United Nations Convention on International Multimodal Transport of Goods
- Type: Convention
- Date of signature: 24/05/1980
- Place of signature: Geneva, Switzerland
- Depositary: Secretary-General of the United Nations
- Date of entry into force: N/A
What is it about?
The 1980 Convention facilitates the orderly expansion of world trade by determining rules relating to the carriage of goods by international multimodal contracts. Multimodal transport means the carriage of goods by at least two different modes of transport. According to its provisions, a multimodal transport operator, defined as a person concluding a multimodal transport contract and assuming responsibility for it, is held to issue a multimodal transport document. It has to contain information on the goods transported under his responsibility and indicating the name of the consignor and the consignee, as well as the intended journey route. The multimodal transport document accredits for the receipt of the goods as described in the document. The responsibility of the multimodal transport operator for the goods under this Convention covers the period from the time he takes goods in his charge to the time of their delivery. He assumes liability due to loss of, damage to or delay in delivery of the goods, unless he proves that he or his agents have taken every measure of precaution to avoid the damage. His liability is limited to an amount not exceeding 920 units of account per package (about $US 1,330) or 2.75 units of account per kilogram of gross weight (about $US 4) of the goods lost or damaged, whichever is the higher. The operator is not entitled to the benefit of the limitation of liability provided for in this Convention if it is proven that the loss was caused intentionally or recklessly. Any action under this Convention is time-barred if judicial or arbitral proceedings have not been instituted within a period of two years from the moment of delivery or loss of the goods.
Why is it relevant?
By establishing liability rules applicable to international multimodal transport of goods, this instrument ensures a fair balance of interests between operators that benefit from the limitation of liability and users of their services that obtain compensation in case of loss.
- United Nations Convention on the Liability of Operators of Transport Terminals in International Trade (Vienna, 19 May 1991)