The International Chamber of Commerce threw its support behind ratification of the Rotterdam Rules to govern cargo liability in ocean transportation and related inland intermodal movements.
“Given that the proposed regime will underpin an important element of international commerce, ICC asks governments to consider ratification of the convention,” the Paris-based business organization said. It urged governments to consult with shippers, carriers and others in the supply chain as they consider ratification.
The rules, which were approved by the United Nations in July 2008, are scheduled for a signing ceremony in Rotterdam in September.
The ICC said that ratification would bring clarity to the burdens of proof for all parties, and delineates the defenses that carriers have against claims. The rules also harmonize cargo liability, provide procedures that minimize international litigation, and give the process an overall legal certainty.
In a joint statement, the National Industrial Transportation League and World Shipping Council welcomed the ICC’s support. Both organizations sent delegates to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law working groups that drafted the new rules.
The Rotterdam Rules, if ratified, will replace the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea law, which has been the liability standard since 1936.
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