The Complete 2004 Laws of Nigeria

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UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA (RATIFICATION AND ENFORCEMENT) ACT

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION                                        

1. Enforcement of the United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea.
2. Short Title.

SCHEDULE

11.5.220 (The Hamburg Rules, 1978) United Nations Convention on the
                       Carriage of Goods by Sea, 1978 

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA
                                (RATIFICATION AND ENFORCEMENT) ACT

An Act to enable effect to be given in the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United
Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea; and for related matters.

                                                                                                                               

[Commencement.]

WHEREAS a Convention entitled the "United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods
by Sea" has been duly adopted by diverse states at Hamburg in March, 1978 and the
Federal Republic of Nigeria is desirous of adhering to the said Convention;

AND WHEREAS the Federal Republic of Nigeria has ratified the Convention on Carriage
of Goods by Sea;

AND WHEREAS it is necessary and expedient to make legislative provision for the enforcement 
in the Federal Republic of Nigeria of the United Nations Conventions on
Carriage of Goods by Sea;

Now THEREFORE IT IS:

ENACTED by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria-

  1. Enforcement of the United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea

As from the commencement of this Act, the provisions of the United Nations Convention 
on Carriage of Goods by Sea which are set out in the Schedule to this Act shall, subject 
as there under provided, have force of law and shall be given full recognition and
effect and be applied by all authorities and persons exercising legislative, executive and
judicial powers in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

[Schedule.]

2. Short title 

This Act may be cited as the United Nations Convention on Carriage of Goods by Sea
(Ratification and Enforcement) Act, 2005.

SCHEDULE
   [Section 1]

11.5.220 (The Hamburg Rules, 1978) United Nations Convention on the

Carriage of Goods by Sea, 1978

The State Parties to this Convention,

HAVING RECOGNlSED the desirability of determining by agreement certain rules relating to the carriage of goods by sea.

HAVE DECIDED to conclude a Convention for this purpose and have thereto agreed as follows-

PART I

General Provisions

ARTICLE 1

Definitions

In this Convention-

1. "Carrier" means any person by whom or in whose name a contract of carriage of
goods by sea has been concluded with a shipper.

 2. "Actual carrier" means any person to whom the performance of the carriage of the
goods, or of part of the carriage, has been entrusted by the carrier, and includes any other 
person to whom such performance has been entrusted.

 3"Shipper" means any person by whom or in whose name or on whose behalf a contract 
of carriage of goods by sea has been concluded with a carrier, or any person by whom or
in whose name or on whose behalf the goods are actually delivered to the carrier in relation to
the contract of carriage by sea.

  1. "Consignee" means the person entitled to take delivery of the goods.
  2. "Goods" includes live animals; where the goods are consolidated in a container, pallet
    or similar article of transport or where they are packed, "goods" includes such article of 
    transport or packaging if supplied by the shipper.

 6"Contract of carriage by sea" means any contract whereby the carrier undertakes
against payment of freight to carry goods by sea from one port to another; however, a contract
which involves carriage by sea and also carriage by some other means is deemed to be a contract 
of carriage by sea for the purposes of this Convention only in so far as it relates to the
carriage by sea.

 7. "Bill of lading" means a document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea and
the taking over or loading of the goods by the carrier, and by which the carrier undertakes to
deliver the goods against surrender of the document. A provision in the document that the
goods are to be delivered to the order of a named person, or to order, or to bearer, constitutes
such an undertaking.  

8. "Writing" includes, inter alia, telegram and telex.

ARTICLE 2

Scope of Ap plication

1. The provisions of this Convention are applicable to all contracts of carriage by sea between two different States, if-

                                (a)    the port of loading as provided for in the contract of carriage by sea is located
in a Contracting State; or

                                (b)    the port of discharge as provided for in the contract of carriage by sea is located
in a Contracting State; or

                                (c)      one of the optional ports of discharge provided for in the contract of carriage
by sea is the actual port of discharge and such port is located in a Contracting
State; or

                                 (d)    the bill of lading or other document evidencing the contract of carriage by sea
is issued in a Contracting State; or

                                  (e)      the bill of lading or other document evidencing the contract of carriage by sea
provides that the provisions of this Convention or the legislation of any State
giving effect to them are to govern the contract.

2. The provisions of this Convention are applicable without regard to the nationality of the
ship, the carrier, the actual carrier, the shipper, the consignee or any other interested person.

3. The provisions of this Convention are not applicable to charter-parties. However, where a
bill of lading is issued pursuant to a charter-party, the provisions of the Convention apply to
such a bill of lading if it governs the relation between the carrier and the holder of the bill of
lading, not being the charterer.

4. If a contract provides for future carriage of goods in a series of shipments during an agreed
period, the provisions of this Convention apply to each shipment. However, where a shipment
is made under a charter-party, the provisions of paragraph 3 of this Article apply.

ARTICLE 3

Interpretation of the Convention

In the interpretation and application of the provisions of this Convention regard shall be
had to its international character and to the need to promote uniformity.

