V ° AIR LAW .
Decree n o 2004-578 of June 17, 2004 publication of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal May 28, 1999 (1)
The president of the Republic,
On the report of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Considering Articles 52 to 55 of the Constitution;
Considering the law n o 2003-380 of April 24, 2003 authorizing the ratification of the convention for the unification of certain rules relating to international air transport;
Considering decree n o 53-192 of March 14, 1953 as amended relating to the ratification and publication of international commitments made by France,
Art. 1 st . – The convention for the unification of certain rules relating to international air transport,
made in Montreal on May 28, 1999, will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.
Art. 2. – The Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are responsible, each with regard to
concerns the execution of this decree, which will be published in the Official Journal of the French Republic.
Done in Paris, June 17, 2004.
J ACQUES C HIRAC
By the President of the Republic:
The Prime Minister,
J EAN -P IERRE R AFFARIN
The Minister of Foreign Affairs,
M ICHEL B ARNIER
(1) This agreement will enter into force on June 28, 2004.
FOR THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES
RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT
Recognizing the important contribution of the Convention for the unification of certain rules relating to
international air transport, signed at Warsaw on October 12, 1929, hereinafter referred to as the “Convention of
Warsaw ”and that of other instruments related to the harmonization of private international air law,
Recognizing the need to modernize and recast the Warsaw Convention and the instruments
Recognizing the importance of ensuring the protection of consumer interests in air transport
international law and the need for fair compensation based on the principle of reparation,
Reaffirming the interest of ensuring the development of an orderly operation of international air transport
and smooth flow of passengers, baggage and cargo, in accordance with the principles and
the objectives of the Convention on International Civil Aviation done at Chicago on December 7, 1944,
Convinced that the adoption of collective measures by States with a view to further harmonizing and codifying
certain rules governing international air transport is the best way to achieve a balance
The States Parties to this Convention have agreed as follows:
C HAPTER I st General
Article 1 st
1. This Convention applies to all international transport of persons, baggage or goods,
performed by aircraft for remuneration. It also applies to free transport by aircraft.
by an airline company.
2. For the purposes of this Convention, the expression international transport means any transport within
which, according to the stipulations of the parties, the point of departure and the point of destination, whether or not there is
interruption of transport or transhipment, are located either on the territory of two States Parties, or on the
territory of a single State Party if a stopover is planned in the territory of another State, even if that State is not
not a State Party. Transport without such a stopover between two points in the territory of a single State Party is not
not considered international within the meaning of this convention.
3. The transport to be performed by several successive carriers is deemed to constitute, for the application of the
this agreement a single transport when it has been considered by the parties as a single operation,
whether it was concluded in the form of a single contract or a series of contracts, and it does not lose its character
international by the fact that a single contract or a series of contracts must be performed in full in the
territory of the same state.
4. This Convention also applies to the transport referred to in Chapter V, subject to the provisions
of the said chapter.
Transport carried out by the State and transport of postal items
1. This Convention applies to transport carried out by the State or other legal persons of
public law, under the conditions provided for in Article 1.
2. In the transport of postal items, the carrier is only liable towards the postal administration.
competent in accordance with the rules applicable in relations between carriers and administrations
3. The provisions of this Convention other than those of paragraph 2 above do not apply.
the transport of postal items.
C HAPTER II
Documents and obligations of the Parties relating to the transport of passengers, baggage and goods
Passengers and luggage
1. In the transport of passengers, an individual or collective transport ticket must be issued, containing:
(a) indication of the points of departure and of destination;
b) if the points of departure and destination are located in the territory of the same State Party and if one or
several stopovers are planned on the territory of another State, the indication of one of these stopovers.
2. The use of any other means showing the indications given in paragraph 1 may replace
the issuance of the transport ticket mentioned in this paragraph. If such other means is used, the
the carrier will offer to deliver to the passenger a written document stating the details recorded therein.
3. The carrier will issue the passenger with an identification sheet for each item of checked baggage.
4. The Passenger will be given written notice stating that, where this Agreement applies, it governs
the liability of carriers in the event of death or injury as well as in the event of destruction, loss or
baggage damage, or delay.
5. Failure to comply with the provisions of the preceding paragraphs does not affect the existence or the validity of the
contract of carriage, which will nonetheless be subject to the rules of this Convention, including those which
relate to the limitation of liability.
