Railway transport

On this page you will find an explanation of various important aspects of carriage of goods by railroad transport, guided by 21 questions. 

COTIF-CIM 1999
Cross border railway transport in which case the acceptance location is situated in another member state than the delivery location, or if parties have voluntarily declared the CIM applicable to cross border railway transport in which case the acceptance location or the delivery location is situated in a member state (art. 1 CIM). The CIM may also be applied to the additional transport by sea, road and inland water ways (art. 1 sub 3 and 4 CIM). 
 
Dutch Law
Transport agreement, under which the carrier agrees with the consignor to carry the goods exclusively by railway (art. 8:1550 sub 1 DCC). Parties may agree that these regulations also apply to additional transport by road or inland water ways. 

COTIF-CIM 1999
The contractual carrier and the subsequent carrier who is liable further tot the CIM (art. 3 sub a CIM ). Besides the carrier, the CIM refers to a sub carrier (art. 3 sub b CIM).      
 
Dutch Law
The contractual carrier and the subsequent carrier who is liable further tot the transport agreement (art. 8:1551 sub 1 sub a DCC). Besides the carrier, the DCC refers to a sub carrier (art. 8:1551 sub b DCC).   

COTIF-CIM 1999
CIM does not provide a definition. The consignor is deemed the party with whom the carrier has a transport agreement (art 3 sub a CIM).  
 
Dutch Law
The party with whom the carrier has an agreement to transport cargo exclusively by railway (art. 8:1550 sub 1 DCC).     

COTIF-CIM 1999
CIM does not provide a definition. The consignee is the party to whom, on the basis of the agreement, the cargo shall be delivered.   
 
Dutch Law
CIM does not provide a definition. The consignee is the party to whom, on the basis of the agreement, the cargo shall be delivered (art. 8:1554 DCC).    

COTIF-CIM 1999
Either the consignor or the consignee is entitled to claim. The consignor’s right to claim transfers to the consignee upon receipt of the waybill, or the cargo, or upon execution of his rights under art. 17 sub 3 or art. 18 sub 3 CIM (art. 44 CIM).    
 
Dutch Law
Either the consignor or the consignee is entitled to claim. The consignor’s right to claim transfers to the consignee upon receipt of the waybill, or the cargo, or upon execution of his rights under art. 8:1565 sub 3 DCC or art. 8:1566 sub 3 DCC (art. 8:1590 DCC). 

COTIF-CIM 1999
From the moment of receipt for transportation until the moment of delivery (art. 23 and 24 CIM).
 
Dutch Law
From the moment of receipt for transportation until the moment of delivery (art 8:1571 and 8:1572 DCC).

COTIF-CIM 1999
The carrier is liable for loss or damages of the cargo, that was incurred during the liability term (art. 23 sub 1 CIM).     
 
Dutch Law
The carrier is liable for loss or damages of the cargo, that was incurred during the liability term (art. 8:1571 sub 1 DCC).

COTIF-CIM 1999
The carrier is liable for damages as a consequence of delay in delivery (art. 23 sub 1 CIM ).    
 
Dutch Law
The carrier is liable for damages as a consequence of delay in delivery (art. 8:1571 DCC).

COTIF-CIM 1999
Grounds for exemption art 23 sub 2 CIM: fault/instruction beneficiary, own defect goods, and carrier force majeure. Criterion: in the event of loss of cargo during transportation, a carrier may only claim exemption from liability if he evidences that he has taken all necessary precautions that may be expected from a cautious carrier to avoid loss. Special risks art 23 sub 3 CIM: agreed transport in an open wagon open vehicles, missing (or faulty) packaging, handling, loading, stowage, unloading by cargo interested party, nature of the cargo, improper labelling or numbering, transport of livestock, transport under supervision.
 
Dutch Law
Grounds for exemption art 8: 1571 sub 2 DCC: fault/instruction beneficiary, own defect goods, and carrier force majeure. Criterion: in the event of loss of cargo during transportation, a carrier may only claim exemption from liability if he evidences that he has taken all necessary precautions that may be expected from a cautious carrier to avoid loss. Special risks art.8:1572 sub 3 DCC: agreed transport in an open wagon open vehicles, missing (or faulty) packaging, handling, loading, stowage, unloading by cargo interested party, nature of the cargo, improper labelling or numbering, transport of livestock, transport under supervision.  

