Warsaw Convention
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Warsaw Convention

Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Air Transport, signed in Warsaw, October 12, 1929

(Warsaw Convention)

FIRST CHAPTER

PURPOSE – DEFINITIONS

First article

  1. This Convention applies to all international carriage of

persons, baggage or goods, carried by aircraft for remuneration. It

also applies to free transport by aircraft by a company

of air transport.

  1. For the purposes of this Convention, “international transport” is defined as any

transport in which, according to the stipulations of the parties, the point of departure and the point

destination, whether or not there is an interruption in transport or transhipment, are

located either in the territory of two High Contracting Parties, or in the territory

of a single High Contracting Party, if a stopover is planned in a territory

subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate or authority of another

Power, even non-Contracting. Transportation without such a stopover between

territories subject to the sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate or authority of the

even the High Contracting Party is not considered to be international within the meaning of

this Convention.

  1. The transport to be performed by several successive air carriers is

deemed to constitute for the application of this Convention a single transport when

was envisaged by the parties as a single transaction, whether it was concluded under the

form 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

entirely in a territory subject to sovereignty, suzerainty, mandate

or to the authority of the same High Contracting Party.

Article 2

  1. The Convention applies to transport carried out by the State or other

legal persons governed by public law, under the conditions provided for in Article 1.

  1. Are excepted from the application of this Convention the transport

carried out under the influence of international postal conventions.

CHAPTER II

TRANSPORT TICKET

Section I – Passage ticket

Article 3

  1. In the transport of passengers, the carrier is required to issue a ticket

passage which must contain the following information:

(a) the place and date of issue;

(b) the points of departure and destination;

(c) scheduled stops, subject to the option of the carrier to

stipulate that he can modify them if necessary and without this

modification could cause transport to lose its international character;

(d) the name and address of the carrier (s);

(e) the indication that the transport is subject to the liability regime

established by this Convention.

  1. The absence, irregularity or loss of the ticket does not affect the existence, nor the

validity of the transport contract, which will nonetheless be subject to the rules of

this Convention. However, if the carrier accepts the traveler without having been

issued a transit ticket, he will not have the right to avail himself of the provisions of

this Convention which exclude or limit its liability.

Section II – Baggage check

Article 4

  1. In the transport of luggage, other than small personal items of which

the traveler retains custody, the carrier is required to issue a

luggage.

  1. The baggage check is drawn up in two copies, one for the traveler,

the other for the carrier.

  1. It must contain the following information:

(a) the place and date of issue;

(b) the points of departure and destination;

(c) the name and address of the carrier (s);

(d) the number of the transit ticket;

(e) an indication that the baggage is delivered to the bearer of the

bulletin;

(f) the number and weight of packages;

(g) the amount of the declared value in accordance with article 22, paragraph

2;

(h) the indication that the transport is subject to the liability regime

established by this Convention.

  1. The absence, irregularity or loss of the ballot does not affect the existence or

the validity of the transport contract which will nonetheless be subject to the rules of

this Convention. However, if the carrier accepts the baggage without having been

issued a bulletin or if the bulletin does not contain the particulars indicated under the

letters (d), (f), (h), the carrier will not have the right to invoke the provisions

of this Convention which exclude or limit its liability.

Section III – Air waybill

Article 5

  1. Any carrier of goods has the right to ask the shipper

the establishment and delivery of a document called an “air waybill”; all

shipper has the right to ask the carrier to accept this document.

  1. However, the absence, irregularity or loss of this title does not affect or

the existence, nor the validity of the transport contract which will nonetheless be subject to the

rules of this Convention, subject to the provisions of Article 9.

Article 6

  1. The air waybill is drawn up by the sender in triplicate

originals and delivered with the merchandise.

  1. The first copy bears the words “for the transporter”; it is signed

by the sender. The second copy bears the words “for the addressee”; he

is signed by the shipper and the carrier and it accompanies the goods. The

third copy is signed by the carrier and delivered by him to the sender after

acceptance of the goods.

  1. The signature of the carrier must be affixed upon acceptance of the

merchandise.

  1. The signature of the carrier may be replaced by a stamp; that of

the sender can be printed or replaced with a stamp.

  1. If, at the sender’s request, the carrier draws up the waybill

air transport, it is considered, until proof to the contrary, as acting on behalf of

the sender.

Article 7

The freight carrier has the right to ask the shipper

the establishment of different air waybills when there is more than one package.

