the delineation of rights and responsibilities of involved parties, the formulation and execution of transportation contracts, considerations pertaining to transportation insurance, and the stipulations governing transportation liability.

Key Principles and Components of Maritime Law

Maritime Contracts

Maritime contracts constitute a significant facet of maritime law, encompassing vital details such as the rights of involved parties, cargo specifications including quantity and condition, vessel particulars, terms governing arbitration and dispute resolution, as well as rules and methods governing transportation. Given their frequent occurrence between entities of different nations, these contracts inherently involve international law considerations, reflecting the imperative of aligning with cross-border legal norms.

Maritime Transportation of Goods

Within the realm of maritime cargo rights, precision in key elements such as bills of lading, transportation contracts, identification of losses and damages, environmental consciousness, adherence to international law, and the prioritization of safety in ship maintenance and transport are paramount. This intricate landscape necessitates a judicious approach to ensure secure and environmentally responsible sea transportation, in alignment with established legal frameworks and international standards.

Insurance in Maritime Law

Enterprises involved in maritime trade are obligated to maintain a spectrum of insurances to safeguard against potential risks. Among these crucial coverages are cargo insurance, ship insurance, civil insurance, and property insurance, including ship hull insurance. These insurance instruments play a pivotal role in mitigating and compensating damages incurred to vessels, individuals, and cargo, thereby fortifying the resilience of maritime operations.

Regulatory Bodies in Maritime Trade and Transport

Among regulatory institutions, noteworthy entities include the International Maritime Organization, International Labour Organization, Port State Control, European Maritime Safety Agency, and the International Association of Classification Societies. These organizations bear the responsibility of upholding maritime security, organizing systematic regulatory frameworks, and vigilantly monitoring matters related to maritime law.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), operating under the auspices of the United Nations, is primarily tasked with ensuring the safety of ships and crews, environmental protection, security measures in response to emerging threats, training and certification standards, technical cooperation, and fostering global collaboration within the maritime industry.

The International Labor Organization (ILO)

The International Labor Organization (ILO), a United Nations agency, promotes social and economic justice through global labor standards. These standards aim to facilitate accessible, productive, and sustainable work with a focus on freedom, equality, security, and dignity. The ILO actively combats forced labor, child labor, and employment discrimination. As a major contributor to international labor law, it plays a pivotal role in shaping principles that advance fair and just labor practices globally.

The International Labor Organization (ILO)

The International Labor Organization (ILO), a UN agency, champions social and economic justice via global labor standards, fostering accessible, productive, and sustainable work centered on freedom, equality, security, and dignity. The ILO actively opposes forced labor, child labor, and employment discrimination. As a significant contributor to international labor law, it plays a pivotal role in shaping principles that promote fair and just labor practices worldwide.Formun Üstü

Contracts and Obligations in Maritime Trade

In the domain of maritime law, various contracts—such as freight, ship lease, and insurance agreements—play a pivotal role in safeguarding the assets and rights of involved parties, establishing a structured and legally enforceable framework for the regulation of maritime trade. In these agreements, the importance of a specialized maritime law attorney, well-versed in transport and logistics law, and international maritime law, is undeniable.

Contract of Carriage in Maritime Trade

The agreement governing the fundamentals and principles of maritime transportation is denoted as the contract of carriage. This contractual arrangement is established between the consignor and the carrier. The carrier undertakes the provision of transportation services, as outlined in the contract, in consideration of the stipulated fee. Components encompassed within this contractual framework encompass sea transport, operation-based transportation, financial remittance by the consignor, and related considerations.

Ship Rental Agreement

A ship charter serves as a formal contract between a ship owner and a charterer, wherein the charterer undertakes the obligation to utilize the vessel in return for a specified rental payment. The agreement delineates the respective responsibilities of the lessor and lessee, provides detailed specifications of the leased ship, encompassing its type, size, and condition. Additionally, it outlines the financial aspects, including the rental cost, associated expenses, and the terms of payment. The contract further elucidates the conditions and procedures governing the termination of the agreement.

Liability and Insurance in Maritime Transport

Companies engaged in maritime trade are obligated to maintain specific insurances, the scope of which is contingent upon the magnitude of associated risks. These requisite insurances encompass various categories, including but not limited to cargo insurance, ship insurance, liability insurance, and ship hull insurance.

Reight Insurance:

In the event of damage incurred during the processes of loading, transportation, and unloading, freight insurance is employed.

Ship Insurance:

This form of insurance is utilized to indemnify damages that may arise to the vessel in the course of maritime trade.

Civil Insurance:

Encompassing shipyards, ports, submarines, and ship repair facilities, this insurance provides coverage for associated liabilities.

Property Insurance:

Employed to safeguard valuable documents, such as checks and bonds, as well as precious metals like gold and currency.

Shipping Insurance:

This insurance is invoked to address instances where the customer’s goods sustain damage or loss during transportation.

Ship Hull Insurance:

Covering damages that may transpire during the construction phase of the ship, ship hull insurance serves to mitigate associated risks.

Most Common Issues in Transportation and Maritime Law

Shipping and maritime law address diverse legal issues in the movement of goods and people by land, sea, and air. Common challenges include disputes over shipping, damage to transported goods, packaging issues, contractual disagreements, and violations of transport contracts involving multiple parties. Navigating these complexities requires a thorough understanding of the legal frameworks governing the shipping and maritime industry.

Injury and Death

Issues in injury and death within transportation encompass accidents, injuries, and responsibility, especially in cases of marine accidents. Environmental concerns, like oil spills and damages from marine activities, emphasize compliance with international agreements and environmental regulations. A thorough understanding of these legal frameworks is crucial in addressing these challenges. A maritime accident attorney possesses the expertise in maritime law to effectively address and navigate the challenges associated with such incidents.