COTIF-CIM 1999
The cargo interested party shall prove that the loss/damages was incurred during the liability term. Carrier shall prove carrier force majeure, fault of beneficiary, own defect (art. 23 sub 2 jo 25 CIM). The special risks of art. 23 sub 3 CIM are presumptions of evidence; counter evidence by cargo interested party possible (art. 25 sub 2 CIM). 
 
Dutch Law
The cargo interested party shall prove that the loss/damages was incurred during the liability term. Carrier shall prove carrier force majeure, fault of beneficiary, own defect (art. 8:1573 sub 1 DCC). The special risks of art. 8:1572 sub 3 DCC are presumptions of evidence; counter evidence by cargo interested party possible (art. 8:1573 sub 2 DCC).

COTIF-CIM 1999
Waybill provides full evidence of the agreement, receipt of cargo and the contents of the transport agreement. Counter evidence is possible (art. 12 sub 1 CIM). If the loading was done by the carrier, the waybill provides full evidence of the correctness of the statements regarding the state of the cargo, the packaging and gross mass. Counter evidence is possible. (art. 12 sub 2 CIM). If the loading was done by the consignor, the waybill only provides this evidence if the carrier has verified the correctness of the statements and included the results on the waybill (art. 12 sub 3 CIM). Counter evidence is possible. 
 
Dutch Law
Waybill provides full evidence of the agreement, receipt of cargo and the contents of the transport agreement. Counter evidence is possible (art 8:1560 sub 1 DCC). If the loading was done by the carrier, the waybill provides full evidence of the correctness of the statements regarding the state of the cargo, the packaging and gross mass. Counter evidence is possible (art. 8:1560 sub 2 DCC). If the loading was done by the consignor, the waybill only provides this evidence if the carrier has verified the correctness of the statements and included the results on the waybill (art. 8:1560; sub 3 DCC). Counter evidence is possible. 

COTIF-CIM 1999
In the event of full or partial loss: sales value plus cargo, customs fees and other transportation costs, with the exception of excises over cargo that is transported under suspension of excises (art. 30 sub 1 and 30;sub 4 CIM). For damage: the sales value is taken as a basis and for the calculation of loss of value of the goods, the reduction method is applied (art. 32 CIM) to be increased in percentages with cargo, customs fees and other transportation costs, with the exception of excises over cargo that is transported under suspension of excises (art. 32 sub 1 and 4 and sub 1 and 30 sub 4 CIM). The CIM contains a special regulation regarding loss or damage to a railway vehicle rolling on its own wheels, which was offered as cargo, and for the loss or damage of an intermodal transport unit (art. 30 sub 3 and 32 sub 3 CIM) as well as loss of weight (art. 31 CIM). 
 
Dutch Law
In the event of full or partial loss: sales value plus cargo, customs fees and other transportation costs, with the exception of excises over cargo that is transported under suspension of excises (art. 8:1578 sub 1 and 4 DCC). For damage: the sales value is taken as a basis and for the calculation of loss of value of the goods, the reduction method is applied (art. 8:1580 DCC) to be increased in percentages with cargo, customs fees and other transportation costs, with the exception of excises over cargo that is transported under suspension of excises (art. 8:1580 sub 1 and 4 jo art. 8:1578 sub 4 DCC). The CIM contains a special regulation regarding loss or damage to a railway vehicle rolling on its own wheels, which was offered as cargo, and for the loss or damage of an intermodal transport unit (art. 8:1578 sub 3 and art. 8:1580 sub 3 DCC) and for the loss or damage of an intermodal transport unit as well as loss of weight (art. 8:1579 DCC).  

COTIF-CIM 1999
In the event of loss/damages cargo: 17 SDR per kilogram gross weight (art. 30 sub 2 jo art. 32 sub 1 CIM). In the event of damages as a consequence of delay: maximum four times the cargo price (art. 33 sub 1 CIM). In the event of loss of a railway vehicle rolling on its own wheels, which was offered as cargo, and for the loss of an intermodal transport unit: the usual value of the vehicle or intermodal transport unit (art 30 sub 3 CIM) and in the event of damages: the reparation costs (art 32 sub 3 CIM).   
 