Article 8

The air waybill must contain the following information:

(a) the place where the document was created and the date on which it was drawn up;

(b) the points of departure and destination;

(c) the planned stops, subject to discretion, for the carrier,

to stipulate that he can modify them if necessary and without this

modification could cause transport to lose its international character;

(d) the name and address of the consignor;

(e) the name and address of the first carrier;

(f) the name and address of the consignee, if applicable;

(g) the nature of the goods;

(h) the number, method of packing, particular marks or

package numbers;

(i) the weight, quantity, volume or dimensions of the commodity;

(j) the apparent condition of the goods and of the packaging;

(k) the price of transport if stipulated, the date and place of payment and

who has to pay;

(l) if the shipment is cash on delivery, the price of the goods

and, possibly, the amount of the costs;

(m) the amount of the declared value in accordance with article 22, paragraph

2;

(n) the number of copies of the air waybill;

(o) the documents sent to the carrier to accompany the letter

air transport;

(p) the transport time and summary indication of the route to be followed

(via) if they have been stipulated;

(q) the indication that the transport is subject to the liability regime

established by this Convention.

Article 9

If the carrier accepts goods without a letter

of air transport, or if it does not contain all the particulars indicated by

article 8 (a) to (i) inclusive and (q), the carrier shall not have the right to

prevail over the provisions of this Convention which exclude or limit its

responsibility.

Article 10

  1. The sender is responsible for the correctness of the indications and declarations

concerning the goods that he enters in the air waybill.

  1. He shall bear the responsibility for any damage suffered by the carrier or

any other person because of their irregular, inaccurate indications and declarations

or incomplete.

Article 11

  1. The air waybill is proof, until proven otherwise, of the

conclusion of the contract, receipt of the goods and conditions of transport.

  1. The details of the air waybill, relating to weight,

dimensions and packaging of the goods as well as the number of packages are valid

until proven otherwise; those relating to the quantity, volume and condition of the

goods are not proof against the carrier until the verification has been

made by him in the presence of the sender, and noted on the air waybill,

or that they are statements relating to the apparent condition of the goods.

Article 12

  1. The sender has the right on condition to perform all the obligations

resulting from the contract of carriage, to dispose of the goods, or by collecting them at

the departure or destination aerodrome, either by stopping it en route during a

landing, either by having it delivered at the place of destination or en route to a

person other than the consignee indicated on the air waybill, either in

requesting his return to the aerodrome 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.

  1. In the event that the execution of the sender’s orders is impossible, the

carrier must notify it immediately.

  1. If the carrier complies with the shipper’s disposal orders,

without requiring the production of the copy of the air waybill issued to it,

he will be responsible, except his recourse against the sender, for the damage which could

be caused by this fact to the one who is regularly in possession of the letter of

air Transport.

  1. The right of the sender ceases when that of the addressee

begins, in accordance with Article 13 below. However, if the recipient refuses

the waybill or the goods, or if it cannot be reached, the consignor

resumes its right of disposal.

Article 13

  1. Except in the cases indicated in the previous article, the addressee has the right, from

the arrival of the goods at the point of destination, to ask the carrier to him

hand over the air waybill and deliver the goods to him against payment

of the amount of the debts and against the fulfillment of the transport conditions indicated

in the air waybill.

  1. Unless otherwise stipulated, the carrier must notify the consignee as soon as

the arrival of the goods.

  1. 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

has not arrived, the consignee is authorized to assert vis-à-vis the carrier the

rights resulting from the contract of carriage.

Article 14

The sender and the recipient can assert all the rights that are theirs

respectively conferred by Articles 12 and 13, each in his own name, which he

act in his own interest or in the interest of others, provided that the

obligations that the contract imposes.

Article 15

  1. Articles 12, 13 and 14 are without prejudice to the relationship between

the sender and the recipient between them, nor to the reports of third parties whose rights

come either from the sender or the recipient.

  1. Any clause derogating from the stipulations of articles 12, 13 and 14 must be

entered in the air waybill.

Article 16

  1. The sender is required to provide the information and attach to the letter of

air transport documents which, before handing over the goods to the consignee,

are necessary for the completion of customs, granting or police formalities.

The sender is responsible towards the carrier for any damage that could

result from the absence, insufficiency or irregularity of this information and

parts, except in the case of fault on the part of the carrier or its employees.

  1. The carrier is not required to consider whether this information and

documents are correct or sufficient.

CHAPTER III

RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CARRIER

Article 17

The carrier is responsible for damage in the event of death,

injury or other bodily injury suffered by a traveler when the accident

that caused the damage occurred on board the aircraft or during any

embarkation and disembarkation operations.

Article 18

  1. The carrier is responsible for any damage caused in the event of destruction,

loss of or damage to checked baggage or goods when the event that occurred

caused the damage occurred during air transportation.

  1. Air transport, within the meaning of the previous paragraph, includes the period

during which the baggage or goods are in the custody of the

carrier, whether in an aerodrome or on board an aircraft or in a place

any in the event of landing outside an aerodrome.