1. For the transport of goods, an air waybill is issued.
2. The use of any other means noting the indications relating to the transport to be carried out may replace
when the air waybill is issued. If such other means are used, the carrier delivers to
the sender, at the latter’s request, a goods receipt allowing the identification of
dispatch and access to recorded information by these other means.
Content of the air waybill or cargo receipt
The air waybill or cargo receipt contains:
(a) indication of the points of departure and of destination;
b) if the points of departure and destination are situated in the territory of the same State Party and one or more
several stopovers are planned in the territory of another State, an indication of one of these stopovers;
c) Mention of the weight of the shipment.
Document relating to the nature of the goods
The sender may be required to complete the necessary customs, police and other formalities
public authorities to issue a document indicating the nature of the goods. This provision does not create for
the carrier has no duty, obligation or liability.
Description of the air waybill
1. The air waybill is drawn up by the sender in three original copies.
2. The first copy bears the words “for the transporter”; it is signed by the sender. The
second copy is marked “for the addressee”; it is signed by the sender and the carrier.
The third copy is signed by the carrier and delivered by him to the sender after acceptance of the
3. The signature of the carrier and that of the sender may be printed or replaced by a stamp.
4. If, at the request of the consignor, the carrier draws up the air waybill, the latter is
considered, until proof to the contrary, to be acting on behalf of the sender.
Documents relating to several packages
When there are several packages:
a) the freight carrier has the right to request from the consignor the establishment of letters of
separate air transport;
(b) the consignor has the right to request from the carrier the issuance of separate goods receipts,
when the other means referred to in paragraph 2 of article 4 are used.
Non-compliance with the provisions relating to compulsory documents
Failure to comply with the provisions of Articles 4 to 8 does not affect the existence or the validity of the
transport, which will nonetheless be subject to the rules of this Convention, including those relating to
limitation of liability.
Responsibility for the indications given in the documents
1. The sender is responsible for the correctness of the information and declarations concerning the goods.
entered by him or on his behalf in the air waybill, as well as those supplied and made by him or .
in his name to the carrier in order to be inserted in the goods receipt or for insertion in the
data recorded by the other means provided for in paragraph 2 of article 4. These provisions apply
also in case the person acting on behalf of the shipper is also the agent of the carrier.
2. The sender assumes responsibility for any damage suffered by the carrier or any other
person towards whom the carrier’s liability is incurred, due to indications and
irregular, inaccurate or incomplete statements provided and made by him or on his behalf.
3. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article, the carrier shall be responsible for
liability for any damage suffered by the sender or by any other person in respect of whom the
responsibility of the sender is engaged, due to indications and declarations irregular, inaccurate or
incomplete inserted by him or on his behalf in the receipt of goods or in the recorded data
by the other means provided for in paragraph 2 of article 4.
Evidentiary value of documents
1. The air waybill and the goods receipt are proof, until proof to the contrary, of the
conclusion of the contract, receipt of the goods and the conditions of transport which appear therein.
2. The details of the air waybill and the goods receipt, relating to the weight,
dimensions and packaging of the goods as well as the number of packages, are valid until proof of
opposite ; those relating to the quantity, volume and condition of the goods are not evidence against the
carrier only if the verification has been made by him in the presence of the sender, and noted on the letter of
air transport, or if they are statements relating to the apparent condition of the goods.
Right to dispose of the goods
1. The sender has the right, provided that he fulfills all the obligations resulting from the contract of carriage,
to dispose of the goods either by collecting them at the airport of departure or destination, or by stopping them by
en route during a landing, either by having it delivered to the place of destination or en route to a
person other than the recipient initially designated, either by requesting his return to the airport of departure,
provided that the exercise of this right does not prejudice either the carrier or other shippers and with
the obligation to reimburse the resulting costs.
2. In the event that the execution of the sender’s instructions is not possible, the carrier must notify it.
3. If the carrier carries out the sender’s disposal instructions, without requiring the production of
the copy of the air waybill or the receipt of the goods issued to it, it will be
responsible, except its recourse against the sender, of the damage which could be caused by this fact to the one who is
regularly in possession of the air waybill or the receipt of the goods.
4. The right of the sender ceases when the right of the addressee begins, in accordance with article 13.
However, if the addressee refuses the goods, or if it cannot be reached, the sender takes back his right to
Delivery of the goods
1. Except when the sender has exercised the right he derives from article 12, the addressee has the right, upon arrival
of the goods at the point of destination, to ask the carrier to deliver the goods to him against the
payment of the amount of the debts and against the execution of the conditions of transport.
