ICC weighs in on Rotterdam Rules
The International Chamber of Commerce issued a statement last week asking governments “to consider ratification” of the draft convention on the International Carriage of Goods — known as the Rotterdam Rules –that were approved by the U.N. General Assembly in January.
The rules are due to be signed in Rotterdam in September.
The Paris-based ICC said it “stands ready to proactively facilitate business input into national and international discussions on the ratification of the Rotterdam Rules, with a view to bringing about uniformity in this important area of international law.”
On Monday, the National Industrial Transportation League and World Shipping Council issued a joint press release saying they welcomed the ICC’s statement. Advocates of the Rotterdam Rules have been working to rally support for the new treaty in the face of criticisms that were leveled against it by the European Shippers Council in April.
The NIT League and World Shipping Council said the ICC statement lent the support of the ICC’s Commission on Transport and Logistics to the new Rotterdam Rules and was released after the commission’s Maritime Transport Committee reviewed the proposed convention.
Last month NIT League's board passed its own resolution supporting the Rotterdam Rules and issued a detailed, point-by-point response to the criticisms of the European Shipper Council.
The ICC asked governments considering whether to ratify the convention do so “in active consultation with international business, including shippers, carriers, forwarders and insurers,” noting that “these constituencies may have differing views on the regime.”
It noted, “the convention aims to provide uniformity for the international carriage of goods, which at the current time is governed by a number of maritime liability regimes, absent of a global convention for multimodal transport.” As a world business organization, the ICC said it recognized “the importance of developing a harmonized, international ocean cargo regime, that is both sound and balanced, and takes into account modern developments such as containerization, multimodal transport and e-commerce.