Law of Ukraine
       
"On Ratification of the Budapest Convention on the Contract for the Carriage of Goods by Inland Waterway (CMNI)"

Date of entry into force:
May 18, 2014

The Budapest Convention on the Contract for the Carriage of Goods by Inland Waterway (CMNI) (hereinafter referred to as Convention) was signed on June 22, 2001 in Budapest.

The Constitution of Ukraine (Article 85, paragraph 32) states that the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine provides consent for Ukraine to be bound by international agreements. And, according to Article 9 of the Law of Ukraine "On International Agreements of Ukraine", the Convention is subject to ratification.

The Law ratifies the Convention.

Article 1 of the Convention provides definitions of terms used in it.

The Convention is applicable to any contract of carriage according to which the port of loading or the place of taking over of the goods and the port of discharge or the place of delivery of the goods are located in two different States of which at least one is a State Party to the Convention. If the contract stipulates a choice of several ports of discharge or places of delivery, the port of discharge or the place of delivery to which the goods have actually been delivered shall determine the choice (Article 2 of the Convention). The Convention is also applicable if the purpose of the contract of carriage is the carriage of goods, without transshipment, both on inland waterways and in waters to which maritime regulations apply, under the above conditions, unless:
  • a maritime bill of lading has been issued in accordance with the maritime law applicable, or
  • the distance to be travelled in waters to which maritime regulations apply is the greater.
The Convention is applicable regardless of the nationality, place of registration or home port of the vessel or whether the vessel is a maritime or inland navigation vessel and regardless of the nationality, domicile, registered office or place of residence of the carrier, the shipper or the consignee.

Chapter II of the Convention determines the rights and obligations of the contracting parties.

Chapter III of the convention is dedicated to transport documents.

According to Article 14 of the Convention, the shipper shall be authorized to dispose of the goods; in particular, he may require the carrier to discontinue the carriage of the goods, to change the place of delivery or to deliver the goods to a consignee other than the consignee indicated in the transport document. The shipper's right of disposal shall cease to exist once the consignee, following the arrival of the goods at the scheduled place of delivery, has requested delivery of the goods and:
  • where carriage is under a consignment note, once the original has been handed over to the consignee;
  • where carriage is under a bill of lading, once the shipper has relinquished all the
  • originals in his possession by handing them over to another person.
By an appropriate entry in the consignment note, the shipper may, when the consignment note is issued, waive his right of disposal to the consignee.

The carrier shall be liable for loss resulting from loss or damage to the goods caused between the time when he took them over for carriage and the time of their delivery, or resulting from delay in delivery, unless he can show that the loss was due to circumstances which a diligent carrier could not have prevented and the consequences of which he could not have averted. The carriers liability for loss resulting from loss or damage to the goods caused during the time before the goods are loaded on the vessel or the time after they have been discharged from the vessel shall be governed by the law of the State applicable to the contract of carriage (Article 16 of the Convention).

Article 18 of the Convention provides that the carrier and the actual carrier shall be exonerated from their liability when the loss, damage or delay are the result of one of the circumstances or risks listed below:
  • acts or omissions of the shipper, the consignee or the person entitled to dispose of the goods;
  • handling, loading, stowage or discharge of the goods by the shipper, the consignee or third parties acting on behalf of the shipper or the consignee;
  • carriage of the goods on deck or in open vessels, where such carriage has been agreed with the shipper or is in accordance with the practice of the particular trade, or if it is required by the regulations in force;
  • nature of the goods which exposes them to total or partial loss or damage, especially through breakage, rust, decay, desiccation, leakage, normal wastage (in volume or weight), or the action of vermin or rodents;
  • lack of or defective condition of packaging in the case of goods which, by their nature, are exposed to loss or damage when not packed or when the packaging is defective;
  • insufficiency or inadequacy of marks identifying the goods;
  • rescue or salvage operations or attempted rescue or salvage operations on inland waterways;
  • carriage of live animals, unless the carrier has not taken the measures or observed the instructions agreed upon in the contract of carriage.

Where the carrier is liable for total loss of goods, the compensation payable by him shall be equal to the value of the goods at the place and on the day of delivery according to the contract of carriage. Delivery to a person other than the person entitled is deemed to be a loss. In the event of partial loss or damage to goods, the carrier shall be liable only to the extent of the loss in value. The value of the goods shall be fixed according to the commodity exchange price or, if there is no such price, according to their market price or, if there is no commodity exchange price or market price, by reference to the normal value of goods of the same kind and quality at the place of delivery. In respect of goods which by reason of their nature are exposed to wastage during carriage, the carrier shall be held liable, whatever the length of the carriage, only for that part of the wastage which exceeds normal wastage (in volume or weight) as determined by the parties to the contract of carriage or, if not, by the regulations or established practice at the place of destination (Article 19 of the Convention).

Maximum limits of liability are established by Article 20 of the Convention.

The claims period is determined by Chapter VI of the Convention.

Nothing in the Convention shall prevent the application of provisions in the contract of carriage or national law regarding the calculation of the amount of damages and contributions payable in the event of general average (Article 26 of the Convention).

According to Article 29 of the Convention, in cases not provided for in the Convention, the contract of carriage is governed by the law of the State agreed by the Parties. In the absence of such agreement, the law of the State with which the contract of carriage is most closely connected is to be applied. It is to be presumed that the contract of carriage is most closely connected with the State in which the principal place of business of the carrier is located at the time when the contract was concluded, if the port of loading or the place where the goods are taken over, or the port of discharge or the place of delivery or the shippers principal place of business is also located in that State. Where the carrier has no place of business on land and concludes the contract of carriage on board his vessel, it is to be presumed that the contract is most closely connected with the State in which the vessel is registered or whose flag it flies, if the port of loading or the place where the goods are taken over, or the port of discharge or the place of delivery or the shippers principal place of business is also located in that State. The law of the State where the goods are located governs the real guarantee granted to the carrier for claims set out in Article 10, Paragraph 1 of the Convention.
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