Chamber of Commerce

The UN was more successful in its introduction of the Hamburg Rules  which were compiled by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).  Again acting on behalf of the non-maritime less-developed nations, the Hamburg Rules seek to replace the Hague-Visby Rules which, in the view of UNCTAD, are biased heavily in favour of the carrier to the disadvantage of the shipper/receiver. For ease of reference these rules are reproduced in Appendix 10:2 together with a series of explanatory notes prepared by the secretariat of UNCITRAL. Do bear in mind that these notes are produced by the UN in an endeavour to widen the acceptance of their Rules which do not have universal appeal. Nevertheless, some of their criticisms of Hague-Visby suggest that the latter may be due for a degree of revision. The Hamburg Rules have been adopted enthusiastically by some non-maritime countries but as these countries are not involved in the major trade routes, the impact of Hamburg Rules has not been significant.  They do, however, throw up some interesting problems because whilst the Hague-Visby Rules only apply to the exporting country, the Hamburg Rules apply to the exporting or importing country.  Thus, for example, cargo moving from the UK to Morocco would have a bill of lading incorporating Hague-Visby but the importers would insist on any cargo claim being governed by Hamburg Rules. As an extension of their thinking, the UN have devised a convention to cover the house-to-house (multi-modal) nature of much of container transport today but it has not had the hoped-for appeal to date. International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)  Has been more successful with its rules for multi-modal transport and whilst this has yet to receive wide enactment into national laws, the terms of these rules are often applied voluntarily.