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United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade (United Nations 1994)

Preamble

Article 1 - Definitions

Article 2 - Scope of application

Article 3 - Period of responsibility

Article 4 - Issuance of document

Article 5 - Basis of liability

Article 6 - Limits of liability

Article 7 - Application to non-contractual claims

Article 8 - Loss of right to limit liability

Article 9 - Special rules on dangerous goods

Article 10 - Rights of security in goods

Article 11 - Notice of loss, damage or delay

Article 12 - Limitation of actions

Article 13 - Contractual stipulations

Article 14 - Interpretation of the Convention

Article 15 - International transport conventions

Article 16 - Unit of account

Final Clauses

Article 17 - Depositary

Article 18 - Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval, accession

Article 19 - Application to territorial units

Article 20 - Effect of declaration

Article 21 - Reservations

Article 22 - Entry into force

Article 23 - Revision and amendment

Article 24 - Revision of limitation amounts

Article 25 - Denunciation

[Post Provisions]

[Post Clauses (If any: Signed; Witnessed; Done; Authentic Texts; & Deposited Clauses)]

Note by the Secretariat:

[Note]

A. Policies underlying the Convention

Need for mandatory liability rules

Gaps in liability regimes left by international conventions

Need for harmonization and modernization

Consequences and benefits of the Convention

B. Preparatory work

[Preparatory work]

C. Salient features of the Convention

Definitions

Period of responsibility

Issuance of document

Basis of liability

Limits of liability

Application to non-contractual claims

Loss of right to limit liability

Rights of security in goods

Limitation of actions

Final clauses

Metadata

SiSU Metadata, document information

Manifest

SiSU Manifest, alternative outputs etc.

United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade (United Nations 1994)

United Nations (UN)

copy @ Lex Mercatoria

United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade (United Nations 1994)

[Note]

C. Salient features of the Convention

Definitions

18 . For the Convention to apply, the transport-related services must be performed by a person who falls within the scope of the definition of the "operator of a transport terminal". The operator of a transport terminal is defined in article 1(a) as "a person who, in the course of his business, undertakes to take in charge goods involved in international carriage in order to perform or to procure the performance of transport-related services with respect to the goods in an area under his control or in respect of which he has a right of access or use. However, a person is not considered an operator whenever he is a carrier under applicable rules of law governing carriage".

19 . "In the course of his business". The Convention applies only if the transport-related services constitute a commercial activity. This does not mean that a particular transport-related service must be subject to the payment of a fee. For example, in some terminals short-term storage at the place of destination may be "free of charge" and the charges would start to accrue after the second or third day.

20 . "Goods involved in international carriage". If transport-related services are performed with respect to goods involved in domestic carriage, the Convention does not apply. In order to provide certainty as to the applicable regime, article 1(c) provides that the places of departure and destination must be "identified" as being located in different States already at the time when the goods are taken in charge by the operator.

21 . "Transport-related services". The Convention provides in article 1(d) a non-exhaustive list of services that fall within the category of transport-related services governed by the Convention. The examples given (storage, warehousing, loading, unloading, stowage, trimming, dunnaging and lashing) indicate that those services include only physical handling of goods and not, for instance, industrial processing such as repacking or cleaning of goods, or financial or commercial services.

22 . "Area under his control or in respect of which he has a right of access or use". At an early stage of the preparatory work within the UNCITRAL Working Group it was considered that the draft Convention should apply only if the safekeeping of goods was part of the operator's services. That approach would exclude, for example, those stevedoring companies that limited their services to loading and unloading of goods without themselves storing the goods. In order to express more clearly that approach, the Working Group included in the definition the criterion that the operator should perform his services "in an area under his control or in respect of which he has a right of access or use". The scope of application of the draft Convention was subsequently broadened to include the performance of various transport-related services even if no safekeeping of goods is involved. In light of the broadened scope of application, the criterion relating to the area in which the services are performed also has a broa der meaning. It means, for example, that stowing or trimming of goods in the hold of a vessel would be considered a service performed in an area to which the operator has a right of access; a wharf on which the operator moves goods and which is used by various enterprises would be an area of which the operator has a right of use; the operator's warehouse would be an area under his control.

23 . "A person is not considered an operator whenever he is a carrier under applicable rules of law governing carriage". The Convention excludes from its scope of application the cases when a person performs transport-related services while he is responsible for the goods under the rules of law governing carriage. For example, if a particular carriage of goods by sea is subject to the Hamburg Rules, and the carrier takes the goods in charge at the port of loading and stores them until the commencement of the voyage, or keeps the goods in his charge for some time at the port of discharge, the Hamburg Rules, and not the Convention on terminal operators, will govern the carrier's liability for the goods held by him in the port.


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