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Please could you identify and explain the Rotterdam Rules, what is the history of Rotterdam Rules and explain what are these rules. please do not mention any advantages or disadvantages for Rotterdam Rules. Rotterdam Rules is relating to the carriage of g Essay Example

  • Category:
    Law
  • Document type:
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  • Level:
    Undergraduate
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Title: Rotterdam Rules

Course Name and Code:

Rotterdam Rules

The Rotterdam Rules is the name given to the Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea. This Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11 of 2008 and opened for signature and ratification at Rotterdam, as from September of the following year 2009. The Rules are purposed to bring uniformity to the international law dealing with the carriage of goods by sea to make the same be in line with the contemporary forms of transportation of goods by sea.1

The history of the Rotterdam Rules is steeped into the understanding of three other previous international Conventions. These are, firstly, the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading otherwise commonly known as the Hague Rules, secondly, the Protocol to the Hague Rules, otherwise known as the Hague Visby Rules and finally, the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea of March 31, 1978, otherwise known as the Hamburg Rules2.

The Rotterdam Rules were drafted and prepared ready for ratification within a span of seven years i.e. the time from 2002 to 2007. The process for the preparation of the Rotterdam Rules was done at the intergovernmental level. The coordination of the process was however done under the auspices of the United Nations Commission for International Trade, UNCITRAL. Out of the outcomes of the deliberations from the said discussions, UNCITRAL mandated the Comite Maritime International, CMI, to develop a draft on transport. It is the draft developed by the CMI which was ultimately adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2008.3

The scope of these Rules extends to all contracts for the international carriage of goods in circumstances whereby part of the carriage entails use of water. Consequently, the Rules become applicable to everyone involved in maritime activity such as even terminal and harbor area truckers.4

This responsibility, otherwise known as the maritime performing party,5 extends the responsibility for the carriers, and stretches the scope of their possible liability. The general rule is that the carrier is liable for the entire course of the journey. However, the carrier is not to be liable where they show the loss was not out of their own cause or if they prove the loss or damage was one from which they are relieved from liability out of the several exceptions to liability.

The Rotterdam Rules, viewed against the background of the three previous carriage regimes, is a watershed in the maritime transportation. These rules aim at strengthening and balancing the claims of the cargo owners as against those of the carriers.6 This is because at the time of adoption of the Hague Rules in 1924, the cargo owners’ rights were almost diminished as the carriers enjoyed an upper hand in contractual undertakings between them. The subsequent Conventions continued to enhance the cargo owners’ interests to the point that the Rotterdam Rules make the cargo owners be in a near higher pedestal than even the carriers.7

The Rotterdam Rules answer to the shortcomings of the previous Rules through a number of ways. Very importantly however is that, whereas the Convention primarily governs the carriage of goods by sea, it also regulates the incidental modes of transportation such as road and rail transport for the goods both before and even after sea voyage until when the goods shall have been delivered at the door-step of the consignee.8 This, obviously, is an enlarged responsibility for the consignor but good news to the consignee previously absent in earlier instruments.

The departure of this Convention from the previous ones therefore, is such that it co-opted the entire journey for the goods, as opposed to the previous cases where each of the various aspects of the journey was taken care of by different contracts. Thus under the previous Rules, a contract for the carriage of goods consisted of three separate and distinct contracts; the contract for the rail or land transportation for the goods to the shipping port, the contract for the shipping of the goods to the port nearest to the location of the consignee, and finally, the contract for the land or rail transportation of the goods form the port to the point of delivery. The Rotterdam Rules have merged all these three contracts into one.9

Secondly, the Rotterdam Rules do provide the rights and obligations for all the parties to the contract of carriage for the entire journey until at the point for the delivery of the goods. So meticulous are the Rules that it even makes Stevedores jointly liable with the carriers, as opposed to the situation during the previous regimes.10

