Rotterdam Rules: Legal Innovations of Sea Carrier’s Obligations

Lina Jasutienė


In this article the author analyses carrier‘s liability under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, known as the Rotterdam Rules. Today, only few provisions exist in the Hague-Visby Rules in respect to the obligations of the carrier. The provisions of the carrier‘s obligations are fundamental to the Rotterdam Rules because they are inexorably linked with the liability of the carrier, as provided in Article 17.
The maritime industry has to move on and adjust to the new realities of the carrier‘s duties and, in particular, to the ongoing duty to provide a seaworthy vessel, which will bring significant changes to the carrier’s liability and shipping business in general. In the Rotterdam Rules, Articles 13 and 14 have modernised the carrier‘s duties and aligned them with the current practice of door-to-door and containerized transport.
The freedom of the carrier and the shipper to agree that the loading, stowage and discharge is to be performed by the cargo interest (either the shipper or consignee) is closely interrelated with the validity of the FIO(ST) and similar clauses incorporated in transport documents.
Therefore, the Rotterdam Rules bring clarity in this matter because they precisely indicate the obligations and the breach, which entails the liability of the carrier. It is supposed that legal relationship between carriers and shippers facilitate the free flow of trade as economically and efficiently as possible.


United Nations Convention on Contracts for International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea; Rotterdam Rules; sea carriage; carrier‘s liability

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236