New cargo liability rules have been proposed by the UN to replace the existing Hamburg and Hague Visby compensation regimes. The proposals have prompted conflict within the international freight industry; the World Shipping Council supports the new rules, while European freight forwarder group Clecat considers the rules to be unclear and uncertain. Members of Clecat are concerned that, because the rules are extremely complicated, it may result in a number of local or regional interpretations, which would complicate matters even further. The World Shipping Council, on the other hand, is asking governments to consider ratifying the convention as it offer ‘a harmonised liability regime.’
To come into operation, 20 countries within the UN will have to ratify the legislation. Interested parties such as shippers, carriers, forwarders and insurers will be lobbying their governments to represent their opinions at the UN.