2. Unless otherwise stipulated, the carrier must notify the consignee upon arrival of the goods.
3. If the loss of the goods is recognized by the carrier or if, at the expiration of a period of seven days
after it should have arrived, the goods have not arrived, the consignee is entitled to assert against
against the carrier the rights resulting from the contract of carriage.
Possibility of asserting the rights of the sender and the recipient
The sender and the recipient can assert all the rights which are respectively conferred on them by
Articles 12 and 13, each in their own name, whether acting in their own interest or in the interest of others, to
condition of fulfilling the obligations imposed by the contract of carriage.
Relationship between sender and recipient or relationship between third parties
1. Articles 12, 13 and 14 are without prejudice either to the relationship between the sender and the addressee, or to the
mutual relations of third parties whose rights derive from the sender or recipient.
2. Any clause derogating from the provisions of Articles 12, 13 and 14 must be included in the letter of
air transport or in the goods receipt.
Customs, police or other public authority formalities
1. The sender is required to provide the information and documents which, before handing over the
goods to the recipient, are necessary for the completion of customs formalities, police or
other public authorities. The sender is liable towards the carrier for any damage which
could result from the absence, insufficiency or irregularity of this information and documents, except the
fault on the part of the carrier or its employees or agents.
2. The carrier is under no obligation to examine whether this information and documents are correct or sufficient.
C HAPTER III Liability of the carrier and extent of compensation for damage
Death or injury to the passenger Damage to baggage
1. The carrier is responsible for the damage caused in the event of death or bodily injury suffered by a
passenger, by the sole fact that the accident which caused death or injury occurred on board the aircraft or on
during all embarkation or disembarkation operations.
2. The carrier is responsible for any damage caused in the event of destruction, loss or damage to baggage.
recorded, by that alone that the fact which caused the destruction, loss or damage occurred on board
the aircraft or during any period during which the carrier had custody of the checked baggage.
However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent that the damage results from the nature or
inherent defect in the baggage. In the case of unchecked baggage, including personal effects, the
The carrier is liable if the damage results from his fault or that of his servants or agents.
3. If the carrier admits the loss of checked baggage or if the checked baggage has not arrived
at destination within twenty-one days of the date on which they should have arrived, the passenger is
authorized to assert against the carrier the rights arising from the contract of carriage.
4. Unless otherwise provided, in this Convention the term “baggage” means
checked baggage as well as unchecked baggage.
Damage to the goods
1. The carrier is responsible for the damage that occurs in the event of destruction, loss or damage to the
goods by that alone that the event which caused the damage occurred during air transport.
2. However, the carrier is not liable if it establishes, and to the extent that it establishes, that the
destruction, loss or damage to the goods results from one or more of the following facts:
a) the nature or inherent defect of the goods;
b) defective packaging of the goods by a person other than the carrier or his agents or
c) an act of war or armed conflict;
d) an act of public authority carried out in connection with the entry, exit or transit of the goods.
3. Air transport within the meaning of paragraph 1 of this article includes the period during which the
merchandise is in the custody of the carrier.
4. The period of air transport does not cover any transport by land, sea or inland waterway.
performed outside an airport. However, when such transport is carried out in the performance of the contract of
air transport for loading, delivery or transhipment, any damage is presumed, except
proof to the contrary, resulting from an event occurring during air transport. If, without the consent of
the shipper, the carrier replaces all or part of the transport agreed in the agreement between
the parts as being transport by air, by another mode of transport, this transport by another
mode will be considered as part of the air transport period.
The carrier is liable for damage resulting from delay in the carriage of passengers by air,
luggage or cargo. However, the carrier is not responsible for damage caused by delay
if he proves that he, his servants and mandataries have taken all the measures that could reasonably be expected
impose themselves to avoid the damage, or that it was impossible for them to take them.
In the event that he proves that the negligence or other prejudicial act or omission of the person
claiming compensation or from the person from whom they hold their rights caused or contributed to the damage, the
carrier is fully or partially exempted from his liability towards that person, insofar as
such negligence or other prejudicial act or omission caused or contributed to the damage. When a
a claim for compensation is made by a person other than the passenger, due to death or
injury suffered by the latter, the carrier is also exempted in whole or in part from its liability in
the extent to which it proves that the negligence or other prejudicial act or omission of that passenger caused the
damage or contributed to it. This article applies to all the provisions of the convention relating to
liability, including article 21, paragraph 1.
