Rotterdam Rules: A Practical Annotation


Rights of the Controlling Party

Article 50. Exercise and extent of right of control

    1. The right of control may be exercised only by the controlling party and is limited to:
    (a) The right to give or modify instructions in respect of the goods that do not constitute a variation of the contract of carriage; (b) The right to obtain delivery of the goods at a scheduled port of call or, in respect of inland carriage, any place en route; and (c) The right to replace the consignee by any other person including the controlling party.
    2. The right of control exists during the entire period of responsibility of the carrier, as provided in article 12, and ceases when that period expires.


[50-01] The rights involved in the “right of control”. The “right of control” is defined at Article 1.12 as “the right under the contract of carriage to give the carrier instructions in respect of the goods in accordance with ”. The right to give instructions is further “limited” by the terms of Article 50.1 to three particular types of instruction in respect of the goods, relating broadly to the goods, their delivery en route, and the identity of the consignee.1 The “controlling party”, ie the person who can exercise the right of control, is defined at Article 1.13, but again by direct reference to Article 51, which itself defines the controlling party by reference to which of three types of document is issued, ie a negotiable transport document, a non-negotiable transport document and a non-negotiable transport document requiring surrender; the “controlling party” is also defined for the purposes of cases where an electronic transport record is issued.

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