Anton G. Chertkov. Limitation of the international maritime carrier’s liability for cargo non-safety

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Anton G. Chertkov - LLC “Rockwell Capital”

Abstract. The current paper deals with the consideration of the legal regulation of the limitation of the international maritime carrier’s liability for the cargo in accordance with international standards. There have been presented the historical aspects of the emergence of the idea of limited liability in maritime law to protect shipowners from the burden of liability for cargo non-safety. There has been carried out a comparative analysis of the international legal regulation of circumstances exempting the maritime carrier of goods from liability or limiting its liability under the Hague Rules (1924), the Hague-Visby Rules (1968) and the UN Convention on Contracts for the Wholly or Partially Carriage of Goods by Sea 2008 (Rotterdam Rules). Prior to the adoption of the Rotterdam Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules, a modified version of the Hague Rules, were the main legal act in force. Despite being incomplete and out of date, the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules continue to hold their ground for many major multimodal carriers. Based on this reality, there have been compared the legal norms for limiting a maritime carrier’s liability for cargo non-safety between the Hague, Hague-Visby and Rotterdam rules. There have been considered legal means of limiting a maritime carrier’s liability as integral parts of the set of rules that determine the basis of the carrier’s liability. There has been given an overview of the main innovations on the limitations of a maritime carrier’s liability for cargo in the Rotterdam Rules. Using the comparative research method, there has been conducted a comparison of the rules governing the burden of proof (duty of proof) provided for in the Hague, Hague-Visby and Rotterdam Rules, which are in force in determining the party to the litigation responsible for legally proving the fact of responsibility for the cargo. There have been considered the opinions of authoritative experts in the field of international maritime law on the prospects for the application of the Rotterdam Rules in practice.

Keywords: maritime carrier; legal regime; carrier’s liability; limitation of liability; burden of proof.


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