Determining the Liability of Deck Cargo: An Perspective of Rotterdam Rules

Qingyu MA


It is generally acknowledged that the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules do not apply to deck cargo, while a number of cases have clarified that the common law of UK is not sufficient to solve disputes relating to the deck cargo. Article 25 of the Rotterdam Rules focuses on discussing on deck carriage, including what is authorized deck carriage, the liabilities, defense and limitation of liabilities of the carriers and shippers in disputes related to deck carriage. The research aim of this paper is to analyze whether the Rotterdam Rules, especially Article 25, can solve deck carriage disputes properly; whether this convention can balance the interests of the parties, fulfill social justice and also provide certainty of duties and liabilities. If the Rotterdam Rules could ameliorate the currently applicable regime for deck cargo under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, and national laws, then it would be better for us to accept the Rotterdam Rules as a whole or at least use the Rotterdam Rules to carry out new international laws or modernize national laws.


Deck cargo; The rotterdam rules; Exemption clause

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