Draft law on the organization of multimodal transport under a single document

At the end of May 2021, a revised draft law on multimodal transport was submitted for general discussion by the Ministry of Transport.

The document was a continuation of the 2018 version, which was rejected due to the fact that the industry did not need a separate bill, and all intermodal relations were carried out on a contractual basis.

It was about multimodal transportation, which is becoming more and more in demand both from the point of view of expanding the territory of supplies, and from the point of view of reducing document circulation and reducing costs.

Multimodal transportation is the transportation of goods under one contract, but performed by at least two modes of transport.

In this case, the carrier is responsible for the entire transportation process, and within the framework of one or several types of transport, this transportation is carried out — it does not matter.

What does the new bill provide?

The consignor or consignee concludes a contract with one carrier, which, in turn, concludes contracts with subsequent carriers (the term of the bill is approx.).

The bill spelled out a special article «Contract for direct multimodal transport», which just establishes the legal norms of a multimodal contract.

The main thing that should appear is a unified waybill, which will eliminate the need to draw up shipping documents for each transport on each segment of the route.

The project of a multimodal waybill has already been created: it will consist of 6 sheets, include data on carriers, points of transshipment of goods, etc., the amount of freight charges.

A road bill, a bill of containers or vehicles will be attached to it.

It is understood that the multimodal waybill will make the transportation of goods more transparent, it will become clearer what the cost of delivery is.

To organize such types of transportation, all participants in the process must conclude between special agreements, which will indicate the areas of responsibility and responsibility, settlement mechanisms, the procedure for transferring goods and consideration of claims.

According to the document, the process of direct multimodal transportation should look like this: the shipper / consignee enters into an agreement with the carrier, who is responsible for all stages of the movement of the cargo, up to the moment of its delivery to the final point.

The contract specifies all subsequent carriers who will take part in the transportation process, the vehicles used, cargo transshipment points, border crossings, customs, etc., as well as all information about the cargo.

The shipper / consignee pays the entire cost of transportation to the main carrier, which, in turn, makes settlements with subsequent carriers.

It should be noted that it is the main carrier that bears full responsibility for the delivery and safety of the cargo.

In the event of any claims regarding the delivery time, cargo integrity, etc., it is he who executes all the sanctions stipulated by the contract, and only after their full execution has the right to put regressive claims to the subsequent carrier, through whose fault these sanctions were imposed.

This item appeared only in the latest version of the bill (previously, the responsibility of the final carrier was provided for, and if it was impossible to establish the culprit, the responsibility was shared among all carriers).

In principle, all of these functions in the implementation of multimodal transportation are currently performed by a forwarder, therefore, the opinions of market participants on the need to adopt such a bill were divided.

It should only be noted that this bill applies to both freight and passenger transportation.