United Nations

Damage was caused during the sea leg, then the Hague-Visby Rules will apply.  The question inevitably arises as to which rule or convention to apply if it cannot be ascertained at which stage of the transport the loss or damage took place.  In such cases many carriers stipulate that the claim must be brought under the Hague-Visby Rules; other carriers actually stipulate an overriding procedure. Both the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the United Nations have drafted proposed international conventions on intermodalism in order to clarify this situation but to date neither of these has achieved wide enough support to persuade governments to ratify them. It can easily be seen why the carrier’s liability must begin sooner if the goods pass into its hands somewhere inland but less easy to see why a CT-B/L is required when a full container load (FCL) is booked from quay-to-quay (sometimes referred to as port-to-port).  The point is that the carrier needs full control of all the containers intended to be loaded in order to ‘shuffle’ them around the quay before the ship arrives so that the correct sequence of loading can be arranged – a process known as ship-planning. The sequence will depend not only on the port of discharge but also on the weight of the container as the heavier ones have to be stowed lower down in the ship.  Thus a quay-to-quay CT-B/L would, for example, show place of receipt Felixstowe CY, place of loading Felixstowe.  (The initials CY relate to Container Yard which is how an area devoted to storing containers is conventionally referred to).