Dutch Law
In the event of loss/damages cargo: 17 SDR per kilogram (art. 8:1578 sub 2 and 8:1580 sub 2 DCC). In the event of damages as a consequence of delay: maximum four times the cargo price (art. 8:1581 DCC). In the event of loss of a railway vehicle rolling on its own wheels, which was offered as cargo, and for the loss of an intermodal transport unit: the usual value of the vehicle or intermodal transport unit (art. 8:1578 sub 3 DCC) and in the event of damages: the reparation costs (art. 8:1580 sub 3 DCC).  

COTIF-CIM 1999
Excluded (art 30 sub 1, 30 sub 3 and 32 sub 1 CIM), unless intent or recklessness can be proven (art.36 CIM).
 
Dutch Law
Excluded (art. 8:1578 sub 1 and art. 8:1580 sub 1 DCC), unless intent or recklessness can be proven (8:1584 DCC).   

COTIF-CIM 1999
Intent or recklessness (art. 36 CIM). Exceeding of the limitation is assumed to occur as a consequence of the carrier’s behaviour as well as his subordinates and auxiliaries (art. 40 CIM).  
 
Dutch Law
Intent or recklessness (art. 8:1584). Exceeding of the limitation is assumed to occur as a consequence of the carrier’s behaviour as well as his subordinates and auxiliaries (art. 8:1586 DCC).   

COTIF-CIM 1999
Value declaration (art. 34 CIM) and notification special interest upon delivery is possible (art. 35 CIM).
 
Dutch Law
Value declaration (art. 8:1582 DCC) and notification special interest upon delivery is possible (8:1583 DCC).

COTIF-CIM 1999
The carrier’s liability is limited to those events included in the CIM 1999 (art. 41 CIM). Moreover, the principle of canalisation of claims applies (art. 44 and 45 CIM).
 
Dutch Law
The carrier’s liability is limited to those events included in the regulations regarding railway transport in the DCC (art. 8:1587 DCC). Moreover, the principle of canalisation of claims applies (art. 8:1590 and 8:1591 DCC).

COTIF-CIM 1999
In the event of partial loss or damages, the carrier is required to record such before receipt (art. 42 jo 47 CIM). In the event of invisible damages, a record of such shall be requested immediately after discovery and ultimately within 7 days of receipt of the cargo (art. 47 sub 2 sub b CIM). 
 
Dutch Law
In the event of invisible damages, a record of such shall be requested immediately after discovery and ultimately within 7 days of receipt of the cargo (art.8:1588 and art. 8:1592 sub 2 DCC).  

COTIF-CIM 1999
The claim expires by receipt of the cargo, unless the damages were recorded (art. 47 CIM).
 
Dutch Law
There is a rebuttable presumption that the beneficiary has received the cargo without delay and in good state (8:1592 DCC).    

COTIF-CIM 1999
For all claims: in principle one year, sometimes two years, please refer to the exceptions mentioned in art. 48 sub 1 CIM. In the event of intent or recklessness, the timebar is two years as well (art. 48 sub 1 sub c CIM). The timebar starts: in the event of full loss on the 30th day after the expiration of the delivery term; in the event of partial loss: on the day of delivery; in all other cases: on the day of execution of the right (art. 48 CIM). The day mentioned as the starting point of the limitation period is not included in this term (art. 48 sub 2 CIM). Suspension and interruption of the timebar is governed by national law (art. 48 sub 5 CIM).

Dutch Law
For all claims: in principle one year, sometimes two years, please refer to the exceptions mentioned in art. 8:1727 DCC. In the event of intent or recklessness, the timebar is two years as well (art. 8:1727 sub 1 DCC). The timebar starts: in the event of full loss on the 30th day after the expiration of the delivery term; in the event of partial loss, damages or delay: on the day of delivery; in all other cases: on the day of execution of the right (art. 8:1727 DCC). The day mentioned as the starting point of the limitation period is not included in this term (art. 8:1727 sub 1 DCC). Art. 8:1727 sub 3 DCC contains a provision for suspension, provided that the conditions mentioned therein have been met. 

COTIF-CIM 1999
The court of (art. 46 CIM): defendant’s domicile, place of acceptance of the cargo, place of delivery of the cargo. Choice of a court in a CIM member state. 
 
Dutch Law
The DCC does not contain any provisions. This needs to be determined through international regulations (such as the EEX Regulation and the EVEX Treaty (Lugano Treaty) or the Civil Procedures Act.

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