Shippers’ Council seeks domestication of Rotterdam Rules

*Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello.

*Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello.

11 October 2016, Lagos The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Hassan Bello, has urged the Federal Government to ratify the Rotterdam Rules.

The Rules, adopted at the 2009 Convention in Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the latest opf all international conventions on carrtiage of goods by sea.

He said the plurality of international carriage of goods regimes was affecting the nation’s international maritime trade negatively, urging the government to support the implementation of the Rotterdam Rules, which are near perfect.

Bello said signing on to a convention did not make it legal, adding that the country needed to ratify the Rotterdam Rules to make cargo carriage to and from the country’s territorial waters legal.

Speaking with The Nation, after addressing over 800 participants at the Validation Colloquium organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation, in collaboration with Union of African Shippers’ Council (UASC) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) at the weekend in Abuja, Bello noted that uncoordinated international rules for carriage of goods by sea had created confusion and uncertainties.

He urged the government to ratify and domesticate the Rotterdam Rules to address the confusion, uncertainties and other challenges in the law of carriage of goods by sea.

He said the ratification of the  Rules would give Nigeria and other countries in the Central and West Africa sub-regions the hope of operating a more unified, more balanced and modern carriage regime, and urged governments in the regions to ratify the Rules.

He said the Rules provided more benefits and opportunities to the shipping community than their predecessors, hence, the need for Nigeria and others to adopt and ratify them.

Bello said the 25 countries that signed the Rule accounted for over 25 per cent of world trade volume, and were a mix of developed and developing nations.

He said the Rules were developed to address the various defects in The Hague/Visvi and the Hamberg Rules.

He said there were many benefits for shippers and for carriers under the Rules and urged the government to look beyond the “zero  sum” game.

He said failure to ratify the Rules would mean a continuation of the cumbersome and costlystatus quo – or worse – for many years to come.

Bello also canvassed the incorporation  of electronic commerce into international maritime trade transactions to boost the economy.

  • The Nation
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