Insurance Disputes

Challenges encompassing disputes pertaining to marine and transportation risk coverage, nuances in the interpretation of insurance policies, uncertainties surrounding compliance with local, national, and international transportation regulations, and lapses in adherence to safety standards and regulations. Seeking guidance from a trade secrets attorney can facilitate expert legal assistance in addressing these complexities.

Customs and Trade Issues

The scope of these challenges extends to non-observance of customs rules and regulations, along with issues related to import/export restrictions and trade sanctions. Seeking the expertise of an international trade lawyer and an international transport lawyer can provide valuable insights into transport law, assisting in navigating and resolving these complex issues effectively.

Maritime Dispute Resolution Mechanisms  

Maritime dispute resolution encompasses the settlement of conflicts arising in the maritime industry, employing various mechanisms from litigation in local courts to alternative dispute resolution methods. Each method carries distinct advantages and disadvantages. Given the intricate nature of maritime matters, often governed by international law, engaging the services of a maritime lawyer, particularly for legal for trade, is recommended for proficient navigation and resolution of cases in this domain.

Local Courts and Arbitration in Formal Legal Processes

This method of filing in local courts constitutes a formal legal process with well-defined rules and procedures, resulting in decisions that are legally valid and enforceable. Disadvantages include lengthy court processes, high costs, and the potential for judicial conflicts in international scenarios. Conversely, private and confidential arbitration is often faster and more flexible than court proceedings, enabling parties to choose their arbitrators and govern the process by their preferred rules. However, drawbacks encompass significant costs, and the enforcement of arbitral awards may still necessitate the involvement of national courts.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods and Specialized International Courts

The advantages of the dispute resolution method lie in its provision of services from esteemed organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) or the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), offering arbitration and alternative methods. Despite associated costs, these can be relatively more affordable, marking a departure from traditional claims. Conversely, specialized international courts, including the International Court of Law of the Sea (ITLOS) or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), excel in handling maritime disputes involving governments or institutions. However, the limitations of this method underscore that it may not be universally suitable for all maritime disputes.

Serka Law’s Primary Areas of Expertise In International Transport Law 

At Serka Law Firm, we specialize in a diverse array of legal domains, including transportation law, land law, aviation law, and logistics law. Our team is equipped with attorneys specializing in maritime accidents, transportation, and trade secrets. Whether you require the expertise of a maritime accident lawyer, a transport lawyer, or a trade secrets lawyer, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal solutions tailored to our clients’ specific needs. As a distinguished maritime law firm, our commitment is to offer unparalleled legal representation across various facets of the law. Some of our services are as follows:

Maritime Law:

  • Contracts and disputes regarding maritime transportation.
  • Maritime accidents and environmental liability.
  • Freight contracts and transport documents.

Land Transportation Law:

  • International regulations on road transport.
  • Road transport contracts and disputes.
  • Combined transport and multiple transport issues.

Logistics Law:

  • Legal issues regarding logistics contracts and transportation operations.
  • Storage and distribution contracts.

International Trade Law:

  • International trade agreements.
  • Trade financing and payment guarantees.

Customs Law:

  • Customs regulations and responsibilities in international transportation.
  • Customs disputes

You can always contact the lawyers of serka law firm for maritime, transportation and international law matters.


Maritime law represents a comprehensive legal framework encompassing diverse facets of both private and public law pertinent to maritime activities. In contrast, the Law of the Sea is precisely identified as the branch of international law governing the utilization of the world’s oceans and seas. The answer to “What is maritime law?” is similar to the answer for “What is the Law of the Sea.” While these two legal domains share notable similarities, nuanced distinctions exist between them.

The terms “maritime law” and “Law of the Sea” are related but distinct. Maritime law encompasses various legal aspects related to maritime activities, covering both private and public law, including international aspects, shipping contracts, marine insurance, and admiralty law. On the other hand, the “Law of the Sea” specifically pertains to the body of international law governing the use of the world’s oceans and seas, focusing on the rights and responsibilities of governments in maritime domains.

In such instances, resolution of your legal matter can be facilitated by engaging the services of a proficient maritime injury attorney. Immediate steps following the incident should include documenting the scene through photography, promptly notifying relevant authorities, generating a comprehensive report, and promptly liaising with the insurance company. Subsequently, attributing liability for the accident and seeking compensation necessitates engagement with the appropriate regulatory bodies. Maritime law firms are well-equipped to furnish a maritime accident lawyer to navigate and advocate for your interests in these circumstances. Pay attention to not legal for trade from someone who is not a lawyer.

Shipping and maritime laws are intricate, incorporating nuanced rules and regulations. Engaging a lawyer proficient in this domain is imperative for adept navigation through these complexities, given their profound understanding of the associated legal intricacies. Experts in shipping and maritime law are well-versed in alternative dispute resolution methods, including mediation and arbitration, negotiation and agreement, as well as addressing issues related to liability and insurance, and conducting comprehensive contract editing and review. Consulting with a trade lawyer provides valuable assistance in obtaining legal for trade scales and maritime matters. Seeking motor trade legal advice and maritime legal counsel is crucial.

Pursuant to Article 885 of the Turkish Commercial Law, the right to claim related to the transportation of goods lapses within one year from the carrier’s responsibility. For cases of complete loss during transportation, the period commences from the date of delivery to the buyer, or from the intended delivery date if not completed. It is noteworthy that, contrary to the conventional rule, limitations for total loss commence from the date of delivery to the sender, with the timeframe contingent on the delivery duration.