EUROPE & CIS: IATA success in standardising cargo liability

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the standardisation of cargo liability limits. With effect from 1 July 2010, the Air Waybill (AWB) Conditions of Contract (IATA Resolution 600b) have been changed to harmonise the application of the Montreal Convention liability limit for all air cargo across all routes. IATA says the simplified approach improves […]


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the standardisation of cargo liability limits. With effect from 1 July 2010, the Air Waybill (AWB) Conditions of Contract (IATA Resolution 600b) have been changed to harmonise the application of the Montreal Convention liability limit for all air cargo across all routes.

IATA says the simplified approach improves efficiency for shippers and forwarders and is consistent with industry efforts to improve competitiveness by simplifying global processes. The amendment to Resolution 600b standardises the application of the 19 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) per kilogram Montreal Convention liability limit to all routes worldwide.

There are a number of benefits resulting from this change according to IATA, including: Increased certainty for claims handling and service determination; increased accuracy for claims procedures by standardising the various regimes; and a single global standard eliminates the uncertainty that existed where there was no applicable convention, or where existing conventions were out-of-date or required conversions from non-existing currencies, such as French gold francs.

The move to streamline issues relating to the Montreal Convention is aimed squarely at firming up the legal foundation for IATA’s e-freight initiative which includes recent moves to create an electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB).