Friday, March 20, 2009
After nearly six years of negotiation, on December 12, 2008, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea. It will be open for signature on September 23, 2009. According to this press release from the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the new Convention "aims to create a modern and uniform law concerning the international carriage of goods which include an international sea leg, but which is not limited to port-to-port carriage of goods." UNCITRAL further notes that "[i]t 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."
The full text of the Convention can be found here.