Limitation of Liability

Many other conventions followed including Limitation of Liability, the Arrest Convention and Civil Jurisdiction and Judgements.  The CMI has a most comprehensive website which explains inter alia the state of ratification of all international conventions including those of other convention-producing bodies. The CMI’s main claim to fame is, of course, its production of the Hague Rules and then their Conference in Visby in 1963 which produced the Hague-Visby Rules. More recently they have published their Uniform Rules for Sea Waybills, which were urgently needed in view of the growing popularity of a document which was so convenient when the need for negotiability was not involved. Even more necessary are their Rules for Electronic Bills of Lading which have yet to undergo widespread testing in view of the slowness of international trade –especially the banking system – to accept such a revolutionary concept. Much of the UN’s initiative in connection with maritime law originates in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which unashamedly admits that its principal concern is for the less-developed nations. It was behind the ill-fated UN Code of Conduct for Liner Conferences which sought to ensure that national shipping lines received their fair share of liner traffic.  As its target was the liner conference system, it was overtaken by the advances in containerisation and the emergence of several powerful non-conference liner operators. It is best remembered for the so-called 40-40-20 rule which stipulated that 40% of a nations exports and imports should be carried by the national line, 40% by the respective importer/exporter and the remaining 20% by outside lines referred to as ‘cross-traders’.  The Code contained many more clauses, some of which were almost certainly unworkable at the outset.