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The Rights and Duties in the Frameworks of International Conventions

The Rights and Duties in the Frameworks of International Conventions

  • The major rules and regulations in sea transport are; 
    • The Hague Rules (1924), 
    • Hague-Visby Rules (1968), 
    • Hamburg Rules (1978) and 
    • Rotterdam Rules (2008) 
  • With the exception of the Rotterdam Rules, all the other rules and regulations are in force.  

Summary of the first 10 articles of The Hague - Visby Rules

    • Article I of The Hague Visby rules sets out some of the definitions. It gives the definitions for Carrier, Contract of carriage, Goods, Ship, and Carriage of goods.
    • Article II is a statement that a carrier cannot shy away from his responsibilities as set out in the articles of The Hague Visby rules.
    • Article III lists the responsibilities of the carrier some of which include but not limited to: 
      • Make the ship seaworthy
      • The ship should have minimum manning as per Minimum safe manning certificate.
      • The holds should be clean and fit to receive the cargo
      • Carrier needs to issue bill of lading after loading of the cargo Shipper needs to give correct information related to the cargo loaded. 
      • Article III indemnifies the carrier of all the losses and delays because of such inaccuracies. 
      • As per article 3, rule 6 the carrier will be discharged from all liabilities unless the shipper sues the carrier within one year from the delivery of the cargo. 
      • As per article 3, rule 6, the goods will be considered delivered upon removal from the ship unless notice of loss or damage is given within three days.

Article IV: While Article III gives the responsibilities of the carrier, Article IV gives some of the exemptions to these responsibilities. 

  • A carrier will not be responsible for the damage, loss or delays if he had not caused it intentionally, provided the carrier had exercised due diligence. 

Article V: Article V gives the liberty to the carrier to increase his responsibilities and liabilities. 

  • Article V also gives the right to the carrier to surrender his rights and immunities (for example as per article IV) provided by The Hague Visby Rules.

Article VI: Article VI gives complete freedom to the shipper and carrier to enter into any agreement irrespective of what is required by other articles of Hague Visby rules provided. 

Article VII: Article VII is a simple statement of fact. It states that Hague-Visby Rules define the carrier’s responsibilities from the time of loading to the time of discharge. A shipper and carrier are free to decide the extent of responsibilities and liabilities before loading and after discharge.

Article VIII: As per Article VIII, if there is any other statutory law related to the limitation of liability of the carrier, that law will take precedence over these rules.

Article IX: Article IX is again self-explanatory. This article states that if these rules contradict any international convention or national law, that convention or law will have the priority.

Article X: This article states to which contracts or bill of ladings The Hague Visby rules would apply.

Summary of the first 10 Articles of The Hamburg Rules

Article I: of the Hamburg rules sets out some of the definitions. It gives the definitions for Carrier, Actual Carrier, Shipper, consignee, Contract of carriage, and bill of lading.

Article II: gives the scope of application to all contracts of carriage by sea between two different States.

Article III: Interpretation of the Convention and application of the provisions of this Convention regard shall be had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity.

Article IV: The responsibility of the carrier for the goods under this Convention covers the period during which the carrier is in charge of the goods at the port of loading, during the carriage and at the port of discharge.

Article V: Gives the basis of liability to the carrier. The carrier is liable for loss resulting from loss of or damage to the goods, as well as from delay in delivery, if the occurrence which caused the loss, damage or delay took place while the goods were in his charge as defined in article 4, unless the carrier proves that he, his servants or agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the occurrence and its consequences.

Article VI: Gives the limitation of liability by the carrier. The liability of the carrier for loss resulting from loss of or damage to goods according to the provisions of article 5 is limited to an amount equivalent to 835 units of account per package or other shipping unit or 2.5 units of account per kilogram of gross weight of the goods lost or damaged, whichever is the higher.

Article VII: Gives provisions to Application to non-contractual claims. The defences and limits of liability provided for in this Convention apply in any action against the carrier in respect of loss of or damage to the goods covered by the contract of carriage by sea, as well as of delay in delivery whether the action is founded in contract, in tort or otherwise.

Article VIII: Gives Loss of right to limit responsibility. The carrier is not entitled to the benefit of the limitation of liability provided for in article 6 if it is proved that the loss, damage or delay in delivery resulted from an act or omission of the carrier done with the intent to cause such loss, damage or delay, or recklessly and with knowledge that such loss, damage or delay would probably result.

Article IX: Talks about Deck cargo. The carrier is entitled to carry the goods on deck only if such carriage is in accordance with an agreement with the shipper or with the usage of the particular trade or is required by statutory rules or regulations.

Article X: Liability of the carrier and actual carrier where the performance of the carriage or part thereof has been entrusted to an actual carrier, whether or not in pursuance of a liberty under the contract of carriage by sea to do so, the carrier nevertheless remains.