Maritime transportation is one of the most important and historic vehicular means available for international trades, and has ceaselessly brought about disputes between two major parties concerned in maritime transportation, that is, carrier and consignor due to conflicts of interest. That is why maritime laws have been enacted to conciliate or settle these disputes.
The maritime laws are effective internationally in their essential nature, so many advanced countries already promoted international efforts to coordinate different maritime laws in maritime transportation from medieval age. Then, there were a variety of international treaties established in terms of maritime transportation. However, these international treaties failed to maintain their international consistence but became disunited due to different interests between consignor and carrier ― as two parties concerned with marine transportation ― and changing settings of maritime transportation.
As a result, international maritime transportation rules are not yet standardized but subdivided into Hague Rules(1924), Hague-Visby Rules (1968) and Hamburg Rules(1978). These 3 international maritime transportation rules are still in force, and even some countries apply their municipal laws to deal with a matter of liabilities for carriage of goods by sea without ratifying any international maritime transportation rules. Thus, international maritime transportation laws are still further disunited than before.
The enactment of Rotterdam Rules(2009) is a result of efforts to standardize conventional disunited system of international transportation laws and develop a new coordinated system of international maritime transportation laws and regulations.
The new enactment of Rotterdam Rules is characterized by considerably stricter liabilities of carrier for carriage of goods by sea than Hague-Visby Rules, an existing international maritime transportation rule as widely applied around the world beyond Republic of Korea. That is why it is important to correctly examine any loss and gain expected from ratification or acceptance of Rotterdam Rules.
Therefore, the purpose of this study is to find out potential differences between existing international maritime transportation rules and Rotterdam Rules in regard to a system of liabilities imposed on carriers for carriage of goods by sea, so that it can suggest potential implications of Rotterdam Rules and possible ways for Republic of Korea to cope with the enforcement of this rule.