| Home > 107th Congressional Documents > T.Doc.107-15 TREATY WITH HONDURAS FOR RETURN OF STOLEN, ROBBED, AND EMBEZZLED ...
T.Doc.107-15 TREATY WITH HONDURAS FOR RETURN OF STOLEN, ROBBED, AND EMBEZZLED ...
107th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 2d Session 107-14 _______________________________________________________________________ PROTOCOL TO AMEND THE CONVENTION FOR UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting PROTOCOL TO AMEND THE CONVENTION FOR THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR SIGNED AT WARSAW ON OCTOBER 12, 1929, DONE AT THE HAGUE, SEPTEMBER 28, 1955 (THE HAGUE PROTOCOL) <GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT> July 31, 2002.--The Protocol was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate __________ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 99-118 WASHINGTON : 2002 LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, July 31, 2002. To the Senate of the United States: I transmit herewith, for Senate advice and consent to ratification, the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air Signed at Warsaw on October 12, 1929, done at The Hague September 28, 1955 (The Hague Protocol). The report of the Department of State, including an article-by-article analysis, is enclosed for the information of the Senate in connection with its consideration of The Hague Protocol. The Warsaw Convention is the first in a series of treaties relating to international carriage by air. The Hague Protocol amended certain of the Warsaw Convention articles, including several affecting the rights of carriers of international air cargo. A recent court decision held that since the United States had ratified the Warsaw Convention but had not ratified The Hague Protocol, and the Republic of Korea had ratified The Hague Protocol but had not ratified the Warsaw Convention, there were no relevant treaty relations between the United States and Korea. This decision has created uncertainty within the air transportation industry regarding the scope of treaty relations between the United States and the 78 countries that are parties only to the Warsaw Convention and The Hague Protocol. Thus, U.S. carriers may not be able to rely on the provisions in the Protocol with respect to claims arising from the transportation or air cargo between the United States and those 78 countries. In addition to quickly affording U.S. carriers the protections of those provisions, ratification of the Protocol would establish relations with Korea and the five additional countries (El Salvador, Grenada, Lithuania, Monaco, and Swaziland) that are parties only to The Hague Protocol and to no other treaty on the subject. A new Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal May 28, 1999 (the ``Montreal Convention'') is pending on the Senate's Executive calendar (Treaty Doc. 106-45). I urge the Senate to give its advice and consent to that Convention, which will ultimately establish modern, uniform liability rules applicable to international air transport of passengers, cargo, and mail among its parties. But the incremental pace of achieving widespread adoption of the Montreal Convention should not be allowed to delay the benefits that ratification of The Hague Protocol would afford U.S. carriers of cargo to and from the 84 countries with which it would promptly enter into force. I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to The Hague Protocol and that the Senate give its advice and consent to ratification. George W. Bush. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- The Secretary of State, Washington, June 15, 2002. The President. I have the honor to submit to you the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air Signed at Warsaw on October 12, 1929, done at The Hague September 28, 1955 (``The Hague Protocol'' or ``the Protocol''). The Protocol was signed on behalf of the United States on June 28, 1956 and was submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification in 1959. It was returned to the President in 1967. The circumstances that precluded ratification and led to the return of the Protocol in 1967 have fundamentally changed, and I now recommend that it be re-transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification. BACKGROUND Overview The 1929 Warsaw Convention has been the subject of several amendments and unsuccessful attempts at amendments over the years. In 1955, The Hague Protocol, which doubled the passenger liability limits and simplified cargo documentation requirements, was adopted and was later ratified by most countries, but not by the United States. In 1971, the Guatemala Protocol again sought to raise the passenger limits, but was ratified by very few States and never entered into force. In 1975, the so-called Montreal Protocols (Nos. 1-4) were adopted. Of these four protocols, the United States is a party only to Montreal Protocol No. 4, which amended the Warsaw Convention as amended by The Hague Protocol, modifying the cargo provisions of that instrument without altering the passenger provisions. In 1999, a new Convention was adopted to eliminate in their entirety the passenger liability limits and modernize the other provisions of the Warsaw Convention and The Hague Protocol. The 1999 Convention is intended ultimately to replace the Warsaw Convention and its various amendments. The United States signed the 1999 Montreal Convention, and it was submitted for Senate advice and consent to ratification in September 2000. 