Lily has been refurnishing her home in Mont Kiara and ordered a luxury Chesterfield sofa from the catalog of the ‘English Home’ Boutique. Since the sofa must be imported from the UK by sea transit, Lily and the boutique’s owner agreed upon a delivery time of three months. The contract of sale between both parties includes the agreement that the seller will deliver the goods to the buyer’s home.

Three months later the boutique’s owner informs Lily that the sofa is severely damaged during the sea transit and since she did not insure the transport he cannot be held liable for the damage. Lily was not told that she should get an additional insurance for the transport and wonders if it is true that the seller cannot be held liable for the damage that has occurred.


According to Section 39 (2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1957 (Act 382), unless otherwise authorized by the buyer, the seller shall make such contract with the carrier on behalf of the buyer as may be reasonable having regard to the nature of the goods and the other circumstances of the case. If the seller fails to do so, and the goods are lost or damaged in course of transit, the buyer may decline to treat the delivery to the carrier as a delivery to himself, or may hold the seller responsible in damages.

(3) Unless otherwise agreed, where goods are sent by the seller to the buyer by a route involving sea transit, in circumstances in which it is usual to insure, the seller shall give such notice to the buyer as may enable him to insure them during their sea transit, and if the seller fails to do, the goods shall be deemed to be at the seller’s risk during sea transit.

In this case, the boutique’s owner should have informed Lily that it was wise to get insurance and since he failed to do so, Lily cannot be held responsible for the damage.

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