The ICLRC took part in the 41st session of the UNCITRAL Working Group VI

On November 28  December 2, 2022, the ICLRC participated as an observer in the 41st session of the UNCITRAL Working Group VI where the Negotiable Multimodal Transport Documents draft was considered for the first time. The United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships drafted earlier by Working Group VI is adopted by the UN General Assembly today.

Working Group VI is developing a new international instrument aimed at creating a negotiable cargo document for multimodal international transport. At present, only the maritime bill of lading can be such a generally accepted document whereas the airway bill, as well as the road and rail consignment notes, do not have that function. The development and adoption of such a document will make it easier for participants in an international carriage to transfer the cargo and give banks a new type of security.

Delegations made suggestions as to the form of the future instrument  the Convention or Model Law and shared their views on its scope of application, its correlation to other transport conventions, and the extension of its provisions to agreements on transportation by one or more modes of transport. They also discussed the problems associated with the content of the negotiable cargo document and its electronic form, its evidential significance, and the procedure for transferring the cargo with it.

Delegations and the Secretariat supported the ICLRC on a number of discussed questions. In particular, the ICRC's expert Igor Yastrzhembskiy drew attention to the need to establish the relationship between the transport contract and the negotiable cargo document, as well as explicitly establish in the text of the future act the priority of the provisions of the contract in terms of regulating the relationship between the consignor and the consignee or the priority of the provisions of the negotiable document itself. Mr. Yastrzhembskiy found support on the issue of strictly defining the requisite details of the negotiable cargo document as a document of value and, accordingly, the division of mandatory requisite details of future documents into two groups: those relating to the negotiable cargo document itself and reproducing the information from the transport document. Working Group also welcomed the proposal to exclude notification of a transport operator from the list of legal facts affecting the validity of the transfer of a negotiable cargo document.