The Carriage of Goods by Sea (Amendment) Act 2020 [Act A1613] came into operation yesterday, according to the Transport Ministry (MOT).
In a statement today, MOT said the Act, gazetted on Feb 4, 2020, contained amendments to a few provisions in the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1950 (Act 527), including to empower the Minister of Transport to amend the First Schedule to the said Act 527 by order published in a gazette.
According to MOT, the purpose of the amendments is generally to improve the current legislation and ensure it is in line with the provisions of relevant international instruments.
It said that prior to Act A1613, the provisions in the First Schedule to Act 527 adopted the provisions in the Hague Rules.
“The Hague Rules are international laws that aim to coordinate the rights and responsibilities of seaborne trade. Given that the Hague Rules have been around for a long time and are outdated, the procedures provided under this instrument are seen as no longer in line with the global practice in the maritime trade industry," the statement read.
MOT said the international maritime sector has adopted new international instruments, namely the Hague Visby-Rules and Special Drawing Rights (SDR) Protocol, in order to rectify those weaknesses in the Hague Rules.
"In essence, the Hague-Visby Rules and the SDR Protocol aim to improve principles and standards pertaining to liability, responsibility and compensation set out under the Hague Rules.
"These changes can further enhance the legal structure related to liability, compensation and at the same time increase the confidence of industry players in carriage of goods by sea transactions," it said.
MOT said to enhance the domestic legislation on carriage of goods by sea, Act 527 and the First Schedule to Act 527 have been amended in accordance with the Hague Visby-Rules and SDR Protocol through Act A1613 and the Carriage of Goods by Sea (Amendment of First Schedule) Order 2021 [PU (A) 305 /2021] which has been published in the federal government gazette.
This First Schedule amendment is also effective in parallel with Act A1613 as per the publication of the Federal Government Gazette PU (B) 363/2021.