Chapter 8: International Law on the Carriage of Goods by Sea: UNCITRAL’s Most Recent Harmonisation Efforts
Miriam Goldby* INTRODUCTION In the course of its forty-first Session in New York which took place between 16 June and 3 July 2008, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) adopted a decision whereby it submitted the final draft of a new Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea to the United Nations General Assembly for its consideration with a view to adoption.1 The adoption by the General Assembly took place on 11 December of the same year. A signing ceremony was held in Rotterdam in 2009 and the Convention became known as the ‘Rotterdam Rules’.2 To date, 24 states have signed the Convention, one of which, Spain, has also ratified it. The Convention was drafted by UNCITRAL’s Working Group III on Transport Law in collaboration with the Comité Maritime International (CMI). This is the fourth international convention on this subject which has been produced since 1924, the first three being the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading 1924 (Hague Rules), the Hague Rules as Amended by the Brussels Protocol 1968 (Hague-Visby Rules) and the UN Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea 1978 (Hamburg Rules). These Conventions aim to regulate the rights and obligations of parties to contracts for the carriage of goods by sea, contracts whereby party A agrees to carry goods for party B between ports in different jurisdictions. The purpose of these Conventions is to limit the...
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