The ICLRC took part in the 43rd session of the UNCITRAL Working Group VI

On November 30  December 4, 2023, the ICLRC took part in the 43rd session of the UNCITRAL Working Group VI as an observer, which continued consideration of a Draft international instrument (presumably a Convention) for the establishment of a universal negotiable cargo instrument. Igor Yastrzhembsky participated in the discussion in Vienna on behalf of the Center.

The Working Group members considered a Draft prepared by the Secretariat and heard presentations by representatives of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the World Carrier Forum, and the International Chamber of Commerce. They drew attention to the possibility of taking into account the different Incoterms basis conditions of delivery in the context of risk allocation between the parties to transportation, as well as the documents already available in FIATA's practice.

The Working Group discussed the scope of application of the future instrument, correlation of the negotiable cargo document with the documents issued now. It was also agreed to defer to future sessions the extension of the mechanism under development to maritime transportation and its relationship to the bill of lading and the provisions of other conventions.

Delegations commented on the indicative content of the negotiable document of title, as well as the implications of discrepancies in the information contained in the transport and negotiable document. The Centre's proposal to harmonize the provisions of the Draft with the Rotterdam Rules on the possibility for only a bona fide third party to rely on the contents of a negotiable document and the impossibility for a consignee to rely on a negotiable document in opposition to a transport document was considered valid.

A number of the Center's proposals aimed at improving and clarifying certain wording were endorsed by the Working Group, and it was reflected in the final report of the UNCITRAL Secretariat. These include a proposal to specify the details of the negotiable document without which it is considered invalid, the consequences of failure to specify the person by whose order the negotiable document was issued, the possibility of raising objections against persons who are not holders of the negotiable document, etc.

An updated Draft will be considered at the next session in May 2024, and the Working Group will present the outcome of its deliberations to UNCITRAL in June-July 2024.