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Rotterdam rules

Le 30 Juillet 2009


AUTF adresses its government on the Rotterdam Rules

While the negotiations inside the Working Group III of UNCITRAL were still underway, AUTF already had the opportunity to make the Minister of Transport and his administration aware of shippers’ worries with the intermediate version of the draft of The “United Nations Convention on contracts for the international carriage of goods wholly or partly by sea. "

The text is now final and called "Rules ROTTERDAM", and it will be proposed for signature at a ceremony scheduled for September in the Dutch city, then it will be open to ratification by the states.

AUTF that has followed the drafting of this text as an NGO since 2006 as representative of the European Shippers Council wishes to express the views of shippers on what might one day become the instrument to regulate their legal relationships with the maritime carriers 

1 / Will the Rules permit a rebalancing of the juridical relationship between carrier and shippers and will it help clarifying the maritime law (at least for shippers) ?

2 / Will the Rules secure Carrier / shippers relationships - Are there any real innovations in this perspective – is the contractual freedom the solution to all our problems?


3/ Will the Rules promote the development of short sea shipping and the motorways of the sea in Europe ? More globally is this convention good for the European industrial world ?

To read more


As a foreword we wish to question the level of shippers’ knowledge on the Rules and, more generally, on the rules governing the international maritime transport.
An answer to this question helps to shape our perception of the Rules of Rotterdam.

 Once this point is clarified we’ll wonder what shippers were waiting for or should have waited for a new legal instrument in comparison to what they have obtained.
I will mainly focus on 3 points:

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