Compensation in the event of death or injury suffered by the passenger
1. For damage referred to in paragraph 1 of article 17 and not exceeding 100,000 drawing rights
special per passenger, the carrier cannot exclude or limit its liability.
2. The carrier is not liable for the damage referred to in paragraph 1 of article 17 to the extent
where they exceed 100,000 special drawing rights per passenger, if he proves:
a) that the damage is not due to the negligence or other injurious act or omission of the
carrier, his servants or agents, or
b) that such damage results solely from negligence or other injurious act or omission
Limits of Liability for Delays, Baggage and Goods
1. In the event of damage to passengers resulting from delay, under the terms of Article 19, the
Carrier liability is limited to the sum of 4,150 Special Drawing Rights per passenger.
2. In the carriage of baggage, the carrier’s liability in the event of destruction, loss, damage or
delay is limited to the sum of 1000 special drawing rights per passenger, except special declaration of interest
on delivery made by the passenger at the time of handing over the checked baggage to the carrier and
subject to the possible payment of an additional sum. In this case, the carrier will be required to pay
up to the amount declared, unless it proves that it is greater than the real interest of the
passenger on delivery.
3. In the transport of goods, the responsibility of the carrier, in case of destruction, loss,
damage or delay, is limited to the sum of 17 special drawing rights per kilogram, unless declared
special interest in the delivery made by the sender at the time of delivery of the package to the carrier and
upon payment of a possible additional sum. In this case, the carrier will be required to pay
up to the amount declared, unless it proves that it is greater than the actual interest of
the sender on delivery.
4. In the event of destruction, loss, damage or delay of part of the goods, or of any object which
is contained therein, only the total weight of the package (s) in question is taken into consideration to determine the
carrier’s liability limit. However, when the destruction, loss, damage or delay of a
part of the goods, or an object contained therein, affects the value of other packages covered by the same
air waybill or by the same receipt or, in the absence of these documents, by the same
details recorded by the other means referred to in Article 4 (2), the total weight of these packages must
be taken into account in determining the limit of liability.
5. The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article shall not apply if it is proved that the
damage results from an act or omission of the carrier, his servants or his agents, made either
with intent to cause harm, either recklessly and with awareness that harm will result
probably, insofar as, in the case of an act or omission of servants or mandataries, the
proof is also provided that they acted in the performance of their duties.
6. The limits fixed by article 21 and by this article do not have the effect of depriving the court of
the right to award further, in accordance with its law, a sum corresponding to all or part of the costs and
other legal costs incurred by the plaintiff, including interest. The previous provision does not apply
when the amount of compensation awarded, not including costs and other legal costs, does not exceed the
sum which the carrier has offered in writing to the applicant within six months from the date of the
caused the damage or before the commencement of proceedings if it is later than this period.
Conversion of currency units
1. The sums indicated in special drawing rights in this agreement are considered as
relating to the Special Drawing Right as defined by the International Monetary Fund. The conversion of these
sums in national currencies will be effected, in the event of legal proceedings, according to the value of these currencies in
special drawing right on the date of judgment. The value, under special drawing right, of a national currency
of a State Party which is a member of the International Monetary Fund, is calculated according to the valuation method
applied by the International Monetary Fund on the date of judgment for its own operations and
transactions. The value, under special drawing right, of a national currency of a State Party which is not
member of the International Monetary Fund, is calculated in the manner determined by that State.
2. However, States which are not members of the International Monetary Fund and whose legislation does not
not allow the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article to be applied, may, at the time of
ratification or accession, or at any time thereafter, declare that the limit of liability of the
carrier prescribed in Article 21 is fixed, in legal proceedings in their territory, at the sum
1,500,000 currency units per passenger; 62,500 currency units per passenger with regard to the
paragraph 1 of article 22; and 250 monetary units per kilogram with regard to paragraph 3 of
Article 22. This monetary unit corresponds to sixty-five and a half milligrams of gold for
nine hundred thousandths of an end. The sums can be converted into the national currency concerned by
round numbers. The conversion of these sums into national currency will be carried out in accordance with the legislation.
of the State in question.