  1. The period of air transport does not cover any land transport, sea transport

or river operated outside an aerodrome. However, when such transport is

carried out in the execution of the air transport contract with a view to loading,

delivery or transhipment, any damage is presumed, unless proven otherwise,

result from an event occurring during air transport.

Article 19

The carrier is liable for damage resulting from delay in the

air transport of passengers, baggage or goods.

Article 20

  1. The carrier is not liable if he proves that he and his agents have

taken all necessary measures to avoid the damage or that it was to them

impossible to take them.

  1. In the transport of goods and baggage, the carrier is not

responsible, if he proves that the damage resulted from a driving fault, driving

aircraft or navigation, and that in all other respects he and his attendants have taken

all necessary measures to avoid damage.

Article 21

In the event that the carrier proves that the fault of the injured party

caused or contributed to the damage, the court may, in accordance with the

provisions of its own law, exclude or mitigate the liability of the carrier.

Article 22

  1. In the transport of persons, the carrier’s liability towards

each traveler is limited to the sum of one hundred and twenty five thousand francs. In the case

where, according to the law of the court seised, the compensation may be fixed in the form of an annuity, the

annuity capital cannot exceed this limit. However by a special convention

with the carrier, the traveler can set a higher limit of liability.

  1. In the transport of checked baggage and goods, the

the carrier’s liability is limited to the sum of two hundred and fifty francs per

kilogram, unless there is a special declaration of interest in the delivery made by the sender to the

upon delivery of the package to the carrier and upon payment of a fee

possible additional. In this case, the carrier will be required to pay up to

amount declared, unless it proves that it is greater than

the real interest of the sender in the delivery.

  1. With regard to objects of which the traveler retains the custody, the

the carrier’s liability is limited to five thousand francs per traveler.

  1. The amounts indicated above are considered to relate to the

French franc consisting of sixty-five and a half milligrams of gold for nine

hundred thousandths of an end. They can be converted into each national currency

in round numbers.

Article 23

Any clause tending to exonerate the carrier from its liability or to establish

a lower limit than that fixed in this Convention is zero and zero

effect, but the nullity of this clause does not entail the nullity of the contract which remains subject

with the provisions of this Convention.

Article 24

  1. In the cases provided for in Articles 18 and 19, any liability action,

whatever title it may be, can only be exercised under the conditions and limits provided for

by this Convention.

  1. In the cases provided for in Article 17, the provisions of

the previous paragraph, without prejudice to the determination of the persons who have the right

to act and their respective rights.

Article 25

  1. The carrier will not have the right to invoke the provisions of the

this Convention which exclude or limit its liability, if the damage arises

of his will or of a fault which, according to the law of the court seised, is considered as

equivalent to fraud.

  1. This right will also be refused if the damage was caused in the same

conditions by one of its agents acting in the exercise of his functions.

Article 26

  1. Receipt of baggage and goods without protest by the

consignee will constitute a presumption, unless proven otherwise, that the goods have

been delivered in good condition and in accordance with the ticket.

  1. In the event of damage, the recipient must send a protest to the carrier.

immediately after discovery of the damage and, at the latest, within three

days for baggage and seven days for goods from receipt.

In the event of delay, the protest must be made no later than fourteen days from

date from the day on which the baggage or merchandise was made available to it.

  1. Any protest must be made by reservation entered on the ticket.

or by another writing sent within the time limit provided for this protest.

  1. In the absence of a protest within the prescribed time limits, all actions against the

carrier are inadmissible, except in the case of fraud thereof.

Article 27

In the event of the death of the debtor, the action for liability, within the limits provided for

by this Convention, is exercised against his successors in title.

Article 28

  1. The action for liability must be brought, at the choice of the plaintiff, in

the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of domicile

of the carrier, of the principal place of business or of the place where it has a

establishment through which the contract was concluded, either before the local court

of destination.

  1. The proceedings will be governed by the law of the court seised.

Article 29

  1. The action for liability must be brought, under penalty of forfeiture, in

the period of two years from arrival at destination or from the day on which the aircraft would have

had to arrive, or the halt in transport.

  1. The method of calculating the time limit is determined by the law of the court seised.

Article 30

  1. In the cases of transport governed by the definition of the third paragraph of

Article 1, to be performed by various successive carriers, each carrier

accepting travelers, baggage or goods is subject to the rules

established by this Convention, and is deemed to be one of the contracting parties to the contract

of transport, insofar as this contract relates to the part of the transport carried out under

its control.

