Carriage of Goods by Air

Regulatory Laws

—Warsaw Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, 1929;
—The Hague Protocol to Warsaw Convention, 1955;
—The Montreal Protocol No. 4 of 1975;
—Montreal Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, 1999.

The Carriage by Air Act, 1934.

Air Consignment Note/ Air Waybill

—Every carrier has the right to require the consignor to make out and hand over to him an air consignment note;
—The absence, irregularity or loss of this document does not affect the existence or the validity of the contract of carriage;

—It shall be made out by the consignor in three original parts and be handed over with the goods.

—The first part shall be marked for the carrier and shall be signed by the consignor. The second part shall be marked for the consignee  and signed by the consignor and the carrier. The third part shall be signed by the carrier and handed by him to the consignor after the goods have been accepted.
—The signature of the carrier may be stamped.

—In case, on the request of the consignor, the carrier makes out the Air consignment note, it shall be deemed to be made on behalf of the consignor.

  • The place and date of its execution;
  • The place of departure and of destination;
  • The agreed stopping places; However, the carrier may reserve the right to alter the stopping places;
  • The name and address of the consignor;
  • The name and address of the first carrier;
  • The name and address of the consignee;
  • The nature of the goods;
  • The number of packages;
  • The method of packing;
  • Particular marks or numbers upon them;
  • The weight, quantity and volume or dimensions of the goods;
  • The apparent condition of the goods;
  • The apparent condition of the packing;
  • The amount of freight;
  • The date and place of payment;
  • The specific person who will make the payment;
  • If the goods are sent for payment on delivery, the amount of the expenses to be incurred;

Air WayBill no:

Each air waybill has an eleven digit number. It is called the air waybill no. It is printed on the top of the bill right beside the name or trade mark or seal of the carrier.
The purpose of this number is to identify the goods from the other consignments.

The first three digits denote the recognition of the carrier. The International Civil Aviation Authority fixes the individual numbers for each aviation line or airway.

The next seven digits constitute the consignment number. This is necessary to identify the goods by the consignee.
The last digit is called a security digit which is calculated in a complex way of multiplying and dividing the previous seven digits.
Carrier’s Liability for International Carriage
The carrier is liable for any destruction, loss or damage to the cargo if the damage sustained took place during the carriage by air;
The carrier is liable for damage occasioned by delay in the carriage of cargo;
In the carriage of cargo the liability of the carrier is limited to a sum of two hundred and fifty francs per kilogram unless the consignor has paid a supplementary sum;

qIn the case of loss or damage or delay of cargo, the weight to be taken into consideration in determining the liability of the carrier shall be the total weight of the package or packages concerned. However, if the part of the cargo is lost or damaged but it affects the total value of the packages covered by the same consignment, the total weight of such package or packages shall be taken into consideration inn determining the limits of liability.

The sums mentioned in francs shall be deemed to refer to a currency unit consisting of sixty-five and a half milligrams of gold;
These sums may be converted into national currencies in round figures according to the gold value of such currencies at the date of the judgement.
Any provision tending to relieve the carrier of liability or fixing a lower limit than that which is laid by the Convention shall be null and void. However, such nullity will not nullify the whole contract.
—The carrier is not liable if he proves that the destruction, loss or damage to the cargo resulted solely from one or more of the following:


  • Inherent defect, quality or vice of the cargo;
  • defective packing of the cargo performed by a person other than the carrier or his servants or his agents;
  • An act of war or an armed conflict;
  • An act of public authority.
  • The carrier is not liable if he proves that he has taken all necessary measures to avoid the damage;
  • If the carrier proves that the damage was contributed by the aggrieved party, he may be partly relieved of his liability.

Consignor’s Liability

—The consignor is responsible for the correctness of the particulars and statements relating to the goods which he inserts in the air consignment note;
—The consignor will be liable for all damage suffered by the carrier by reason of any irregularity, incorrectness or incompleteness of the said particulars or statements.
Receipt of Delivery
—Receipt by the person entitled to delivery of cargo without complaint is prima facie evidence that the same have been delivered in good condition and in accordance with the document of carriage.
Complaint and Other Proceedings
In case of damage, the consignee must complain to the carrier within fourteen days from the date of the receipt of the cargo;
In case of delay, the complaint must be made within twenty one days from the date of disposal of the cargo;
Every complaint must be made in writing;

No action shall lie against the carrier if there is a failure to make such complaint within the time specified, except fraud

An action for damages must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of the contracting parties;
The rules of procedure shall be governed by those of the court where the case is preferred;
The right to damages shall be extinguished if an action is not brought within two years from the date of arrival of the cargo at the destination.

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