Carriage of Goods by Sea, Land and Air
Written by a combination of top academics, industry experts and leading practitioners, the book offers a detailed insight into both unimodal and multimodal carriage of goods.
It provides a comprehensive and thoroughly practical guide to the issues that matter today on what is a very complex area of law. The topics under discussion range through issues such as paperwork, piracy, liability for defective containers, damage in transit, the CMR Convention and possible effects of the Rotterdam Rules.
Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson from the Scandinavian Institute on Maritime Law in Oslo has contributed with an article questioning if a harmonised liability regime is the right tool to promote sustainable multimodal carriage, as argued by the European Commission. Her contribution is chapter 13:
The European Project on Sustainable Multimodal Transport: Is a Harmonized Liability the Right Tool?
The chapter questions the idea that the use of a harmonised liability regime is the right tool to promote multimodal carriage in the EU. Carriage of cargo in the EU is neither efficient nor environmental friendly due to large amounts of cargo being carried by road with congestion and pollution as the result.
In order to turn this development, the EU has launched a large program on removing bottlenecks hampering multimodal carriage, which is defined as a more environmental friendly way of carrying cargo than road transport alone. The lack of a harmonised legal regime on multimodal carriage of cargo is defined by the EU Commission as one of several bottlenecks which needs to be removed in order to strengthen the total amount of multimodal carriage.
The Norwegian Maritime Code: A contractual duty on the carrier
The author discusses this perquisite in light of economic research which shows that the unpredictable legal situation is problematic, but the transaction costs linked to this is so small that is does not really have any impact on the behaviour of the parties to the contract of carriage.
Other contractual tools, such as a duty to choose, or inform on, the multimodal alternative would probably be more effective. Such a tool is introduced by the Norwegian Maritime Law Commission in its recommendation to the implementation of on the Rotterdam Rules in the Norwegian Maritime Code:
See the proposed section 261 second sentence (in Norwegian), in which the Norwegian Maritime Comittée proposes a contractual duty on the carrier to choose the more environmentally friendly transport alternative. A summary of the report in English can be downloaded (excerpt from the report).