Maritime Carriage: 20 countries would have to approve the “Rotterdam Rules” to come into force, but Dr Mbiah says that it is not enough; he explains…

Dr. Kofi Mbiah – Chief Executive of the Ghana Shippers Authority, has revealed that, though 20 countries need to ratify the “Rotterdam Rules” for it to come into force, it is not enough.

According to him, there should be more countries to accept the rules because the business of import and export involves many countries. Dr Mbiah made this known to Apt News at the end of a forum on the United Nations Convention on Contract for International Carriage of Goods wholly or partly by sea, which is termed the “Rotterdam Rules”, held here in Takoradi on the 22nd March 2017.

“You know twenty countries would ratify to bring the rules into force but it is not enough; there should be more countries to accept the rules because the business of import and export is international in character and involves many countries”.

“That is why the “Hamburg Rules” even though entered into force, was not found acceptable not found acceptable by the international community; so it is important that apart from the twenty which would ratify to bring it into force, you need many more countries to accept the ‘Rotterdam Rules’”.

The ‘Rotterdam Rules’ was signed in the Netherlands by some countries including Ghana in September 2009, with several more countries yet to ratify for it to come into force.

For well over half a century, the international regime relating to the contract of maritime carriage of goods had been governed by The Hague Rules, Hague-Visby Rules and the Hamburg Rules.

Dr. Mbiah explained that wide application of the “Rotterdam Rules” is what would be good for international business.

The day’s forum was under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport. It brought together the shipping community, the legislature and relevant government ministries and agencies, on the provisions of the UN convention and its benefit to the shipper and carrier.

The forum also discussed the rights and obligations of both shipper and carrier under the ‘Rotterdan Rules’.

By: Joe Bright Nyarko

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