A new approach to address the multimodal problem
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A new approach to address the multimodal problem. by Gertjan van der Ziel. Key issue. How to achieve a single legal regime for a single contract of carriage, performed by m ore than one mode of carriage. Rotterdam Rules achieve this for mm transport with maritime leg.

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A new approach to address the multimodal problem

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A new approach toaddress the multimodal problem

by

Gertjan van der Ziel


Key issue

How to achieve

  • a single legal regime for

  • a single contract of carriage, performed by

  • more than one mode of carriage.

    Rotterdam Rules achievethisfor mm transport withmaritime leg.

    Whynot making thispossiblefor mm transport withotherlegs?


Examplecarriage

Bergen (Norway) – Oslo byroad/rail

Oslo - Hamburg bysea

Hamburg – Bern byroad/rail

under a single contract of carriageconcludedby a Norwegianroad/rail carrier

Currently, this contract does notqualifyforapplication of COTIF/CIM or CMR.

Once in force, the RR willapply, whichwouldbeodd.

The better option wouldbe making also COTIF/CIM or CMR toapplytothis

contract andleaving the choiceto the partieswhichconventionshouldapply.


Why is it the better option?

  • Partiesandtheirinsurersuse the conditionstowhichthey are usedtoandthoroughlyknow.

  • Nevertheless, itprovidesfor uniform liabilityfor a multimodal contract.

  • It avoids the disadvantages of the networkliability system: the complications of the patchwork and the needfor a residualliability regime (for non-localiseddamagesandtofillpossiblegapsbetween different modes).


What is, fromlegal point of view, requiredtoachievethis?

Adding a Protocol toeachunimodalconvention (also RR) thatincludes:

(i) an extension of its scope of applicationtounimodal-plus, andan

alignment of this scope with the unimodal-plus scope of the otherconventions,

(ii) a proper conflict of conventionprovision, alsotobealignedwith the correspondingprovision in the otherconventions, and

(iii) possibleconsequentialadjustmentsthat are specificfor theconventioninvolved.


What is, frompolitical point of view, requiredtoachievethis?

  • Willingness of the (private and public) organisationsinvolvedtocooperate.

  • Sufficientsupport of State-Partiesto the existingunimodalconventions.

  • These twopoliticalconditionsapplyanyhow, whatever the possible solution for the multimodalproblem.


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