PART II

Liability of the Carrier

ARTICLE 4

Period of Responsibility

1. The responsibility of the carrier for the goods under this Convention covers the period
during which the carrier is in charge of the goods at the port of loading, during the carriage
and at the port of discharge.

2. For the purpose of paragraph 1 of this Article, the carrier is deemed to be in charge of the goods-

(a) from the time he has taken over the goods from-
           (i) the shipper, or a person acting on his behalf; or

(ii)      an authority or other third party to whom, pursuant to law or regulations
applicable at the port of loading, the goods must be handed over for the shipment;

(b) until the time he has delivered the goods-

(i) by handing over the goods to the consignee; or

(ii)   in cases where the consignee does not receive the goods from the carrier,
by placing them at the disposal of the consignee in accordance with the
contract or with the law or with the usage of the particular trade, applicable
at the port of discharge; or

(iii)   by handing over the goods to an authority or other third party to whom,
pursuant to law or regulations applicable at the port of discharge, the goods
must be handed over.

3. In paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, reference to the carrier or to the consignee means, in
addition to the carrier or the consignee, the servants or agents, respectively of the carrier or the
consignee.

ARTICLES

Basis of Liability

l. The carrier is liable for loss resulting from loss of or damage to the goods, as well as from delay in delivery, if the occurrence which caused the loss, damage or delay took place while the goods were in his charge as defined in Article 4, unless the carrier proves that he, his servants or agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the occurrence and its consequences.

2. Delay in delivery occurs when the goods have not been delivered at the port of discharge provided for in the contract of carriage by sea within the time expressly agreed upon or, in the absence of such agreement, within the time which it would be reasonable to require of a diligent carrier, having regard to the circumstances of the case.

3. The person entitled to make a claim for the loss of goods may treat the goods as lost if they have not been delivered as required by Article 4 within 60 consecutive days following the expiry of the time for delivery according to paragraph 2 ofthis Article.

4(a) The carrier is liable-

                (i)      for loss of or damage to the goods or delay in delivery caused by fire, if the
claimant proves that the fire arose from fault or neglect on the part of the carrier, his servants or agents;

                (ii)     for such loss, damage or delay in delivery which is proved by the claimant to have resulted from the fault or neglect of the carrier, his servants or agents, in
taking all measures that could reasonably be required to put out the fire and avoid or mitigate its consequences.

(b) In case of fire on board the ship affecting the goods, if the claimant or the carrier so
desires, a survey in accordance with shipping practices must be held into the cause and circumstances of the fire, and a copy of the surveyor's report shall be made available on demand to the carrier and the claimant.

 

5. With respect to live animals, the carrier is not liable for loss, damage or delay in delivery
resulting from any special risks inherent in that kind of carriage. I f the carrier proves that he
has complied with any special instructions given to him by the shipper respecting the animals
and that, in the circumstances of the case, the loss, damage or delay in delivery could be
attributed to such risks, it is presumed that the loss, damage or delay in delivery was so caused,
unless there is proof that all or a part of the loss, damage or delay in delivery resulted from
fault or neglect on, the part of the carrier, his servants or agents.

6. The carrier is not liable, except in general average, where loss, damage or delay in delivery 
resulted from measures to save life or from reasonable measures to save property at sea.

7. Where fault or neglect on the part of the carrier, his servants or agents combines with another
cause to produce loss, damage or delay in delivery the carrier is liable only to the extent
that the loss, damage or delay in delivery is attributable to such fault or neglect, provided that
the carrier proves the amount of the loss, damage or delay in delivery not attributable thereto.

ARTICLE 6

Limits of Liability

1(a) The liability of the carrier for loss resulting from loss of or damage to goods according
to the provisions of Article 5 is limited to an amount equivalent to 835 units of account per
package or other shipping unit or 2.5 units of account per kilogramme of gross weight of the
goods lost or damaged, whichever is the higher.

(b) The liability of the carrier for delay in delivery according to the provisions of Article 5
is limited to an amount equivalent to two and a half times the freight payable for the
goods delayed, but not exceeding the total freight payable under the contract of carriage of
goods by sea.

(c) In no case shall the aggregate liability of the carrier, under both subparagraphs (a) 
and (b) of this paragraph, exceed the limitation which would be established under sub-
paragraph (a) of this paragraph for total loss of the goods with respect to which such liability
was incurred.

2. For the purpose of calculating which amount is the higher in accordance with paragraph 1 (a) 
of this Article, the following rules apply:

                                (a)     Where a container, pallet or similar article of transport is used to consolidate
goods, the package or other shipping units enumerated in the bill of lading, if
issued, or otherwise in any other document evidencing the contract of carriage
by sea, as packed in such article of transport are deemed packages in shipping
units. Except as aforesaid the goods in such article of transport are deemed one
shipping unit.

                (b)      In cases where the article of transport itself has been lost or damaged, that
Article of transport, ifnot owned or otherwise supplied by the carrier, is considered
one separate shipping unit.