3. The calculation mentioned in the last sentence of paragraph 1 of this article and the conversion
mentioned in paragraph 2 of this article are made in such a way as to express in the national currency of
the State Party the same real value, as far as possible, for the amounts provided for in Articles 21 and 22,
than that which would result from the application of the first three sentences of paragraph 1 of this article. The
States Parties shall communicate to the depositary their method of calculation in accordance with paragraph 1 of this
article or the results of the conversion in accordance with paragraph 2 of this article, as the case may be, when
deposit of their instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of this Convention or
adherence to it and whenever a change occurs in this calculation method or in these
Review of limits
1. Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 25 of this Convention and subject to paragraph 2
below, the limits of liability prescribed in Articles 21, 22 and 23 are revised by the Depositary every
every five years, the first revision occurring at the end of the fifth year following the date of entry into force
of this agreement, or if the agreement does not come into force within five years from the date on
which it is opened for signature for the first time, in the year of its entry into force, subject to
the application of an inflation coefficient corresponding to the cumulative rate of inflation since the revision
previous or, in the case of a first revision, since the date of entry into force of the agreement. The
measure of the inflation rate to be used to determine the coefficient for inflation is the weighted average of
annual rates of increase or decrease in consumer price indices of States whose currencies
make up the special drawing right referred to in article 23, paragraph 1.
2. If the revision mentioned in the previous paragraph concludes that the coefficient for inflation has
exceeded 10%, the depositary shall notify the States Parties of a revision of the limits of liability. Any revision . .
thus adopted shall take effect six months after its notification to the States Parties. If, in the following three months
this notification to the States Parties, a majority of the States Parties notify its disapproval, the revision does not take
no effect and the depositary refers the matter to a meeting of the States Parties. The depositary notifies
immediately to all States Parties the entry into force of any revision.
3. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 of this article, the procedure referred to in paragraph 2 of this article is
applicable at any time, provided that a third of the States Parties express a wish in this regard and
provided that the inflation coefficient referred to in paragraph 1 is greater than 30% of what it was on the date
of the previous revision or on the date of entry into force of this Convention if there has been no
previous revision. Subsequent revisions according to the procedure described in paragraph 1 of this article
take place every five years from the end of the fifth year following the date of the revision
under this paragraph.
Stipulation of limits
A carrier may stipulate that the contract of carriage may set higher limits of liability
than those provided for in this agreement, or not include any limitation of liability.
Nullity of contractual provisions
Any clause tending to exonerate the carrier from his liability or to establish a limit lower than that
which is fixed in the present agreement is null and of no effect, but the nullity of this clause does not imply
the nullity of the contract which remains subject to the provisions of this agreement.
Freedom to contract
Nothing in this agreement shall prevent a carrier from refusing the conclusion of a contract of
transport, to renounce the means of defense given to him by virtue of this Convention or
to establish conditions which are not in contradiction with the provisions of this convention.
In the event of an aviation accident resulting in the death or injury of passengers, the carrier, if required by
the legislation of his country, will pay advances without delay to natural persons who are entitled to a
compensation to enable them to meet their immediate economic needs. These advances do not
do not constitute an acknowledgment of liability and they can be deducted from the amounts paid
subsequently by the carrier as compensation.
Principle of remedies
In the transport of passengers, baggage and cargo, any action for damages, whatever
whether, under this Convention, by reason of a contract or an unlawful act or for any
other cause, can only be exercised under the conditions and limits of liability provided for by this
convention, without prejudice to the determination of the persons who have the right to act and of their respective rights.
In any such action, no punitive or exemplary damages or
damage for a reason other than repair.
Agents, agents – Total amount of the repair
1. If an action is brought against an employee or agent of the carrier as a result of damage
covered by this agreement, this employee or agent, if he proves that he has acted in the exercise of his
functions, may take advantage of the conditions and limits of liability that the carrier may invoke
under this agreement.
2. The total amount of the repair which, in this case, can be obtained from the carrier, his agents and
its agents, must not exceed said limits.
3. Except for the transport of goods, the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article shall not
do not apply if it is proven that the damage resulted from an act or omission of the employee or
agent, done either with the intention of causing damage or recklessly and with knowledge that a
damage will likely result.
1. Receipt of checked baggage and goods without protest by the consignee will constitute
presumption, unless proven otherwise, that baggage and goods have been delivered in good condition and
in accordance with the ticket or the indications recorded by the other means referred to in Article 3,
paragraph 2, and Article 4, paragraph 2.
2. In the event of damage, the consignee must send a protest to the carrier immediately after the
discovery of the damage and, at the latest, within seven days for checked baggage and fourteen
days for goods from receipt. In case of delay, the protest must be made at most
no later than twenty-one days from the day on which the baggage or merchandise was placed at its disposal.
