Transport of cargo by sea is subject in almost every shipping nation of the world to the Brussels Convention on the Carriage of Goods by Sea - 1924, better known as the Hague Rules. Great Britain adopted the Rules in 1924, Canada and the United States in 1936, and France in 1937. Over sixty other nations, states, and principalities have adopted the Rules as well, so that it is an international private law of almost universal acceptance. The Rules strike a balance between the responsibilities of the carrier and the rights of cargo owners, both of which are limited in what has been an extremely successful compromise. Central to the bargain between the parties is the right of the carrier to limit its responsibility to no more than £100 sterling per package or unit which is $500.00 per package or freight unit under Cogsa, the American version of the Hague Rules.
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William Tetley, “Per Package Limitation and Containers under the Hague Rules, Visby & UNCITRAL” (1977-1978) 4:3 DLJ 685.