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    UNIS/L/149
    24 January 2011

    Spain ratifies the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea

    First State to become party to the Convention

    VIENNA, 24 January (UN Information Service) - With its ratification of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, known as the Rotterdam Rules, Spain becomes the first State Party to the Convention.

    The Rotterdam Rules were adopted by the General Assembly on 11 December 2008 to establish a uniform and modern global legal regime governing the rights and obligations of stakeholders in the maritime transport industry under a single contract for door-to-door carriage. The Rules build upon earlier conventions governing the international carriage of goods by sea and codify important industry practice, thus providing a modern alternative to those earlier conventions. The Rules provide a legal framework that accounts for the many technological and commercial developments that have taken place in maritime transport since the adoption of the earlier conventions, including the growth of containerization, the need for door-to-door transport under a single contract of carriage and the development of electronic commerce.

    The Rotterdam Rules have already been signed by 23 States. The Rules will enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of one year after the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or accession. Further information on the Rules is available on the UNCITRAL website.

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    The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna and maintains a website at www.uncitral.org

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    For information contact:

    Timothy Lemay
    Principal Legal Officer
    UNCITRAL Secretariat
    Email: timothy.lemay@uncitral.org