Rotterdam Rules to be signed today
The United Nations said a new treaty governing the movement of commercial cargo by sea is slated to be signed today in Rotterdam.
The purpose of the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, also known as the 'Rotterdam Rules,' is to create a set of contemporary and uniform rules for the transportation of containers that include an international sea leg, but is not limited to port-to-port shipping of goods.
Describing the rights and obligations of all parties involved in shipping goods by sea, the treaty aims to bring clarity regarding who is responsible and liable for what, when, where and to what extent.
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It includes provisions covering electronic transport records and container shipping as well as regulations for combined sea and land transport.
The law now goes to countries where their individual governments have to decide whether to ratify the agreement. If they do, the new treaty would replace older cargo liability regimes known as the Hamburg Rules, Hague Rules and Hague Visby Rules in those countries, one year after 20 or more countries ratify the Rotterdam Rules.