International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading [Hague Rules]

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Brussels, Belgium
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 02/06/1931

Category

Transport and telecommunications

Sub category

Maritime transport

Groups

MISC

What is it about?

Also known as the Hague Rules, this instrument applies to contracts for the carriage of goods by sea that are evidenced by a bill of lading or a similar document of title. It covers the period of time when the goods are located on the ship to the time they are discharged from it. It establishes the responsibilities and liabilities of the carrier on international carriage of goods by sea.

Why is it relevant?

This Convention is the main international treaty establishing the responsibilities and liabilities of the carrier on international carriage of goods by sea. The United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea (Hamburg 31/03/1978), also known as the Hamburg Rules, was intentionally drafted to unify the rules on maritime transport. Nevertheless, the Hamburg Rules did not have substantial adhesion, creating a dual regime of law concerning the carriage of goods by sea, led both by the Hamburg Rules and the Hague Rules, resulting in an on-going disunification of the international maritime law.

Additional Information

The 1968 Brussels Protocol, popularly known as the Hague-Visby Rules added and replaced many articles of this Convention. According to this Protocol, the limit of liability for loss or damage amounts to 666.67 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per package, approximately 970.00 USD, or 2 SDRs per kilogram, approximately 1.32 USD per pound, whichever is higher. However, there is no liability limit if the carrier’s conduct shows intent to cause such loss or damage, or was reckless, knowing that such loss or damage would probably result. Ratification of this Protocol has the effect of accession to the Brussels Convention. The major differences between the Hamburg Rules and the Hague Rules, amended by the 1968 Brussels Protocol are the following: Hamburg Rules: Hague Rules, amended by the 1968 Brussels Protocol: . Applies to all contracts for the carriage of goods by sea between two States, except for charter parties. . Applies to contracts for the carriage of goods by sea that are evidenced by a bill of lading. . Liability limit for loss or damage: 835 SDRs (approx. 1,210.00 USD) or 2.5 SDRs per kilogram (approx. 1.65 USD per pound), whichever is higher . Liability for loss of damage: 666.67 SDRs per package (approx. 970.00 USD) or 2 SDRs per kilogram (approx. 1.32 per pound), whichever is higher.

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Country ratifications
CountryRatification date
Algeria13/04/1964
Angola02/02/1952
Antigua and Barbuda02/12/1930
Argentina19/04/1961
Bahamas02/12/1930
Barbados02/12/1930
Belgium02/06/1930
Belize02/12/1930
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)28/05/1982
Cameroon02/12/1930
Cape Verde02/02/1952
Cote d'Ivoire15/12/1961
Croatia08/10/1991
Cuba25/07/1977
Cyprus02/12/1930
Democratic Republic of the Congo17/07/1967
Dominican Republic02/12/1930
Ecuador23/03/1977
Fiji02/12/1930
France04/01/1937
Gambia02/12/1930
Germany01/07/1939
Ghana02/12/1930
Greece23/03/1993
Grenada02/12/1930
Guinea-Bissau02/02/1952
Guyana02/12/1930
Hungary02/06/1930
Iran26/04/1966
Ireland30/01/1962
Israel05/09/1959
Jamaica02/12/1930
Kenya02/12/1930
Kiribati02/12/1930
Kuwait25/07/1969
Lebanon19/07/1975
Madagascar13/07/1965
Malaysia02/12/1930
Mauritius24/08/1970
Monaco15/05/1931
Mozambique02/02/1952
Nauru04/07/1955
Nigeria02/12/1930
Papua New Guinea04/07/1955
Paraguay22/11/1967
Peru29/10/1964
Poland04/08/1937
Portugal24/12/1931
Saint Kitts and Nevis02/12/1930
Saint Lucia02/12/1930
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines02/12/1930
Sao Tome and Principe02/12/1952
Senegal14/02/1978
Seychelles02/12/1930
Sierra Leone02/12/1930
Singapore02/12/1930
Slovenia25/06/1991
Solomon Islands02/12/1930
Somalia02/12/1930
Spain02/06/1930
Sri Lanka02/12/1930
Switzerland28/05/1954
Syrian Arab Republic01/08/1974
Timor-Leste02/02/1952
Tonga02/12/1930
Trinidad and Tobago02/12/1930
Turkey04/07/1955
Tuvalu02/12/1930
United Republic of Tanzania03/12/1962
United States of America29/06/1937
Treaties analysis
YearRatifications
193032
19312
19373
19391
19526
19541
19553
19591
19612
19622
19642
19651
19661
19672
19691
19701
19741
19751
19772
19781
19821
19912
19931
Total70
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