Modernizing and Reforming U.S. Maritime Law: The Impact of the Rotterdam Rules in the United States

Modernizing and Reforming U.S. Maritime Law: The Impact of the Rotterdam Rules in the United States

01 July 2011

In 44 Texas International Law Journal 429 (2009), Sturley lists the advantages the Rotterdam Rules may offer for modernizing U.S. maritime law.

For example, he considers the shift from a tackle-to-tackle regime in COGSA to the new door-to-door approach of the Rotterdam Rules a welcome change. He, inter alia, also welcomes the updated limitation amount, the rejection of the U.S. customary freight unit, the limited possibilities to break the limitation under the Rotterdam Rules and the flexibility the Rotterdam Rules would offer to courts with regard to apportioning liability. He also notes that the Rotterdam rules clarify the circumstances under which a carrier may or must qualify a shipper's description on the transportation documents and the circumstances under which a carrier may rely on the use of qualifying clauses.

The U.S. has not ratified the Rotterdam Rules at this moment and many other jurisdictions are waiting to ratify the convention until the U.S. has done so.