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Newsletters 2003 > November 2003

Carriage by Air - Montreal Convention Becomes Law

International carriage by air has been governed by the Warsaw Convention, since 1929. The convention created a code for dealing with the carriage of goods, passengers, and baggage. The Convention has the force of law in Canada by virtue of the Carriage by Air Act which incorporates it in the Act's schedules. Schedule I sets out the Warsaw Convention 1929. Schedule II deals with provisions as to the liability of a carrier to a members of a family of a passenger in the event of the death of the passenger. Schedule III gives effect to the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air Signed at Warsaw on 12 October 1929 (the Hague Protocol). It amends the Warsaw Convention. Schedules IV and V implement Montreal Protocol No. 4 and the Guadalajara Supplementary Convention. These international agreements amend and supplement, respectively, the Warsaw Convention. Montreal Protocol No. 4 is an amendment designed to modernize the rules of the Convention covering international air cargo. Montreal Protocol No. 4 simplifies cargo documentation, authorizes its transmission by electronic means, and amends the cargo liability regime. The Guadalajara Supplementary Convention extends the rules of the Warsaw Convention to carriage performed by a carrier other than the one with whom the passenger or shipper entered into a contract. Schedule VI implements the Convention of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air signed at Montreal on 28 May 1999. Schedule VI came into force in Canada on November 4, 2003 (see SI/2003-165). The Montreal Convention (Schedule VI) introduces two significant changes: (1) the introduction of an unlimited liability regime. The Convention introduces a two-tier liability system. The first tier raises liability to 100,000 Special Drawing Rights per passenger irrespective of fault. The second tier permits carriers to use certain legal defences for claims beyond 100,000 Special Drawing Rights, but has no limit of liability; and (2) the ability for most passengers to choose their own local system of law when making claims.

Rui Fernandes

 



 


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