  1. Unit of account means the unit of account mentioned in Article 26.
  2. By agreement between the carrier and the shipper, limits of liability exceeding those provided for in paragraph 1 may be fixed.

ARTICLE 7

Application to Non-contractual Claims

1. The defences and limits of liability provided for in this Convention apply in any action
against the carrier in respect of loss or damage to the goods covered by the contract of
carriage by sea, as well as of delay in delivery whether the action is founded in contract, in tort or
otherwise.

2. If such an action is brought against a servant or agent of the carrier, such servant or agent,
if he proves that he acted within the scope of his employment, is entitled to avail himself of
the defences and limits of liability which the carrier is entitled to invoke under this
Convention.

3. Except as provided in Article 8, the aggregate of the amounts recoverable from the carrier
and from any persons referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall not exceed the limits of
liability provided for in this Convention.

ARTICLE 8

Loss of Right to Limit Responsibility

1. The carrier is not entitled to the benefit of the limitation of liability provided for in Article 6
if it is proved that the loss, damage or delay resulted from an act or omission of the carrier
done with the intent to cause such loss, damage or delay, or recklessly and with knowledge
that such loss, damage or delay would probably result.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article 7, a servant or agent of the carrier
is not entitled to the benefit of the limitation of liability provided for in Article 6 if it is
proved that the loss, damage or delay in delivery resulted from an act or omission of such
servant or agent, done with the intent to cause such loss, damage or delay, or recklessly and
with knowledge that such loss, damage or delay would probably result.

ARTICLE 9

Deck Cargo

1. The carrier is entitled to carry the goods on deck only if such carriage is in accordance
with an agreement with the shipper or with the usage of the particular trade or is required by
statutory rules or regulations.

2. If the carrier and the shipper have agreed that the goods shall or may be carried on deck,
the carrier must insert in the bill of lading or other document evidencing the contract of carriage
by sea a statement to that effect. In the absence of such a statement the carrier has the
burden of proving that an agreement for carriage on deck has been entered into; however, the
carrier is not entitled to invoke such an agreement against a third party, including a consignee,
who has acquired the bill of lading in good faith.

3. Where the goods have been carried on deck contrary to the provisions of paragraph 1 of
this Article or where the carrier may not under paragraph 2 of this Article invoke an agreement
for carriage on deck, the carrier, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 5, 
is liable for loss of or damage to the goods, as well as for delay in delivery, resulting
solely from the carriage on deck, and the extent of his liability is to be determined in accordance
with the provisions of Article 6 of this Convention, as the case may be.

4. Carriage of goods on deck contrary to express agreement for carriage under deck is
deemed to be an act or omission of the carrier within the meaning of Article 8.

ARTICLE 10

Liability of the Carrier and Actual Carrier

1. Where the performance of the carriage or part thereof has been entrusted to an actual carrier,
whether or not in pursuance of a liberty under the contract of carriage by sea to do so, the carrier 
nevertheless remains responsible for the entire carriage according to the provisions of this
Convention. The carrier is responsible, in relation to the carriage performed by the actual carrier,
for the acts and omissions of the actual carrier and of his servants and agents acting
within the scope of their employment.

2. All the provisions of this Convention governing the responsibility of the carrier also apply
to the responsibility of the actual carrier for the carriage performed by him. The provisions of
paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 7 and of paragraph 2 of Article 8 apply if an action is brought
against a servant or agent of the actual carrier.

3. Any special agreement under which the carrier assumes obligations not imposed by this
Convention or waives rights conferred by this Convention affects the actual carrier only if
agreed to by him expressly and in writing. Whether or not the actual carrier has so agreed, the
carrier nevertheless remains bound by the obligations or waivers resulting from such special
agreement.

4. Where and to the extent that both the carrier and the actual carrier are liable, their liability
is joint and several.

5. The aggregate of the amounts recoverable from the carrier, the actual carrier and their
servants and agents shall not exceed the limits of liability provided for in this Convention.

6. Nothing in this Article shall prejudice any right of recourse as between the carrier and the
actual carrier.

ARTICLE II

Through Carriage

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of Article 10, where a contract of carriage
by sea provides explicitly that a specified part of the carriage covered by the said contract is to
be performed by a named person other than the carrier, the contract may also provide that the
carrier is not liable for loss, damage or delay in delivery caused by an occurrence which takes
place while the goods are in the charge of the actual carrier during such part of the carriage.
Nevertheless, any stipulation limiting or excluding such liability is without effect if no judicial
proceedings can be instituted against the actual carrier in a court competent under paragraph I
or 2 of Article 21. The burden of proving that any loss, damage or delay in delivery has been
caused by such an occurrence rests upon the carrier.

2. The actual carrier is responsible in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 2 of Article
10 for loss, damage or delay in delivery caused by an occurrence which takes place while
the goods are in his charge.

