Currently, there are three international conventions in force governing international maritime transport: the Hague Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules and the Hamburg Rules.
1 of the Hamburg Rules, the period of the responsibility of the carrier for the goods covers the period during which the carrier is in charge of the goods at the port of loading during the carriage and at the port of discharge.
The general principle on carrier's liability set out under the Hamburg Rules is based on presumed fault, according to Article 5.
Article 18 of the Draft Convention has absorbed both the Hague-Visby Rules and the Hamburg Rules structure that the exception of nautical fault has been deleted and sets a list of exceptions somewhat similar to that of the Hague-Visby Rules with the addition of some new exceptions that have been maintained.
Under the Hague Rules and Hague-Visby Rules as well as under the Hamburg Rules, once a cargo claimant has established a loss, the burden of proof in relation to the causes of the loss is on the carrier.
The Hamburg Rules are provided for a dual system similar to those given in the Hague-Visby Rules but the amount is much higher than its.
In case of delayed goods, carrier's liability is similar to those in the Hamburg Rules.
It can be said that the regulations governing the contract of carrying goods by sea are mostly made-out on the basis of the Hague Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules and appropriately refer to the Hamburg Rules as well.
The Draft Convention aims at creating a modern and uniform law concerning the international carriage of goods which include an international sea leg but is not limited to the port-to-port carriage of goods and has already in essence exceeded the scope of other maritime conventions such as the Hague Rules, the Hague-Visby Rules and the Hamburg Rules and become a special multimodal Convention.
The process for joining the 1978 Hamburg Rules has been slow from the very time of their adoption (Tetley 2000) by UNCITRAL in 1978.
It is doubtful that the Contracting States of either the Hague-Visby Rules or the Hamburg Rules will denounce the international maritime convention well-known for them and ratify a new convention which is a special new legal regime under which the new principles of law and the new language, clauses and phrases are not clear or familiar to judges, needless to say the main maritime players such as carrier, shipper, consignee, forwarder and relative parties.