The third contribution for the Rotterdam Rules is that they make provisions for the electronic carriage transactions. This is more so when looked at from the fact that they lay down the requisite development infrastructure necessary for the implementation of e-commerce in the maritime transport regime.11

Bibliography

1. Articles/Books and Reports

Brown, Gavin Rotterdam Rules: Implications for Maritime Business, (2010). Retrieved from http://www.bowman.co.za/LawArticles/Publications/Rotterdamrules.pdf

Edodo-Emore, Oritsematosan, The Genesis of Rotterdam Rules their Origins (2009). Retrieved from http://www.oetalaw.com/edodo/Publications/GenesisOfRotterdamRules.aspx

InterConnect, Rotterdam Rules- The Convention on Contracts for the Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, Benesch Friedlander Coplan and Aronof LLP’s Transportation and Logistics group, Spring 2011. Retrieved from http://www.beneschlaw.com/files/publication/b97e5bbe-3e60-4134-aa13-0d73f5bb945f/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/a33142b4-2afb-4486-8dcd-0f72da78e288/InterConnect_Spring2011.pdf

Proshanto K. Mukherjee & Abhinayan Basu Bal, A Legal and Economic Analysis of the Volume Contract Concept under the Rotterdam Rules: Selected Issues in Perspective, n.d.

Ramberg, Jan (Professor), The UN Convention for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, n.d. Retrieved from http://www.cmi2008athens.gr/sub3.3.pdf

Wanigasereka, Anomi, Comparison of Hague-Visby and Hamburg Rules, n.d.

2. Legislations

United States of America’s Harter Act, 1893

United States’ Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1936

3. Other Sources

Federal Ministry of Transport of Nigeria website: http://www.google.co.ke/search?hl=en&q=federal+ministry+of+transport%2C+government+of +nigeria&aq+f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

Federal Government of the United States Website: http:// www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=com.microsoft%3Aen-us&q=federal+ministry+of+transport%2C+USA&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

Government of Cameroon: .htmlcameroonwww.erepublic.org/egovincountriescch/

Ministry of Transport, Government of South Africa, Port Regulator of South Africa Website; http://www.google.com/search?q=port+regulator+of+south+africa&rls=com.microsoft:en-us&ie=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1

Government of Kenya, Ministry of Transport, Kenya Ports Authority Website: www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=kenya+ports+authority&aq+o&aqi+&aql=&oq

1 InterConnect, Rotterdam Rules- The Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, (2011) Benesch Frielander Coplan and Aronof LLP’s Transportation & Logistics Group, P. 1

2
Edodo-Emore, Oritsematosan, “The Genesis of Rotterdam Rules their Origins”, (2009) Colloquium on the United Nations Convention on Contract for the International Carriage of Goods wholly or Partly by Sea (Rotterdam Rules)

3 Federal Ministry of Transport, Federal Government of Nigeria website: http://www.google.co.ke/search?hl=en&q=federal+ministry+of+transport%2C+government+of +nigeria&aq+f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

4 Government of Cameroon: .htmlcameroonwww.erepublic.org/egovincountriescch/

5 Brown, Gavin (2010), Rotterdam Rules: Implications for Maritime Business, p. 3

6 The effect of these rules is nearly at the same level with the United States’ Harter Act, 1893 which had also aimed to reduce the level with which carriers could escape liability

7 Ramberg, Jan (Professor), The UN Convention for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, no date

8 Wanigasereka, Anomi, Comparison of Hague-Visby and Hamburg Rules, p. 2, n. d.

9
Proshanto K. Mukherjee & Abhinayan Basu Bal, A Legal and Economic Analysis of the Volume Contract Concept under the Rotterdam Rules: Selected Issues in Perspective, p. 8

10 Rani, G, Rathika, Rotterdam Rules, (2009), Gateway Media Pvt Ltd

11
Government of Kenya website: http://www.google.co.ke/search?hl=en&q=government+of+kenya&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi+&aql=&oq=