PART III

Liability of the Shipper

ARTICLE 12

General Rule

The shipper is not liable for loss sustained by the carrier or the actual carrier, or for damage
sustained by the ship, unless such loss or damage was caused by the fault or neglect of the
shipper, his servants or agents. Nor is any servant or agent of the shipper liable for such loss
or damage unless the loss or damage was caused by fault or neglect on his part.

ARTICLE 13

Special Rules on Dangerous Goods

  1. The shipper must mark or label in a suitable manner dangerous goods as dangerous.
  2. Where the shipper hands over dangerous goods to the carrier or an actual carrier, as the
    case may be, the shipper must inform him of the dangerous character of the goods and, if
    necessary, of the precautions to be taken. If the shipper fails to do so and such carrier or actual
    carrier does nor otherwise have knowledge of their dangerous character-

                                 (a)    the shipper is liable to the carrier and any actual carrier for the loss resulting
from the shipment of such goods; and

(b)     the goods may at any time be unloaded, destroyed or rendered innocuous, as
the circumstances may require, without payment of compensation.

3. The provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article may not be invoked by any person if during
the carriage he has taken the goods in his charge with knowledge of their dangerous character.

4. If, in cases where the provisions of paragraph 2, subparagraph (b), of this Article do not
apply or may not be invoked, dangerous goods become an actual danger to life or property,
they may be unloaded, destroyed or rendered innocuous, as the circumstances may require,
without payment of compensation except where there is an obligation to contribute in general
average or where the carrier is liable in accordance with the provisions of Article 5.

PART IV

Transport Documents

ARTICLE 14

issue of Bill of Lading

1. When the carrier or the actual carrier takes the goods in his charge, the carrier must on
demand of the shipper, issue to the shipper a bill of lading.

2. The bill of lading may be signed by a person having authority from the carrier. A bill of
lading signed by the master of the ship carrying the goods is deemed to have been signed on
behalf of the carrier.

3. The signature on the bill of lading may be in handwriting, printed in facsimile, perforated,
stamped, in symbols, or made by any other mechanical or electronic means, if not inconsistent
with the law of the country where the bill of lading is issued.

ARTICLE 15

Contents of Bill of Lading

1. The bill of lading must include, inter alia, the following particulars-

                                    (a) the general nature of the goods, the leading marks necessary for identification
of the goods, an express statement, if applicable, as to the dangerous character
of the goods, the number of packages or pieces, and the weight of the goods or
their quantity otherwise expressed, all such particulars as furnished by the
shipper;

(b) the apparent condition of the goods;

(c) the name and principal place of business of the carrier;

(d  the name of the shipper;

(e)   the consignee if named by the shipper;

(f)    the port of loading under the contract of carriage by sea and the date on which
        the goods were taken over by the carrier at the port of loading;

  (g)   the port of discharge under the contract of carriage by sea;

  (h)   the number of originals of the bill oflading if more than one;

  (i)   the place of issuance of the bill of lading;

  (j)     the signature of the carrier or a person acting on his behalf;

  (k)  the freight to the extent payable by the consignee or other indicating that
          freight is payable by him;

(l)  the statement referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 23;

(m) the statement, if applicable, that the goods shall or may be carried on deck;

 (n)  the date or the period of delivery of the goods at the port of discharge if 
       expressly agreed upon between the parties; and

(0)  any increased limit or limits of liability where agreed in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article 6.

2. After the goods have been loaded on board, if the shipper so demands, the carrier must
issue to the shipper a "shipped" bill of lading which, in addition to the particulars required
under paragraph 1 of this Article, must state that the goods are on board a named ship or ships,
and the date or dates of loading. If the carrier has previously issued to the shipper a bill of
lading or other document of title with respect to any of such goods, on request of the carrier,
the shipper must surrender such document in exchange for a "shipped" bill of lading. The
carrier may amend any previously issued document in order to meet the shipper's demand for
a "shipped" bill of lading if, as amended, such document includes all the information required
to be contained in a "shipped" bill of lading.

3. The absence in the bill of lading of one or more particulars referred to in this Article does
not affect the legal character of the document as a bill of lading provided that it nevertheless
meets the requirements set out in paragraph 7 of Article I.

ARTICLE 16

Bills of Lading, Reservations and Evidentiary Effect

1. If the bill of lading contains particulars concerning the general nature, leading marks,
number of packages or pieces, weight or quantity of the goods which the carrier or other
person issuing the bill of lading on his behalf knows or had reasonable grounds to suspect do not
accurately represent the goods actually taken over or, where a "shipped" bill of lading is issued,
loaded, or if he had no reasonable means of checking such particulars, the carrier or
such other person must insert in the bill of lading a reservation specifying these inaccuracies,
grounds of suspicion or the absence of reasonable means of checking.

2. If the carrier or other person issuing the bill of lading on his behalf fails to note on the bill
of lading the apparent condition of the goods, he is deemed to have noted on the bill oflading
that the goods were in apparent good condition.

