18 September 2009


Signing Ceremony for New United Nations Convention On Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea

To be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 23 September 2009

VIENNA, 18 September (UN Information Service) - The Government of the Netherlands, the City of Rotterdam and Port of Rotterdam Authority, in co-operation with the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs (Treaty Section) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) will hold a signing ceremony on 23 September, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for the new United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea. The ceremony will be followed by a press conference.

The Convention, also known as the "Rotterdam Rules", was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 2008.

It creates a contemporary and uniform law providing for modern door-to-door container transport including an international sea leg, but not limited to port-to-port carriage of goods. There are many innovative features contained in the Convention, including provisions allowing for electronic transport records, and other features to fill the perceived gaps in existing transport regimes. Extensive negotiation by the Member States and Observers of UNCITRAL has resulted in support for a significant increase to the limits on carrier liability for cargo loss or damage that apply in most countries. This is expected to be of substantial benefit for shippers, particularly those in developing and least-developed countries, which are consumers of transportation services. It is expected that harmonization and modernization of the legal regime in this area, which in many countries dates back to the 1920s or earlier, will lead to an overall reduction in transaction costs, increased predictability when problems are encountered, and greater commercial confidence when doing business internationally.

Media representatives are invited to attend the signing ceremony and press conference:

When: Wednesday 23 September 2009, 9:00 - 12:00 (signing ceremony) and 12:00 - 12:30 (press conference)

Where: Van Nelle Design Factory, Van Nelleweg 1, 3044 BC, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Speaker at press conference: Camiel Eurlings, Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management, the Netherlands.

For accreditation to the signing ceremony, please contact:

Rotterdam Rules Secretariat
Telephone: +31 10 215 10 44
Email info@rotterdamrules2009.com
Website: www.rotterdamrules2009.com

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For further information on the Convention and on UNCITRAL, please contact:

Jenny Clift
Senior Legal Officer
UNCITRAL Secretariat
Email: jenny.clift@uncitral.org
Or visit the UNCITRAL website at www.uncitral.org


Factsheet: United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea ("The Rotterdam Rules")

Rotterdam Rules