  1. In the event of such transport, the traveler or his dependents may not

recourse only against the carrier who carried out the transport during which

the accident or delay has occurred, except in the case where, by express stipulation, the

first carrier will have assumed responsibility for the entire trip.

  1. In the case of luggage or goods, the sender will have recourse against

the first carrier and the consignee who has the right to delivery against the last,

and both may, in addition, take action against the carrier who carried out the

transport in which the destruction, loss, damage or delay has occurred.

These carriers will be jointly and severally liable towards the shipper and the

recipient.

CHAPTER IV

PROVISIONS RELATING TO COMBINED TRANSPORT

Article 31

  1. In the case of combined transport carried out partly by air and partly by

any other means of transport, the provisions of this Convention shall not

only apply to air transport and if it meets the conditions of article

first.

  1. Nothing in this Convention shall prevent the parties, in the event of

combined transport, to insert in the air transport document conditions relating to

to other modes of transport, provided that the provisions of this

Convention are respected with regard to air transport.

CHAPTER V

GENERAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 32

All clauses of the transport contract and all agreements are void.

particular prior to the damage by which the parties would derogate from the rules

of this Convention either by a determination of the applicable law or by a

modification of the rules of jurisdiction. However, in the transport of goods,

arbitration clauses are permitted, within the limits of this Convention,

when the arbitration must be carried out in the places of jurisdiction of the courts provided for

in Article 28, paragraph 1.

Article 33

Nothing in this Convention shall prevent a carrier from refusing

entering into a contract of carriage or formulating regulations which are not

in contradiction with the provisions of this Convention.

Article 34

This Convention is not applicable to international air transport.

carried out as first tests by air navigation companies with a view to

the establishment of regular air navigation lines or the transport carried out

in extraordinary circumstances outside of any normal trading

aerial operations.

Article 35

When this Convention refers to days, it means days

current, not working days.

Article 36

This Convention is drawn up in French in a single copy which

will remain deposited in the archives of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and of which

a certified true copy will be transmitted by the Polish Government

to the Government of each of the High Contracting Parties.

Article 37

  1. This Convention shall be ratified. The instruments of ratification will be

deposited in the archives of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will notify

deposit with the Government of each of the High Contracting Parties.

  1. As soon as this Convention has been ratified by five of the High Parties

Contracting, it will enter into force between them on the ninetieth day after the

deposit of the fifth ratification. Subsequently it will come into force between

High Contracting Parties which have ratified it and the High Contracting Party which

deposit its instrument of ratification on the ninetieth day after its deposit.

  1. It will be for the Government of the Republic of Poland to notify

to the Government of each of the High Contracting Parties the date of entry into

force of this Convention as well as the date of deposit of each ratification.

Article 38

  1. This Convention, after its entry into force, shall remain open to

membership of all states.

  1. Membership will be effected by notification addressed to the Government of

the Republic of Poland, which will inform the Government of each of the High

Contracting Parties.

  1. Membership will take effect from the ninetieth day after

the notification made to the Government of the Republic of Poland.

Article 39

  1. Each of the High Contracting Parties may denounce this

Convention by notification to the Government of the Republic of Poland,

who will immediately notify the Government of each of the High Parties

Contracting.

  1. The denunciation shall take effect six months after the notification of the

denunciation and only in respect of the Party which has carried out it.

Article 40

  1. The High Contracting Parties may, at the time of signature, from

deposit of ratifications, or of their accession, declare that the acceptance they give

to this Convention does not apply to all or part of their colonies,

protectorates, territories under mandate, or any other territory subject to their sovereignty

or to their authority, or to any other territory under suzerainty.

  1. Consequently, they may subsequently adhere separately to the name

of all or part of their colonies, protectorates, mandated territories, or any other

territory subject to their sovereignty or authority, or any territory under

suzerainty thus excluded from their original declarations.

  1. They may also, in accordance with its provisions, denounce the

this Convention separately or for all or part of their colonies, protectorates,

territories under mandate, or any other territory subject to their sovereignty or

authority, or any other territory under suzerainty.

Article 41

Each of the High Contracting Parties shall have the option of two years at the earliest

after the entry into force of this Convention to cause the meeting of a

new International Conference with the aim of seeking improvements that

could be made to this Convention. For this purpose, she will contact the

Government of the French Republic which will take the necessary measures to

prepare for this Conference.

This Convention, done at Warsaw on October 12, 1929, shall remain open to

signature until January 31, 1930.

“ADDITIONAL PROTOCOL

(Ad Article 2)

The High Contracting Parties reserve the right to declare at the time

of the ratification or accession that Article 2 paragraph 1 of this

Convention will not apply to international air transport carried out

directly by the State, its colonies, protectorates, mandated territories or any other

territory under its sovereignty, suzerainty or authority. “

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