Rotterdam Rules Gaining Speed

?The Rotterdam Rules may soon replace the existing cargo liability regimes such as the Hamburg and Hague/Visby Rules.

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The European Community Shipowners’ Association (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO and the World Shipping Council (WSC)

have welcomed the recommendation by the European Parliament that EU Member States should move “speedily to sign, ratify and implement the UN Convention on Contracts for the ‘Rotterdam Rules.” As LM readers know, the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, has also been endorsed by the National Industrial Transportation League as a more seamless method for establishing the new maritime liability system.

?The Rotterdam Rules, adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) will replace the existing cargo liability regimes such as the Hamburg and Hague/Visby Rules.

Shipowner organizations firmly believe that this will achieve greater global uniformity for cargo liability, facilitating e-commerce through use of electronic documentation, reflecting modern ‘door to door’ services involving other modes of transport in addition to the sea-leg and ‘just in time’ delivery practices.

Following a thorough and detailed analysis of the Rotterdam Rules, ECSA, ICS, BIMCO and WSC have all concluded that this important new regime must be promoted by the industry to avoid the risk of a proliferation of regional cargo liability regulations.

However, early ratification of the UNCITRAL Convention by major trading nations, such as EU Member States, will almost certainly give this process

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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