TT Talk - New UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) Conditions of Contract, 2002

We are grateful to Julia Marshall, a solicitor with the UK firm of Hill Dickinson, for this note on the new UKWA Conditions, which first appeared in the HD newsletter, Marine & Transit, of August 2002. We quote extracts below.

"February 2002 saw the launch of a new set of UKWA terms.... The new set will avoid confusion. Because of the launch it is appropriate to revisit the liability regime and other provisions in UKWA and to note any changes arising out of the revision.

Liability is generally as before, although the wording of clause 3 has altered: liability is only accepted where the customer can demonstrate negligence or worse fault; liability is generally limited to £100 per tonne weight of that part of the goods in respect of which a claim arises; limits may be increased by the customer giving at least 7 days notice to the warehouse keeper in advance of the required date of the increase. The notice must specify the limit required and the nature and value of the goods. The customer must also pay within 7 days of demand, the cost of the warehouse keeper insuring this increased liability; no loss of profit or other indirect or consequential loss is payable in any circumstances;..... notification of claims remains 21 days generally but 7 days only where sub-contract carriage is involved. Customers should be especially alert to the 7-day period. Note the time limit runs from the date the cause of the claim comes to the customer's knowledge or the date of delivery to the customer whichever is the later. This is more certain than the time-bar wording in the next subclause; the time-bar for legal proceedings remains at 9 months. Within that 9-month period, starting from the date of the event giving rise to the claim (which could be difficult to determine), legal proceedings must be issued and served......

Clause 11 makes it clear that the conditions apply to loading and unloading as well as the transfer of goods; otherwise clause 11 is as before.

It is worth all parties remembering that where there are limitations and other restrictive conditions such as time-bar provisions, the party seeking to rely upon them must prove their application. The new UKWA conditions of contract have been registered with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). This means that the OFT has examined them and found them not to be in restraint of trade. It does not mean, as is sometimes erroneously thought, that the OFT considers them reasonable in the light of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. That decision in any particular context is for the courts. The conditions have reserved copyright: only members of UKWA are entitled to use them."

Staff Author

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