Rights and Liabilities of the Consignees/Endorsees: A Comparative Study of the Rotterdam Rules and English Law

  • Kourosh Majdzadeh Khandani

Student thesis: Phd


In the context of an international carriage of goods by sea contract, the consignees and endorsees are the two important categories of the parties whom their rights and liabilities have not been legislated for in any international carriage of goods by sea convention until the adoption of the Rotterdam Rules. The truth is that, in contrast to the rights and the correlative liabilities and obligations of the shippers and carriers, the rights and liabilities of the consignees and endorsees have always been dealt with by the domestic and national laws. However, the Rotterdam Rules, with the goals of promoting legal certainty, improving the efficiency of international carriage of goods and harmonization and modernization of the carriage rules, for the first time at an international level, have attempted to regulate the provisions governing the rights and liabilities of the latter parties. Thus, the application of the Rotterdam Rules, in case they gain the force of law, will be broader than any other international maritime convention. Therefore, this has compelled the necessity of carrying out a profound and detailed critical analysis of the new, and somewhat innovative, regulations, since the impact of the application of the Convention on the existing carriage of goods by sea rules, both nationally and internationally will be crucially significant. The UK as one of the major actors of the maritime industry has a long-established set of rules particularly in the field of rights and liabilities of the parties, both in the common law and statutory senses, governing the carriage of goods by sea affairs for centuries. This thesis aims to evaluate the relevant provisions of the Rotterdam Rules by way of comparison with their corresponding rules of the English law in order to find out whether these new sets of regulations can establish a reliable source of reference for the consignees and endorsees who wish to ascertain their rights and become aware of their obligations and liabilities. In other words, the main objective of this study is to examine whether the Rotterdam Rules clearly define and specify the rights and liabilities of the consignees and endorsees to a contract of carriage of goods by sea. Further, it is going to investigate whether the Convention succeed in achieving its goals with respect to the rights and liabilities of these parties. Also, ratification of the Rotterdam Rules is believed to have a significant impact on the English maritime law and therefore, the question whether it is reasonable for the UK to ratify the Convention will be answered in this research. It is suggested that the findings of this thesis in addition to the solutions proposed to solve the difficulties, ambiguity and complexity of the existing rules, will be of assist to the UK authorities as well as the legislative bodies in other jurisdictions in order to obtain a more effective decision on the adoption of the Rotterdam Rules. This study ends with illustrating an alarming vision of the future of maritime law which will be largely affected by the evolution of smart technologies in the shipping industry.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAndrew Mcgee (Supervisor) & Gerard Mcmeel (Supervisor)


  • Conversion
  • Transport documents
  • Right of control
  • Bailment
  • Paperless transport document
  • Bill of lading
  • Right of suit
  • Electronic documents
  • Carrier liabilities
  • Right of delivery
  • Rotterdam Rules
  • Carriage of goods by sea
  • Transfer of rights
  • Maritime law
  • Consignee rights
  • Endorsee rights
  • English maritime law

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