3. Except for particulars in respect of which and to the extent to which a reservation permitted
under paragraph 1 of this Article has been entered-

(a) the bill of lading is prima facie evidence of the taking over or, where a
"shipped" bill of lading is issued, loading, by the carrier of the goods as 
described in the bill of lading; and

 (b)     proof to the contrary by the carrier is not admissible if the bill of lading has
been transferred to a third party, including a consignee, who in good faith has
acted in reliance on the description of the goods therein.

4. A bill of lading which does not, as provided in paragraph 1, subparagraph (k) of Article 15,
set forth the freight or otherwise indicate that freight is payable by the consignee or
does not set forth demurrage incurred at the port of loading payable by the consignee, is prima
facie 
evidence that no freight or such demurrage is payable by him. However, proof to the
contrary by the carrier is not admissible when the bill of lading has been transferred to a third
party, including a consignee, who in good faith has acted in reliance on the absence in the bill
of lading of any such indication.

ARTICLE 17

Guarantees by the Shipper

1. The shipper is deemed to have guaranteed to the carrier the accuracy of particulars relating
to the general nature of the goods, their marks, number, weight and quantity as furnished by
him for insertion in the bill of lading. The shipper must indemnify the carrier against the loss
resulting from inaccuracies in such particulars. The shipper remains liable even if the bill of
lading has been transferred by him. The right of the carrier to such indemnity in no way limits
his liability under the contract of carriage by sea to any person other than the shipper.

2. Any letter of guarantee or agreement by which the shipper undertakes to indemnify the
carrier against loss resulting from the issuance of the bill of lading by the carrier, or by a person
acting on his behalf, without entering a reservation relating to particulars furnished by the
shipper for insertion in the bill of lading, or to the apparent condition of the goods, is void and
of no effect as against any third party, including a consignee, to whom the bill of lading has
been transferred.

3. Such letter of guarantee or agreement is valid as against the shipper unless the carrier or
the person acting on his behalf, by omitting the reservation referred to in paragraph 2 of this
Article, intends to defraud a third party, including a consignee, who acts in reliance on the
description of the goods in the bill of lading. In the latter case, if the reservation omitted relates
to particulars furnished by the shipper for insertion in the bill oflading, the carrier has no
right of indemnity from the shipper pursuant to paragraph I of this Article.

4. In the case of intended fraud referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article the carrier is liable,
without the benefit of the limitation of liability provided for in this Convention, for the loss
incurred by a third party including a consignee, because he has acted in reliance on the
description of the goods in the bill oflading.

ARTICLE 18

Documents other than Bills of Lading

Where a carrier issues a document other than a bill of lading to evidence the receipt of
the goods to be carried, such a document is prima facie evidence of the conclusion of the
contract of carriage by sea and the taking over by the carrier ofthe goods as therein described.

PART V

Claims and Actions

ARTICLE 19

Notice of Loss, Damage or Delay

1. Unless notice of loss or damage, specifying the general nature of such loss or damage, is
given in writing by the consignee to the carrier not later than the working day after the day
when the goods were handed over to the consignee, such handing over is prima facie evidence
of the delivery by the carrier of the goods as described in the document of transport or, if no
such document has been issued, in good condition.

2. Where the loss or damage is not apparent, the provisions of paragraph I of this Article
apply correspondingly if notice in writing is not given within 15 consecutive days after the
day when the goods were handed over to the consignee.

3. If the state of the goods at the time they were handed over to the consignee has been the
subject of a joint surveyor inspection by the parties, notice in writing need not be given of
loss or damage ascertained during such surveyor inspection.

4. In the case of any actual or apprehended loss or damage the carrier and the consignee must
give all reasonable facilities to each other for inspecting and tallying the goods.

5. No compensation shall be payable for loss resulting from delay in delivery unless a notice
has been given in writing to the carrier within 60 consecutive days after the day when the
goods were handed over to the consignee.

6. If the goods have been delivered by an actual carrier, any notice given under this Article to
him shall have the same effect as if it had been given to the carrier, and any notice given to the
carrier shall have effect as if given to such actual carrier.

7. Unless notice of loss or damage, specifying the general nature of the loss or damage, is
given in writing by the carrier or actual carrier to the shipper not later than 90 consecutive
days after the occurrence of such loss or damage or after the delivery of the goods in accordance
with paragraph 2 of Article 4, whichever is later, the failure to give such notice is prima
facie 
evidence that the carrier or the actual carrier has sustained no loss or damage due to the
fault or neglect of the shipper, his servants or agents.

8. For the purpose of this Article, notice given to a person acting on the carrier's or the actual
carrier's behalf, including the master or the officer in charge of the ship, or to a person acting
on the shipper's behalf is deemed to have been given to the carrier, to the actual carrier or to
the shipper, respectively.

ARTICLE 20

Limitation of Actions

1. Any action relating to carriage of goods under this Convention is time-barred if judicial or
arbitral proceedings have not been instituted within a period of two years.

