Singapore’s Maritime Sector and Maritime Law

Singapore’s unrivaled maritime connections to the rest of the world have elevated it to the status of a significant global hub port, with links to 600 ports in more than 120 nations. This is corroborated by the city’s consistently high annual port numbers which have earned it the distinction of being the second busiest container port and top maritime city in the world, according to an announcement made at the Singapore Maritime Foundation New Year Event.

If you are interested in learning more about our thriving maritime sector and the laws that govern it, continue reading this article.

An Introduction to Singapore’s Maritime Industry

The maritime industry in Singapore has experienced rapid growth, and it now accounts for a sizeable portion of the city’s GDP. In 2022, Singapore handled the second-highest number of containers on record, 37.3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), to retain its position as the world’s largest transshipment port

With the opening of the ambitious new Tuas Mega Port, also referred to as the largest fully automated terminal in the world, Singapore has continued to evolve as a center for international shipping. In order to meet the needs of shipping mega-alliances as the industry consolidates and to ensure the maritime sector’s continued success, the project is a crucial investment by the Singaporean government. It will be the largest automated container terminal in the world, allowing for greater economies of scale and reducing inter-terminal haulage of containers, when the final phase is completed after 2040.

Overview of Singapore’s Shipping Law

Singapore’s shipping laws broadly cover those that apply to commercial shipping, admiralty law, and the shipping of goods. The body of law governing maritime transportation of goods is composed of the Bills of Lading Act, also known as the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, along with common law principles.

Singapore’s High Court (Admiralty Jurisdiction) Act, which is based on the UK Administration of Justice 1956, is another important piece of legislation that governs admiralty law and jurisdiction. It deals with specific claims made against ships, shipowners, or ship charterers that fall under the General Division of the High Court’s admiralty jurisdiction.

The Merchant Shipping Act is another piece of legislation that addresses a wide range of topics, including manning, crew matters, safety concerns, and registration of shops in Singapore.

How DennisMathiew can assist in providing maritime and commercial solutions

In 2005, DennisMathiew was founded by two shipping attorneys from Singapore named Dennis Tan and Captain Mathiew Christophe Rajoo. Since that time, Dennis and Mathiew have provided legal services in a variety of industries, primarily drawing on their expertise in shipping, oil and gas, as well as the global logistics sector. With capabilities spanning the traditional wet-dry split, shipping is still DennisMathew’s main line of business. When providing legal guidance in cross-border disputes and business transactions, the firm takes advantage of its cross-experience to the benefit of its clients. The company has a thriving dispute resolution practice, and Singapore courts and international arbitration tribunals frequently retain the firm’s attorneys as counsel.

To learn how our team’s expertise in maritime and shipping law can help you find solutions and guide you through disputes, fill out our contact form on our website or contact us by email at or