3. Any protest must be made by written reservation and delivered or sent within the time limit set for this.
4. In the absence of a protest within the prescribed time limits, all actions against the carrier are inadmissible, except
the case of fraud thereof.
Death of the responsible person
In the event of the death of the person responsible, a liability action is admissible, in accordance with the
provisions of this convention, against those who legally represent his estate.
1. The action for damages must be brought, at the choice of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of the
States Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier, of the principal place of business or of the
place where he has an establishment through which the contract was concluded, either before the court of the place of
2. With regard to damage resulting from death or bodily injury suffered by a passenger,
the liability action may be brought before one of the courts mentioned in paragraph 1 of this
article or, having regard to the specificities of air transport, on the territory of a State Party where the passenger has his
main and permanent residence at the time of the accident and to or from which the carrier
operates air transport services, either with its own aircraft or with the aircraft of another
carrier under a trade agreement, and in which that carrier conducts its transport activities
air from premises that itself or another carrier with which it has entered into a commercial agreement
rent or own.
3. For the purposes of paragraph 2:
a) “commercial agreement” means an agreement other than an agency agreement between carriers and
relating to the provision of common passenger air transport services;
b) “main and permanent residence” means the single place of fixed and permanent stay of the passenger in
time of the accident. The nationality of the passenger will not be the determining factor in this regard.
4. The proceedings will be governed by the law of the court hearing the case.
1. Subject to the provisions of this article, the parties to the freight transport contract may stipulate
that any dispute relating to the carrier’s liability under this Agreement shall be settled by
arbitration. This agreement will be recorded in writing.
2. The arbitration procedure will take place, at the choice of the claimant, in one of the places of jurisdiction of the
courts provided for in section 33.
3. The arbitrator or the arbitral tribunal shall apply the provisions of this agreement.
4. The provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of this article shall be deemed to form part of any clause or
any arbitral agreement, and any provision contrary to such clause or such arbitral agreement, shall be null and void.
Time limit for appeal
1. The action for liability must be brought, on pain of forfeiture, within two years from
the arrival at destination, or the day the aircraft should have arrived, or the stopping of transport.
2. The method of calculating the time limit is determined by the law of the court seised.
1. In the case of carriage covered by the definition in paragraph 3 of Article 1 st , to be performed by various
successive carriers, each carrier accepting passengers, baggage or goods is
subject to the rules established by this convention, and is deemed to be one of the parties to the contract of carriage,
insofar as this contract relates to the part of the transport carried out under its control.
2. In the event of such transport, the passenger or his dependents may only appeal against the carrier.
having carried out the transport during which the accident or delay occurred, except in the case where, by
expressly stipulated, the first carrier will have ensured the responsibility for the whole trip.
3. In the case of baggage or goods, the passenger or the sender will have recourse against the first
carrier, and the consignee or the passenger entitled to delivery against the latter, and both
may, in addition, take action against the carrier who carried out the transport during which the destruction,
loss, damage or delay has occurred. These carriers will be jointly and severally liable towards the
passenger, or the sender or recipient.
Right of recourse against third parties
This agreement does not prejudge in any way the question of whether the person considered to be
responsible under its provisions may or may not have recourse against any other person.
C HAPTER IV
1. In the case of intermodal transport carried out partly by air and partly by any other means of transport
transport, the provisions of this Convention do not apply, subject to paragraph 4 of
Article 18 that airline and if it falls within the terms of Article 1 st .
2. Nothing in this Convention shall prevent the parties, in the case of intermodal transport, from inserting
in the air transport ticket, conditions relating to other modes of transport, provided that the
stipulations of this agreement are observed with regard to transport by air.
C HAPTER V
Air transport performed by a person other than the contracting carrier
Contractual carrier – De facto carrier
The provisions of this chapter apply when a person (hereinafter referred to as “carrier
contractual ”) concludes a contract of carriage governed by this agreement with a passenger or a shipper
or with a person acting on behalf of the passenger or shipper, and another person (hereinafter
referred to as “de facto carrier”) performs, by virtue of an authorization given by the carrier
contractual, all or part of the transport, but is not, with regard to this part, a successive transporter
within the meaning of this convention. This authorization is presumed, unless proven otherwise.
Respective liability of the contractual carrier and the actual carrier
Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, if a de facto carrier performs all or part of the transport
which, in accordance with the contract referred to in Article 39, is governed by this Convention, the contractual carrier
and the actual carrier are subject to the rules of this agreement, the former for the entire
transport envisaged in the contract, the second only for the transport which it performs.