2. The limitation period commences on the day on which the carrier has delivered the goods
or part thereof or, in cases where no goods have been delivered, on the last day on which the
goods should have been delivered.

3. The day on which the limitation period commences is not included in the period.

4. The person against whom a claim is made may at any time during the running of the limitation 
period extend that period by a declaration in writing to the claimant. This period may be
further extended by another declaration or declarations.

5. An action for indemnity by a person held liable may be instituted even after the expiration
of the limitation period provided for in the preceding paragraphs if instituted within the time
allowed by the law of the State where proceedings are instituted. However, the time allowed
shall not be less than 90 days commencing from the day when the person instituting such
action for indemnity has settled the claim or has been served with process in the action against
himself.

ARTICLE 21

Jurisdiction

1. In judicial proceedings relating to carriage of goods under this Convention the plaintiff, at
his option, may institute an action in a court which, according to the law of the State where the
court is situated, is competent and within the jurisdictions of which is situated one of the following places-

                                (a)     the principal place of business or, in the absence thereof, the habitual residence
of the defendant; or

                                (b)      the place where the contract was made provided that the defendant has there a
place of business, branch or agency through which the contract was made; or

                                          (c)    the port of loading or the port of discharge; or

                (d)    any additional place designated for that purpose in the contract of carriage by
sea.

2. (a) Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of this Article, an action may be instituted
in the courts of any port or place in a Contracting State at which the carrying vessel or any
other vessel of the same ownership may have been arrested in accordance with applicable
rules of the law of that State and of international law. However, in such a case, at the petition
of the defendant, the claimant must remove the action, at his choice, to one of the jurisdictions
referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article for the determination of the claim, but before such
removal the defendant must furnish security sufficient to ensure payment of any judgment that
may subsequently be awarded to the claimant in the action;

(b) All questions relating to the sufficiency or otherwise of the security shall be determined
by the court of the port or place of the arrest.

3. No judicial proceedings relating to carriage of goods under this Convention may be instituted
in a place not specified in paragraph 1 or 2 of this Article. The provisions of this paragraph do
not constitute an obstacle to the jurisdiction of the Contracting States for provisional
or protective measures.

4. (a) Where an action has been instituted in a court competent under paragraph 1 or 2 of
this Article or where judgment has been delivered by such a court, no new action may be
started between the same parties on the same grounds unless the judgment of the court before
which the first action was instituted is not enforceable in the country in which the new proceedings are instituted;

(b) For the purpose of this Article the institution of measures with a view to obtaining
enforcement of ajudgment is not to be considered as the starting of a new action;

(c) For the purpose of this Article, the removal of an action to a different court within
the same country, or to a court in another country, in accordance with paragraph 2 (a) of this
Article, is not to be considered as the starting of a new action.

5. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, an agreement made by the
parties, after a claim under the contract of carriage by sea has arisen, which designates the
place where the claimant may institute an action, is effective.

ARTICLE 22

Arbitration

l. Subject to the provisions of this Article, parties may provide by agreement evidenced in
writing that any dispute that may arise relating to carriage of goods under this Convention
shall be referred to arbitration.

2. Where a charter-party confirms a provision that disputes arising thereunder shall be referred
to arbitration and a bill of lading issued pursuant to the charter-party does not contain a
special annotation providing that such provision shall be binding upon the holder of the bill of
lading, the carrier may not invoke such provision as against a holder having acquired the bill
of lading in good faith.

3. The arbitration proceedings shall, at the option of the claimant, be instituted at one of the                                                                                
following places- '

(a) a place in a State within whose territory is situated-

(i)    the principal place of business of the defendant or, in the absence thereof,
the habitual residence of the defendant; or

(ii)    the place where the contract was made, provided that the defendant has
there a place of business, branch or agency through which the contract was
made; or

(iii)   the port of loading or the port of discharge; or

(b) any place designated for that purpose in the arbitration clause or agreement.

  1. The arbitrator or arbitration tribunal shall apply the rules of this Convention.
  2. The provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article are deemed to be part of every arbitration 
    clause or agreement, and any term of such clause or agreement which is inconsistent
    therewith is null and void.

6. Nothing in this Article affects the validity of an agreement relating to arbitration made by
the parties after the claim under the contract of carriage by sea has arisen.

   PART VI

       Supplementary Provisions

ARTICLE 23

Contractual Stipulations

l. Any stipulation in a contract of carriage by sea, in a bill of lading, or in any other document 
evidencing the contract of carriage by sea is null and void to the extent that it derogates,
directly or indirectly, from the provisions of this Convention. The nullity of such stipulation
does not affect the validity of the other provisions of the contract or document of which it
forms a part. A clause assigning benefit of insurance of the goods in favour of the Carrier, or
any similar clause, is null and void.

2. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, a carrier may increase his
responsibilities and obligations under this Convention.

3. Where a bill of lading or any other document evidencing the contract of carriage by sea is
issued, it must contain a statement that the carriage is subject to the provisions of this Convention 
which nullity any stipulation derogating therefrom to the detriment of the shipper or the
consignee.

