TT Talk - Text of new IATA air waybill conditions of contract

TT Talk Editions 123 and 124 reported that IATA was adjusting its air waybill conditions of contract, which are based on IATA Resolution 600b, to the new Montreal Convention 1999 liability limit of 19 SDR per kg.

An IATA Memorandum of 21 December 2009 has revealed that IATA adopted these amendments through CSC (Cargo Services Conference) mail vote S067 and that the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) granted these changes antitrust immunity. Please find here the web link the IATA Resolution 600b as effective from 30 December 2009:

This IATA Resolution 600b updates the previous version of 17 March 2008. The new liability limit under the Montreal Convention 1999 of 19 SDR per kg necessitated changes to the 'NOTICE CONERNING CARRIERS' LIMITATION OF LIABILITY' and to clause 4, both of which appear on the reverse side of the IATA air waybill.

However, it is possible that IATA Resolution 600b will be amended again before long. The explanatory text on the IATA website (see the web link above) reveals that the United States Department of Transport (DOT) has suggested that IATA Resolution 600b 'should be further amended to simplify the international cargo business by conforming all applicable liability to MC99 levels'. This appears to suggest extending the liability limit of 19 SDR per kg beyond the scope of the Montreal Convention 1999. Consideration for this proposal has been placed on the agenda for the meeting of the IATA Cargo Services Conference in March 2010.

How do these changes concern Transport operators (freight forwarders) who assume liability as contracting air carriers under their own house air waybills? As already stated in TT Talk Edition 123, the TT Club recommends:

(1) Use of the IATA air waybill form based on the latest IATA Resolution 600b (as discussed above);

(2) Inclusion on the IATA air waybill back of the following FIATA recommended 'Note':

'If this air waybill is used by a forwarder in a capacity as contracting carrier for air transportation, any transportation or other service which is not subject to an international air carriage convention will not be subject to the terms and conditions of this air waybill but will instead be subject to the forwarder's general conditions as have already been provided to you.'; and

(3) Valid incorporation of the

Staff Author

TT Club