HAMBURG RULES 1978

Transportation by sea

The Hamburg Rules, adopted at a conference in 1978 (in Hamburg) the Convention did not come into force until November 1992 - it took until this time for the necessary number of countries to accede to the Convention. However, none of the world;s major trading nations have acceded to this Convention, and have not incorporated the provisions of such in their legislation.

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The general view appears to be that the Hamburg Rules have over-compensated in their attempts to address a perceived imbalance, in the Hague Rules, in favour of shipowners/carriers - some developing countries taking the view that the original Hague Rules of 1924 had been set by 'colonial maritime nations' to help preserve their maritime interests.

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Under the Hamburg Rules, the carrier has a responsibility for the loss and/or damage to goods whilst in their care, and for delays in delivery, UNLESS the carrier can prove that all reasonable measures have been taken to avoid such loss and/or damage, or delay in delivery.

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