1. The Warsaw Convention and The Hague Protocol The Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, done at Warsaw October 12, 1929 (the ``Warsaw Convention''), provided limitations on liability and uniform liability rules applicable to international air transport of passengers, cargo and mail. The Warsaw Convention was widely adopted, and the United States has been a party since 1934. The Convention contained a very low limit on the liability of carriers (approximately $8,300 per passenger at that time) for death or injury to passengers in international air carrier accidents where the harm was not due to the carrier's willful misconduct. Efforts to increase this limit in the early 1950s led to The Hague Protocol, which doubled the passenger liability limit and made other technical improvements to the Convention, most notably in the area of cargo documentation. President Eisenhower submitted The Hague Protocol to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification on July 24, 1959. Because of concerns regarding the inadequacy of the new limit on passenger recoveries, the Administration sought enactment of a form of accident insurance legislation in conjunction with ratification of the Protocol. The proposed legislation would have required U.S. carriers to carry supplemental accident insurance policies for each passenger in international air travel to or from the United States covered by the Warsaw Convention. It fixed various levels of compensation based upon the type of injury sustained by the passenger, up to $50,000. The insurance legislation package failed, and The Hague Protocol was eventually returned to the President in 1967. 2. The Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement (1966) The failure of the insurance legislation package, coupled with increasing dissatisfaction with the liability limits in the Warsaw Convention, led the United States to submit a notice of denunciation of the Warsaw Convention in November, 1965. In 1966, the United States withdrew this notice of denunciation before it went into effect, in consideration of a private voluntary agreement, negotiated under the auspices of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which was signed by all major foreign and U.S. carriers serving the United States (the ``Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement''). the Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement ensured that accident victims on flights to or from the United States are compensated for up to $75,000 of proven damages, whether or not the negligence of the carrier was the cause of the accident. In time, all foreign carriers operating services to or from the United States accepted the terms of the Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement, and in 1983 the Civil Aeronautics Board adopted regulations mandating participation (14 C.F.R. Part 203). 3. The 1975 Montreal Protocols Although further diplomatic efforts were made to improve the Warsaw Convention during the 1960s and 1970s, continuing concerns regarding low passenger liability limits in part prevented the United States from adopting new amendments to the Convention. (See Message from the President of the United States Transmitting the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal, May 28, 1999, Treaty Doc. 106-45, 106th Cong., 2nd Session, for more information regarding these diplomatic efforts and the development of the Warsaw Convention system.) In particular, four protocols were negotiated at the 1975 diplomatic conference in Montreal. The first three of these protocols replaced the gold standard with the currency conversion formula based on ``Special Drawing Rights'' (hereinafter referred to as ``SDRs'', an artificial ``basket'' currency developed by the International Monetary Fund for internal accounting purposes) for purposes of calculating all quantitative limitations on liability under the Warsaw Convention, The Hague Protocol, and a 1971 protocol to the Convention negotiated at Guatemala to which the United States did not become a party. (As of 1975, only two States had ratified the Guatemala Protocol.) The fourth protocol, the Protocol to Amend the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air, as amended by The Hague Protocol, done at Montreal September 25, 1975 (``Montreal Protocol No. 4''), among other things eliminated the outmoded cargo documentation provisions of the Warsaw Convention, thereby facilitating the application of electronic commerce to international air cargo. Although the United States signed Montreal Protocol No. 4, efforts to achieve Senate advice and consent to ratification of this protocol in the 1980s and early 1990s, in conjunction with one of the other protocols negotiated at Montreal that applied to passengers and adopted the SDR standard, were unsuccessful due in large part to concerns about the limits on passenger recoveries from the Guatemala Protocol that had been incorporated into the other protocol. 