4. Where the claimant in respect of the goods has incurred loss as a result of a stipulation
which is null and void by virtue of the present Article, or as a result of the omission of the
statement referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article, the carrier must pay compensation to the
extent required in order to give the claimant compensation in accordance with the provisions
of this Convention for any loss of or damage to the goods as well as for delay in delivery. The
carrier must, in addition, pay compensation for costs incurred by the claimant for the purpose
of exercising his right, provided that costs incurred in the action where the foregoing provision 
is invoked are to be determined in accordance with the law of the State where proceedings are instituted.

ARTICLE 24

General Average

1. Nothing in this Convention shall prevent the application of provisions in the contract of
carriage by sea or national law regarding the adjustment of general average.

2. With the exception of Article 20, the provisions of this Convention relating to the liability
of the carrier for loss of or damage to the goods also determine whether the consignee may
refuse contribution in general average and the liability of the carrier to indemnity the consignee 
in respect of any such contribution made or any salvage paid.

ARTICLE 25

Other Conventions

1. This Convention does not modify the rights or duties of the carrier, the actual carrier and
their servants and agents, provided for in international conventions or national law relating to
the limitation of liability of owners of sea-going ships.

2. The provisions of Articles 21 and 22 of this Convention do not prevent the application of
the mandatory provisions of any other multilateral convention already in force at the date of
this Convention relating to matters dealt with in the said Articles, provided that the dispute
arises exclusively between parties having their principal place of business in member States of
such other convention. However, this paragraph does not affect the application of paragraph 4
of Article 22 of this Convention.

3. No liability shall arise under the provisions of this Convention for damage caused by a
nuclear incident if the operator of a nuclear installation is liable for such damage-

                (a)    under either the Paris Convention of 29 July, 1960 on Third Party Liability in
the Field of Nuclear Energy as amended by the Additional Protocol of28 January, 1964 
or the Vienna Convention of21 May, 1963 on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage; or

                               (b)    by virtue of national law governing the liability for such damage, provided that
such law is in all respects as favourable to persons who may suffer damage as
either the Paris or Vienna Conventions.

4. No liability shall arise under the provisions of this Convention for any loss of or damage
to or delay in delivery of luggage for which the carrier is responsible under any international
convention or national law relating to the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea.

5. Nothing contained in this Convention prevents a Contracting State from applying any
other international convention which is already in force at the date of this Convention and
which applies mandatorily to contracts of carriage of goods primarily by a mode of transport
other than transport by sea. This provision also applies to any subsequent revision or amendment 
of such international convention.

ARTICLE 26

Unit of Account

1. The unit of account referred to in Article 6 of this Convention is the Special Drawing
Right as defined by the International Monetary Fund. The amounts mentioned in Article 6 are
to be converted into the national currency of a State according to the value of such currency at
the date of judgment or the date agreed upon by the parties. The value of a national currency,
in terms of the Special Drawing Right, ofa Contracting State which is a member of the
International Monetary Fund is to be calculated in a manner determined by that State.

2. Nevertheless, those States which are non-members of the International Monetary Fund and
whose law does not permit the application of the provisions of paragraph I of this Article
may, at the time of signature, or at the time of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
or at any time thereafter, declare that the limits of liability provided for in this Convention to
be applied in their territories shall be fixed as 12,500 monetary units per package or other
shipping unit or 37.5 monetary units per kilogram me of gross weight of the goods.

3. The monetary unit referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article corresponds to sixty-five and a
half milligrammes of gold of millesimal fineness nine hundred. The conversion of the
amounts referred to in paragraph 2 into the national currency is to be made according to the
law of the State concerned.

4. The calculation mentioned in the last sentence of paragraph I and the conversion mentioned
in paragraph 3 of this Article is to be made in such a manner as to express in the national currency
of the Contracting State as far as possible the same real value for the amounts in Article 6
as is expressed there in units of account. Contracting States must communicate to the depository
the manner of calculation pursuant to paragraph I of this Article, or the result of the conversion
mentioned in paragraph 3 of this Article, as the case may be, at the time of signature or when
depositing their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, or when availing
themselves of the option provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article and whenever there is a
change in the manner of such calculation or in the result of such conversion.

PART VII

    Final Clauses

           ARTICLE 27

  Depository

The Secretary-General of the United Nations is hereby designated as the depository of
this Convention. 

ARTICLE 28

Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval and Accession

1. This Convention is open for signature by all States until 30 April, 1979 at the Headquar-
ters of the United Nations, New York.

  1. This Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by the signatory States.
  2. After 30 April, 1979, this Convention will be open for accession by all States which are
    not signatory States.

4. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval and accession are to be deposited with the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.

ARTICLE 29

Reservations 
No reservations may be made to this Convention.

ARTICLE 30

Entry into Force

1. This Convention enters into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of
one year from the date of the deposit of the 20th instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession.

