Warsaw Convention

Containerisation allows for transport from door-to-door, or port-to-port or any mixture of those with added complexities of the merchant arranging his own road haulage or having the line provide everything. Furthermore, there may be pre-carriage or on-carriage by rail or by barge as well as by truck and with the ocean carriers becoming ever larger, feeder ships may be used to or from the “hub” port.   The CT-B/L has to cater for all these permutations and the clauses on the back of the B/L are designed to facilitate this. One problem that has to be overcome is the variation in international agreements covering ocean carriage, road haulage and rail carriage.  The variations particularly affect time-bars also levels and ways of computing limitations of liability. It covers these by stipulating that if there is loss or damage occurring whilst being transported by road the applicable convention will be the international convention for the international carriage of goods by road (CMR) its full name being Convention Relative au Contrat de Tranportation des Marchandises par vois de Routs. In the rare event of a CT-B/L covering ocean carriage and air-freight, the air transportation would be governed by the Warsaw Convention. Furthermore, these international conventions only apply when the transport is across an international border which means that if no border crossing is involved then the rules applicable to the country concerned will apply (e.g. in the U.K. it would be those of the Road Haulage Association).