El régimen de transporte multimodal de la Comunidad Andina de Naciones: Hacia la aplicación obligatoria de los límites de responsabilidad contenidos en las Reglas de La Haya-Visby y las Reglas de Hamburgo en Colombia
Autor: Mauricio García Arboleda
Title received: Master in Maritime and Transport Law; Erasmus University of Rotterdam; The Netherlands
Geographical coverage: Colombia
Colombia is not a Member State of the Maritime Carriage Conventions currently in force (Hague-Visby Rules and Hamburg Rules) and it is uncertain whether it will ratify the Rotterdam Rules in the upcoming future. Pursuant to the foregoing, the regulation of the contracts of carriage of goods by sea is governed by the Colombian Code of Commerce. Accordingly, the Colombian Code of Commerce provides certain provisions which particularly regulate the carriage of goods by sea under bill of lading. Amongst those provisions, Article 1644 is of paramount significance for the liability of the carrier, considering that it allows in situations where there is no declaration of the value of the goods in the bill of lading, the possibility to apply the limitation of liability agreed by the parties in the carriage contract. However, the case law in Colombia has never concerned the limitation of the carrier’s liability in the context of an international multimodal carriage contract that includes a sea leg. In that respect, Article 16 of Decision 331 of 1993 of the Andean Community sets forth that when a damage or loss to the goods carried occurs in a stage of an international multimodal carriage contract where an international convention applicable or a mandatory national law provides a higher limit of liability for the carrier that the one agreed by the parties in the carriage contract, the limit of liability sets forth either by the international conventions or mandatory national law shall prevail upon the one agreed in the contract. According to the foregoing legal framework, the aim of this master thesis is to determine whether in accordance with Article 16 of Decision 331 of 1993 of the Andean Community and Article 1644 of the Colombian Code of Commerce the limitation of liability provided either in the Hague-Visby Rules or the Hamburg Rules shall apply compulsory in the Colombian jurisdiction in a situation of localized loss or damage to the goods sustained during the sea leg of an international multimodal carriage contract, in order to adjust Colombian jurisdiction with international standards on this subject matter.
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