1. Acts and omissions of the de facto carrier or of his servants and agents acting in the exercise of
of their functions, relating to the transport carried out by the de facto carrier, are also deemed to be those of the
2. Acts and omissions of the contractual carrier or his servants and agents acting in
the exercise of their functions, relating to the transport carried out by the actual carrier, are deemed to be
also those of the de facto carrier. However, none of these acts or omissions can subject the
de facto carrier has a liability exceeding the amounts provided for in Articles 21, 22, 23 and 24. None
special agreement under which the contracting carrier assumes obligations not imposed by the
this agreement, no waiver of rights or defenses provided for in this agreement
or no special declaration of interest in the delivery, referred to in article 22 of this agreement, will have
effect with regard to the de facto carrier, except with the consent of the latter.
Notification of orders and protests
The instructions or protests to be notified to the carrier, in application of this agreement, have the
same effect whether addressed to the contractual carrier or to the actual carrier. However, the
instructions referred to in article 12 only have effect if they are addressed to the contractual carrier.
Agents and agents
With regard to the transport carried out by the actual carrier, any employee or agent of this
carrier or the contractual carrier, if he proves that he acted in the exercise of his functions, can be
prevail over the conditions and limits of liability applicable, by virtue of this agreement, to the
carrier for which he is the agent or agent, unless it is proven that he acted in such a way that the limits
liability cannot be invoked in accordance with this agreement.
Cumulation of compensation
With regard to the transport carried out by the actual carrier, the total amount of the repair which may
be obtained from this carrier, the contracting carrier and their servants and agents when they acted
in the performance of their duties, may not exceed the highest compensation that can be charged
either of the contractual carrier or of the actual carrier, under this Convention, subject to
that none of the persons mentioned in this article can be held responsible beyond
the limit applicable to that person.
Notification of liability claims
Any liability action relating to transport carried out by the actual carrier may be brought, at the
choice of the applicant, against this carrier or the contractual carrier or against both,
jointly or separately. If the action is brought against only one of these carriers, the said
carrier will have the right to appeal to the other carrier to intervene before the court seised, the effects of
this intervention as well as the procedure which is applicable to it being regulated by the law of this court.
Any action for liability, provided for in article 45, must be brought, at the choice of the plaintiff, in the territory
one of the States Parties, or before one of the courts where an action may be brought against the carrier
contractual, in accordance with Article 33, either before the court of the domicile of the de facto carrier or of the seat
principal of its operation.
Nullity of contractual provisions
Any clause tending to exempt the contractual carrier or the de facto carrier from their liability in respect of
under this chapter or to establish a lower limit than that fixed in this chapter is zero
and of no effect, but the nullity of this clause does not entail the nullity of the contract which remains subject to the
provisions of this chapter.
Relationship between contractual carrier and actual carrier
Subject to Article 45, no provision of this chapter may be interpreted as affecting
the rights and obligations existing between carriers, including all rights to recourse or compensation.
C HAPTER VI
All clauses of the contract of carriage and any special agreements are null and void.
prior to the damage by which the parties would derogate from the rules of this agreement either by a
determination of the applicable law, or by a modification of the rules of jurisdiction.
States Parties shall require their carriers to take out sufficient insurance to cover the
responsibility incumbent upon them under this Agreement. A carrier may be required by the State
party to which it operates services, to provide proof that it maintains sufficient insurance
covering its liability under this agreement.
Transportation under extraordinary circumstances
The provisions of Articles 3 to 5, 7 and 8 relating to transport tickets are not applicable to transport.
carried out under extraordinary circumstances outside of any normal operation of the operation of a
Definition of the term “day”
When this agreement refers to days, they are current days and not days.
C HAPTER VII
A rticle 53
Signature, ratification and entry into force
1. The present convention is opened in Montreal on May 28, 1999 for signature by the States participating in the
International Air Law Conference, held in Montreal from May 10 to 28, 1999. After May 28, 1999, the
Convention will be open for signature by all States at the headquarters of the Civil Aviation Organization
International in Montreal until it enters into force in accordance with paragraph 6 of this article.
