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IRU addresses increasing liabilities for road transport operators


27 Feb 2012



IRU Press release dated 24  February 2012

The 9th IRU Symposium of Lawyers on the “Evolution of contractual relations in road transport” highlights the current enforcement pitfalls and proposes best practices to address the resulting challenges, stressing the need to simplify and harmonise existing legislation and regulations to improve road transport operators productivity and return on investment, as well as to enhance legislative effectiveness for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Geneva – Some 60 legal professionals, academics, transport operators and policy makers from around 20 countries participated today in the 9th IRU Symposium of Lawyers, to discuss the evolution of contractual relations in road transport and its impact on the road transport industry.

Chairing the Symposium, the President of the IRU Commission on Legal Affairs (CAJ), Isabelle BON-GARCIN, stressed: “the legal regulations applicable to road transport operators are becoming increasingly complex. This situation negatively impacts the economy, the road transport sector’s productivity, operators’ return on investment and authorities’ efficiency and effectiveness in the enforcement of regulations. In addition, recent economic and technical developments have had an influence on the contractual liability of road transport operators, just as social constraints and security concerns have had an influence on their criminal liability. As a result, transport operators, with the help of the IRU in many cases, must find new ways to manage and respond to these challenges”.

Participants identified that one of the best ways to effectively address these challenges is for road transport operators to use internationally standardised general conditions, such as the IRU General Conditions for the international carriage of goods by road that set legal terms regarding the respective liabilities of the carrier, sender and consignee of an international road carriage, as well as other IRU tools such as IRU model clauses, contracts and guidelines. Professional training, as provided by the IRU Academy, was also identified as key to remaining aware of and compliant with the latest legislative developments impacting international road transport operations.

Symposium delegates also concluded that governments should:

- Better enforce all existing international conventions relating to road transport;

- Conclude the UN OmniBUS Agreement on international regular bus and coach lines;

- Give systematic precedence to international/multilateral standards and models, where they exist, over bilateral ones;

- Provide more transparency in the implementation and enforcement of legislation and regulations.

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The IRU, through its 170 member associations in 73 countries, represents and promotes the entire road transport industry in all international and national bodies whose decisions affect road transport.



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