4. The IATA and ATA Inter-carrier Agreements (1997) Recognizing the inadequacy of existing liability limits, air carriers reached agreement in 1996 on three inter-carrier agreements. In February 1997, the Department of Transportation approved two IATA and one Air Transport Association (``ATA'') agreements, all of which, at a minimum, waived the Warsaw Convention liability limits in their entirety for participating carriers, in effect superseding the 1996 Montreal Inter-carrier Agreement by which carriers had earlier waived the limits on liability up to $75,000 per passenger. As of March 6, 2002, 123 international carriers, representing more than ninety percent of the world's air transport industry, had signed the IATA Inter-carrier Agreement on Passenger Liability (``IIA''), which waives the Warsaw liability limits. Most of the carriers signing the IIA also signed the second IATA agreement, which requires carriers to pay up to 100,000 SDRs (approximately $135,000) to accident victims, regardless of carrier negligence. Consequently, any accident victim having a claim against a carrier that was party to this second IATA agreement would have an absolute right to recover up to 100,000 SDRs of proven damages. The ATA agreement, signed only by U.S. carriers, describes the manner in which carriers agree to implement the two IATA agreements. In addition to waiving the Warsaw liability limit for passenger injuries and accepting 100,000 SDRs of strict liability, airlines signatory to the ATA agreement also agree, subject to applicable law, that compensation for passenger injuries may be determined by reference to the law of the domicile or permanent residence of the passenger. 5. Montreal Protocol No. 4 and Cargo Operations In the wake of the IATA and ATA Inter-carrier Agreements, the passenger liability limitations contained in the Warsaw Convention and the The Hague Protocol, although objectionable in principle to the United States, were no longer a significant obstacle because they were, as a practical matter, superseded in most cases by the IATA and ATA Inter-carrier Agreements, by which most major international scheduled carriers had waived those limits. The United States was thus in a position to modernize the rules relating to the air cargo industry. With the advice and consent of the Senate, the United States ratified Montreal Protocol No. 4 on December 4, 1998; it entered into force for the United States on March 4, 1999. Among other things, this Protocol eliminated requirements for paper-based transactions, including the requirement to complete detailed air waybills. 6. The 1999 Montreal Convention The IIA and Montreal Protocol No. 4 together represented a reasonable interim fix, but not a long-term solution, to the problem of creating a modernized uniform liability regime for international air transportation. At present, carriers are subject to vastly different liability regimes, depending upon the treaties to which their governments are parties and the private inter-carrier agreements that they have signed. Work on a modernized convention to replace the fragmented Warsaw Convention system was completed at the May 1999 International Conference on Air Law in Montreal at which the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal May 28, 1999 (the ``1999 Montreal Convention''), was negotiated and opened for signature. The United States immediately signed the 1999 Montreal Convention. The President transmitted it to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification (Treaty Doc. 106-45) on September 6, 2000. This Convention was a success with respect to all key U.S. policy objectives, and once in force and widely ratified, will replace the Warsaw Convention and its patchwork of liability regimes, including the need for private voluntary agreements. 7. Chubb & Son, Inc. v. Asiana Airlines A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the case of Chubb & Son, Inc. v. Asiana Airlines (214 F.3d 301 (2d Cir. 2000), cert. denied, 121 S. Ct. 2459 (2001)) has highlighted the fragmentation of the Warsaw Convention system and raised uncertainties regarding the
Other Popular 107th Congressional Documents Documents:
|GovRecords.org presents information on various agencies of the United States Government. Even though all information is believed to be credible and accurate, no guarantees are made on the complete accuracy of our government records archive. Care should be taken to verify the information presented by responsible parties. Please see our reference page for congressional, presidential, and judicial branch contact information. GovRecords.org values visitor privacy. Please see the privacy page for more information.|
Supreme Court Decisions
104th Congressional Documents
105th Congressional Documents
106th Congressional Documents
107th Congressional Documents
108th Congressional Documents
1994 Presidential Documents