2. Likewise, this convention will be open for signature by regional integration organizations.
economic. For the application of this convention, a “regional integration organization
economic ”is an organization made up of sovereign States of a given region which has jurisdiction over
certain matters governed by the Convention and which has been duly authorized to sign and ratify, accept,
approve or adhere to this agreement. Except in paragraph 2 of Article 1 st in subsection 1, paragraph b) ,
Article 3, Article 5 ( b) , Articles 23, 33, 46 and Article 57 ( b) , any reference to
made of a “State Party” or “States Parties” also applies to regional integration organizations
economic. For the application of Article 24, the references made to “a majority of States Parties” and “a
third party states ”do not apply to regional economic integration organizations.
3. This convention is subject to ratification by States and integration organizations.
economy who signed it.
4. Any State or regional economic integration organization which does not sign this Convention may
accept, approve or adhere to it at any time.
5. Instruments of ratification of acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with
the International Civil Aviation Organization, which is hereby designated as the depositary.
6. This Convention shall enter into force on the sixtieth day after the date of deposit with the depositary.
of the thirtieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and between States which have
deposited such an instrument. Instruments deposited by regional economic integration organizations do not
will not be counted for the purposes of this paragraph.
7. For other States and for other regional economic integration organizations, this
convention shall take effect sixty days after the date of deposit of an instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or membership.
8. The depositary shall promptly notify all signatories and all States Parties of:
a) each signature of this agreement as well as its date;
b) each deposit of an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession as well as its
(c) the date of entry into force of this Convention;
d) the effective date of any revisions to the limits of liability established under this
e) any denunciation under Article 54.
1. Any State Party may denounce this Convention by written notification to the depositary.
2. The denunciation shall take effect 180 days after the date on which the depositary receives the
Relationship with other Warsaw Convention instruments
This Convention prevails over any rules applying to international transport by air:
1) between States Parties to this Convention by virtue of the fact that these States are commonly parties to the
a) Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, signed at
Warsaw on October 12, 1929 (hereinafter referred to as the Warsaw Convention);
b) Protocol amending the Convention for the unification of certain rules relating to
international air transport signed in Warsaw on October 12, 1929, done at The Hague on September 28, 1955
(hereinafter referred to as the Hague Protocol);
c) Supplementary Convention to the Warsaw Convention, for the unification of certain rules relating to
international air transport performed by a person other than the contractual carrier, signed in
Guadalajara on September 18, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Guadalajara Convention);
d) Protocol amending the Convention for the unification of certain rules relating to
international air transport signed in Warsaw on October 12, 1929 amended by the Protocol done at The Hague
September 28, 1955, signed at Guatemala City on March 8, 1971 (hereinafter referred to as the Guatemala Protocol);
e) Additional Protocols n os 1 to 3 and Montreal Protocol n o 4 to amend the Convention
Warsaw amended by the Hague Protocol or by the Warsaw Convention amended by the Protocol of
The Hague and the Guatemala Protocol, signed at Montreal on September 25, 1975 (hereinafter referred to as the
2) in the territory of any State party to this Convention by reason of that State being a party to one or
several of the instruments mentioned in sub-paragraphs a) and e) above.
States with more than one legal regime
1. If a State comprises two or more territorial units in which legal regimes
different apply to the matters governed by this agreement, it may, at the time of signature,
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, declare that the said convention applies to
all its territorial units or only to one or more of them and it can modify at any time
this statement by submitting a new one.
2. Any such declaration shall be communicated to the depositary and expressly indicate the units
territories to which the Convention applies.
3. In the case of a State Party which has made such a declaration:
a) references in Article 23 to “national currency” are interpreted to mean the currency of
the relevant territorial unit of that State;
b) in Article 28, the reference to “national law” is interpreted as relating to the law of unity
relevant territory of that State.
No reservation may be admitted to this Convention, except that a State Party may at any
when declaring, by notification addressed to the depositary, that this Convention does not apply:
a) international air transport carried out and operated directly by that State for purposes not
commercial in relation to its functions and duties as a sovereign state;
b) the transport of persons, baggage and goods carried out for its military authorities on board
aircraft registered in or leased by the said State Party and the full capacity of which has been reserved by these
authorities or on behalf of them.
In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorized, plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention.
Done at Montreal on 28 th day of May, one thousand nine hundred and ninety to nine in languages
French, English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish and Russian, all texts being equally authentic. The current
Convention will remain deposited in the archives of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the depositary in
transmit certified true copies to all States Parties to the Warsaw Convention, to the Protocol
of The Hague, the Guadalajara Convention, the Guatemala Protocol and the Montreal Protocols.