2. For each State which becomes a Contracting State to this Convention after the date of the
deposit of the 20th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, this Convention
enters into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of one year after
the deposit of the appropriate instrument on behalf of that State.

3. Each Contracting State shall apply the provisions of this Convention to contracts of carriage
by sea concluded on or after the date of the entry into force of this Convention in respect
of that State.

ARTICLE 31

Denunciation of Other Conventions

1. Upon becoming a Contracting State to this Convention, any State party to the International
Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to Bills of Lading signed at Brussels
on 25 August, 1924 (1924 Convention) must notify the Government of Belgium as the depository
of the 1924 Convention of its denunciation of the said Convention with a declaration that
the denunciation is to take effect as from the date when this Convention enters into force in
respect of that State.

2. Upon the entry into force of this Convention under paragraph 1 of Article 30, the depository 
of this Convention must notify the Government of Belgium as the depository of the 1924
Convention of the date of such entry into force, and of the names of the Contracting States in
respect of which the Convention has entered into force.

3. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article apply correspondingly in respect of
States parties to the Protocol signed on 23 February, 1968 to amend the International Convention
for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to Bills of Lading signed at Brussels on 25 August, 1924. 

4. Notwithstanding Article 2 of this Convention, for the purposes of paragraph I of this Article,
a Contracting State may, if it deems it desirable, defer the denunciation of the 1924 Convention
and of the 1924 Convention as modified by the 1968 Protocol for a maximum period
of five years from the entry into force of this Convention. It will then notify the Government
of Belgium of its intention. During this transitory period, it must apply to the Contracting
States this Convention to the exclusion of any other one.

ARTICLE 32

Revision and Amendment

1. At the request of not less than one-third of the Contracting States to this Convention, the
depository shall convene a conference of the Contracting States for revising or amending it.

2. Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the entry
into force of an amendment to this Convention, is deemed to apply to the Convention as
amended.

ARTICLE 33

Revision of the Limitation Amounts and Unit of Account or Monetary Unit

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 32, a conference only for the purpose of altering
the amount specified in Article 6 and paragraph 2 of Article 26, or of substituting either or
both of the units defined in paragraphs I and 3 of Article 26 by other units is to be convened
by the depository in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article. An alteration of the amounts
shall be made only because of a significant change in their real value.

2. A revision conference is to be convened by the depository when not less than one-fourth
of the Contracting States so request.

3. Any decision by the conference must be taken by a two-thirds majority of the participating
States. The amendment is communicated by the depository to all the Contracting States for
acceptance and to all the States signatories of the Convention for information.

4. Any amendment adopted enters into force on the first day of the month following one year
after its acceptance by two-thirds of the Contracting States. Acceptance is to be effected by
the deposit of a formal instrument to that effect, with the depository.

5. After entry into force of an amendment a Contracting State which has accepted the
amendment is entitled to apply the Convention as amended in its relations with Contracting
States which have not within six months after the adoption of the amendment notified the
depository that they are not bound by the amendment.

6. Any instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession deposited after the entry
into force of an amendment to this Convention, is deemed to apply to the Convention as
amended.

ARTICLE 34

Denunciation

1. A Contracting State may denounce this Convention at any time by means of a notification
in writing addressed to the depository.

2. The denunciation takes effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of one
year after the ratification is received by the depository. Where a longer period is specified in
the notification, the denunciation takes effect upon the expiration of such longer period after
the notification is received by the depositary.
DONE at Hamburg, this thirty-first day of March one thousand nine hundred and seventy-
eight, in a single original, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish
texts are equally authentic.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorised by their
respective Governments, have signed the present Convention.

ANNEX II

Common Understanding Adopted by the United Nations Conference on the
                                      Carriage of Goods by Sea

It is the common understanding that the liability of the carrier under this Convention is
based on the principle of presumed fault or neglect. This means that, as a rule, the burden of
proof rests on the carrier but, with respect to certain cases, the provisions of the Convention
modify this rule.

ANNEX III

Resolution Adopted by the United Nations Conference on the
                             Carriage of Goods by Sea

"The United Nations Conference on the Carriage of Goods by Sea,

Noting with appreciation the kind invitation of the Federal Republic of Germany to hold
the Conference in Hamburg,
Being aware that the facilities placed at the disposal of the Conference and the generous
hospitality bestowed on the participants by the Government of the Federal Republic of Ger-
many and by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, have in no small measure contributed
to the success of the Conference,
Expresses its gratitude to the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Ger-
many, and,Having adopted the Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea on the basis of a draft
Convention prepared by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law at the
request of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development,
Expresses its gratitude to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
and to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development for their outstanding
contribution to the simplification and harmonisation of the law of the carriage of goods by sea, and
Decides to designate the Convention adopted by the Conference as the: 'UNITED NATIONS
CONVENTION ON THE CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA, 1978', and
Recommends that the rules embodied therein be known as the 'HAMBURG RULES'."

 

                                                SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

                                            No Subsidiary Legislation