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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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The Rotterdam Rules 2008: Commentary to the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea

Edited by: Alexander von Ziegler, Stefano Zunarelli, Johan Schelin

ISBN13: 9789041131485
Published: July 2010
Publisher: Kluwer Law International
Country of Publication: The Netherlands
Format: Hardback
Price: £120.00

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The 2008 UNCITRAL Convention, commonly known as the Rotterdam Rules promises to achieve the hitherto elusive goal of a legal unification of international transport contracts.

Its innovative set of rules accommodates such modern trade practices as those treating the carriage of goods by sea as part of wider door-to-door commercial transport operations and those relying on electronic commerce.

It closes many gaps in the existing international transport regime, thoroughly specifying the relation of transport documents to the rights and obligations between exporters and importers of goods, and clarifying the interests of credit and insurance in contracts of carriage.

This remarkable book, which will examine the Rotterdam Rules in depth, is edited and written by international lawyers intimately familiar with the negotiations leading to the Convention in finished form. It proceeds by a detailed analysis of each of the Convention’s 18 chapters in turn, in a clause-by-clause manner, drawing attention to interlinking implications throughout the document.

The book’s lucid insights and guidance are especially valuable in showing exactly how the Rules improve the existing international transport regime through its clearer and more complete regulation of such elements as the following:-

  • allocation of burden of proof;
  • evidentiary value of transport documents and electronic records, including non-negotiable documents and records;
  • freedom of contract in respect of volume contracts;
  • continuous character of the obligation of seaworthiness;
  • limits of liability;
  • rights during transit;
  • recovery of loss of and damage to goods caused by accidents of navigation;
  • jurisdiction and arbitration;
  • role of subcontracted carriers both on sea and inland;
  • role of warehouses, transport terminals and stevedoring companies;
  • risks and contract practices of lenders;
  • interests of freight forwarders, cargo insurers and liability insurers; and
  • prevention of maritime fraud.
The authors provide a crystal-clear picture that allows the reader to appreciate the balanced way in which the interests of the various stakeholders are addressed by the Rules – the greater legal certainty for each party’s legal position, the freedom to extend the Rules by contract to the whole transport operation, the clear legal basis for the use of electronic transport records, and the flexibility with which the Rules have left room for evolving trade practices.

It will be of immeasurable value to practitioners and all parties interested in understanding how the new Convention operates and how the provisions are intended to be applied after the Convention comes into force.

Shipping, Transport and Maritime Law
1. General Provisions
2. Scope of Application
3. Electronic Transport Records
4. Obligations of the Carrier
5. Liability of the Carrier for Loss, Damage or Delay
6. Additional Provisions Relating to Particular Stages of Carriage
7. Obligations of the Shipper to the Carrier
8. Transport Documents and Electronic Transport Records
9. Delivery of the Goods
10. Rights of the Controlling Party
11. Transfer of Rights
12. Limits of Liability
13. Time for Suit
14. Jurisdiction
15. Arbitration
16. Validity of Contractual Terms
17. Matters Not Governed by This Convention
18. Final Clauses
19. Conclusion