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Vesna Polić Foglar ; Allianz Suisse, Transportversicherungen-Abteilung Schaden, Zürich, Suisse

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 334 Kb

str. 211-222

preuzimanja: 824



At present, it is not unusual that shippers ask for special conditions of transport
reflecting their individual business requirements. In such cases shippers and carriers
conclude special contracts regulating in detail the service to be offered and its price.
Having in mind the obvious economic needs, the Rotterdam Rules allow parties
to conclude volume contracts. Volume contract means a contract of carriage that
provides for the carriage of a specified quantity of goods in a series of shipments
during an agreed period of time. Contrary to the compulsory application of the liability
provisions in the existing international conventions governing a carrier’s liability
for goods in transit, the Rotterdam Rules allow parties to contract out of
much of the obligatory liability regime contained in the Rules.
However, there are some provisions of the Rules that the parties to a volume
contract may not derogate from, like the duty of the ocean carrier before and during
a voyage by sea to exercise due diligence to make and keep the ship seaworthy and
properly crewed, equipped and supplied, the shipper’s obligation to provide certain
information, instructions and documents, special rules for carrying dangerous cargo
and loss of right to limit liability for loss or damage caused with intent or recklessly.
At the same time, the Rules forbid the conclusion of a volume contract simply by
adhesion. Therefore, the Rules allow parties in the liner trade greater freedom of
contract where this is appropriate while at the same time giving mandatory protection
to smaller or inexperienced shippers where needed.
It is not expected that carriers will always seek to take advantage of smaller
volume shippers by forcing them to accept liability and other terms to the shipper’s
detriment. Such a risk exists, but is not exaggerated.
If the Rotterdam Rules don’t get adopted at the international level in a reasonable
period of time, the status quo of the existing regimes will not remain, as it does
not meet the contemporary needs any more. Instead, several regional legal regimes
are going to be adopted. This would result in a lack of uniformity and conflicts between
these regimes, leading to legal uncertainty. Legal costs arising out of this
situation will certainly outnumber the legal costs entrained by the introduction of
the Rotterdam Rules as a new set of legislation. Therefore, despite some critics of the
Rotterdam Rules, their ratification is strongly recommended.

Ključne riječi

Rotterdam Rules, volume contract, rights and obligations of the parties, contracting out of the mandatory provisions, carrier’s liability

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