Rotterdam Rules get 20th signature
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) said Friday that 20 nations have signed on to the U.N.'s Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, known as the Rotterdam Rules.
Niger became the 20th signatory to the convention, following Armenia, Cameroon and Madagascar, as countries to follow the lead of the 16 original signatories. The Rotterdam Rules were open for signature on Sept. 23.
UNCITRAL said the 20 nations represent 25 percent of world trade, and the 20th signature was significant in that the rules come into effect when 20 nations ratify them (not just sign them). Even then, the rules apply only in countries where they have been ratified.
Original signatories were: Congo, Denmark, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Togo and the United States.
The Rotterdam Rules were adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in December 2008 to 'establish a uniform and modern global legal regime governing the rights and obligations of stakeholders in the maritime transport industry under a single contract for door-to-door carriage.'
Of note, the European Shippers’ Council has opposed the Rotterdam Rules as insufficient, though eight EU nations have signed. But no countries in Asia have yet to sign.