United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (New York, 2008) (the "Rotterdam Rules")
Adopted by the General Assembly on 11 December 2008, the Convention establishes a uniform and modern legal regime governing the rights and obligations of shippers, carriers and consignees under a contract for door-to-door carriage that includes an international sea leg. The Convention builds upon, and provides a modern alternative to, earlier conventions relating to the international carriage of goods by sea, in particular, the International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules of Law relating to Bills of Lading (Brussels, 25 August 1924) ("the Hague Rules"), and its Protocols ("the Hague-Visby Rules"), and the United Nations Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea (Hamburg, 31 March 1978) ("the Hamburg Rules").
The Rotterdam Rules provide a legal framework that takes into account the many technological and commercial developments that have occurred in maritime transport since the adoption of those earlier conventions, including the growth of containerization, the desire for door-to-door carriage under a single contract, and the development of electronic transport documents. The Convention provides shippers and carriers with a binding and balanced universal regime to support the operation of maritime contracts of carriage that may involve other modes of transport.