May 24 - According to a report on Maritime Global Net, national shipowners' associations have endorsed an International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) campaign to encourage governments to ratify the new Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of

It will be formally signed by governments at a ceremony in the Netherlands in September 2009, and will then be known as the 'Rotterdam Rules'. 

The report quotes ICS chairman, Spyros Polemis as saying: "Our meetings concluded that, although far from perfect, the new cargo liability regime must be promoted by the industry in the interests of international uniformity and to avoid the risk of a proliferation of regional regulations. Our national associations have agreed to encourage their governments to attend the signing ceremony in Rotterdam and sign the Convention in order to signal their intent to ratify as soon as possible" 

He added: "It is very disappointing that the European Commission is proceeding with the development of a regional EU cargo liability regime that will undermine the Rotterdam Rules and global uniformity. We have agreed that European ICS Members will encourage EU Member States to resist the Commission's proposals and ratify the Rotterdam Rules as soon as possible."

In the next issue of HLPFI, we are planning to take a closer look at the potential impact of the new Rotterdam Rules on heavy lift and project cargo activity and contracts. For more information, or to contribute your views on the issue, please contact Emma Murray on