The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partially by the Sea (the Rotterdam Rules, signed on 23 September 2009) is intended to make exclusive use of electronic transport documents. Transport documents, as the Author points out, are negotiable. Drafting of the Convention was set in motion 1996 in the Comite Maritime International (CMI), and from 2002 its development continued under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The Author opines that the Rules may advance application of electronic negotia-ble instruments in present day trade.
The author discusses in detail the project o f the new convention for cargo transport wholly or in part by sea. The UNCITRAL Working Group for Transport has been dealing with this matter since 2002, and has now finished its work. This paper is the first o f its kind in Polish legal literature. The future convention is to constitute the basis for regulation within the convention of matters connected with transport by various transport branches, for it establishes the extension of its application beyond transport by sea. The convention project has two aims: a. the establishment of a unified regime of liability; and b. the definition of the principles behind the use up to now of one transport document for an entire transport route. From the start it was known that the convention should apply to line transports, because these are marked by inequality in the positions of the parties involved. It may also, exceptionally, have application to tramp shipping in which there is equality of parties.
At the current stage of information technology development there is no need, as yet, to modify Polish norms referring to the maritime transport of cargo. Information technology can be applied without limitation. Therefore, the maritime code modeled on RHV normalizations can remain without alteration and maintain the consistence of solutions in both international and domestic law.
Bills of Lading are transferable documents of title and the transfer of document results in the transfer of the rights incorporated in it. Some of B/L are additionally negotiable. However the legal meaning of these two terms isn’t the same what is not respected in practice. Historically there is also a difference in legal grounds and scope of rights represented and transferred by negotiable bills of lading according to British, American and continental law. An important role in this differentiation was played by the doctrine of privity of contract. This ultimately affects the legal position and scope of the acquired rights of legitimate holders of bills of lading, which are considered to be “negotiable”, including the right to obtain claims from the carrier for cargo damage.