THE CONTRACTING PARTIES,
RECOGNIZING the need to maintain a high level of safety of human life in the handling, stacking and transporting of containers,
MINDFUL of the need to facilitate international container transport,
RECOGNIZING, in this context, the advantages of formalizing common international safety requirements,
CONSIDERING that this end may best be achieved by the conclusion of a Convention,
HAVE DECIDED to formalize structural requirements to ensure safety in the handling, stacking and transporting of containers in the course of normal operations, and to this end
HAVE AGREED as follows:
The Contracting Parties undertake to give effect to the provisions of the present Convention and the Annexes hereto, which shall constitute an integral part of the present Convention.
For the purpose of the present Convention, unless expressly provided otherwise:
1. "Container" means an article of transport equipment:
(a) of a permanent character and accordingly strong enough to be suitable for repeated use;
(b) specially designed to facilitate the transport of goods, by one or more modes of transport, without intermediate reloading;
(c) designed to be secured and/or readily handled, having corner fittings for these purposes;
(d) of a size such that the area enclosed by the four outer bottom corners is either:
(i) at least 14 sq. m. (150 sq. ft.) or
(ii) at least 7 sq. m. (75 sq. ft.) if it is fitted with top corner fittings;
the term "container" includes neither vehicles nor packaging; however, containers when carried on chassis are included.
2. "Corner fittings" means an arrangement of apertures and faces at the top and/or bottom of a container for the purposes of handling, stacking and/or securing.
3. "Administration" means the Government of a Contracting Party under whose authority containers are approved.
4. "Approved" means approved by the Administration.
5. "Approval" means the decision by an Administration that a design type or a container is safe within the terms of the present Convention.
6. "International transport" means transport between points of departure and destination situated in the territory of two countries to at least one of which the present Convention applies. The present Convention shall also apply when part of a transport operation between two countries takes place in the territory of a country to which the present Convention applies.
7. "Cargo" means any goods, wares, merchandise and articles of every kind whatsoever carried in the containers.
8. "New container" means a container the construction of which was commenced on or after the date of entry into force of the present Convention.
9. "Existing container" means a container which is not a new container.
10. "Owner" means the owner as provided for under the national law of the Contracting Party or the lessee or bailee, if an agreement between the parties provides for the exercise of the owner’s responsibility for maintenance and examination of the container by lessee or bailee.
11. "Type of container" means the design type approved by the Administration.
12. "Type-series container" means any container manufactured in accordance with the approved design type.
13. "Prototype" means a container representative of those manufactured or to be manufactured in a design type series.
14. "Maximum Operating Gross Weight or Rating" or "R" means the maximum allowable combined weight of the container and its cargo.
15. "Tare Weight" means the weight of the empty container including permanently affixed ancillary equipment.
16. "Maximum Permissible Payload" or "P" means the difference between maximum operating gross weight or rating and tare weight.
1. The present Convention applies to new and existing containers used in international transport, excluding containers specially designed for air transport.
2. Each new container shall be approved either in accordance with the provisions for type-testing or for individual testing as contained in Annex I.
3. Every existing container shall be approved in accordance with the relevant provisions for approval or existing containers set out in Annex I within 5 years from the date of entry into force of the present Convention.
1. For the enforcement of the provisions in Annex I every Administration shall establish an effective procedure for the testing, inspection and approval of containers in accordance with the criteria established in the present Convention, provided however that an Administration may entrust such testing, inspection and approval to organizations duly authorized by it.
2. An Administration which entrusts such testing, inspecting and approval to an organization shall inform the Secretary-General of the Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (hereinafter referred to as "the Organization") for communication to Contracting Parties.
3. Application for approval may be made to the Administration of any Contracting Party.
4. Every container shall be maintained in a safe condition in accordance with the provisions of Annex I.
5. If an approved container does not in fact comply with the requirements of Annexes I and II the Administration concerned shall take such steps as it deems necessary to bring the container into compliance with such requirements or to withdraw the approval.
1. Approved under the authority of a Contracting Party, granted under the terms of the present Convention, shall be accepted by the other Contracting Parties for all purposes covered by the present Convention. It shall be regarded by the other Contracting Parties as having the same force as an approval issued by them.
2. A Contracting Party shall not impose any other structural safety requirements or tests on containers covered by the present Convention, provided however that nothing in the present Convention shall preclude the application of provisions of national regulations or legislation or of international agreements, prescribing additional structural safety requirements or tests for containers specially designed for the transport of dangerous goods, or for those features unique to containers carrying bulk liquids or for containers when carried by air. The term "dangerous goods" shall have that meaning assigned to it by international agreements.
1. Every container which has been approved under Article III shall be subject to control in the territory of the Contracting Parties by officers duly authorized by such Contracting Parties. This control shall be limited to verifying that the container carries a valid Safety Approval Plate as required by the present Convention, unless there is significant evidence for believing that the condition of the container is such as to create an obvious risk to safety. In that case the officer carrying out the control shall only exercise it in so far as it may be necessary to ensure that the container is restored to a safe condition before it continues in service.
2. Where the container appears to have become unsafe as a result of a defect which may have existed when the container was approved, the Administration responsible for that approval shall be informed by the Contracting Party which detected the defect.
1. The present Convention shall be open for signature until 15 January 1973 at the Office of the United Nations at Geneva and subsequently from 1 February 1973 until 31 December 1973 inclusive at the Headquarters of the Organization at London by all States Members of the United Nations or Members of any of the Specialized Agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency or Parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a Party to the present Convention.
2. The present Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States which have signed it.
3. The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State referred to in paragraph 1.
4. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the Organization (hereinafter referred to as "the Secretary-General").
1. The present Convention shall enter into force twelve months from the date of the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
2. For each State ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to the present Convention after the deposit of the tenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the present Convention shall enter into force twelve months after the date of the deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
3. Any State which becomes a Party to the present Convention after the entry into force of an amendment shall, failing an expression of a different intention by that State,
(a) be considered as a Party to the Convention as amended; and
(b) be considered as a Party to the unamended Convention in relation to any Party to the Convention not bound by the amendment.
1. The present Convention may be amended upon the proposal of a Contracting Party by any of the procedures specified in this Article.
2. Amendment after consideration in the Organization:
(a) Upon the request of a Contracting Party, any amendment proposed by it to the present Convention shall be considered in the Organization. If adopted by a majority of two-thirds of those present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organization, to which all Contracting Parties shall have been invited to participate and vote, such amendment shall be communicated to all Members of the Organization and all Contracting Parties at least six months prior to its consideration by the Assembly of the Organization. Any Contracting Party which is not a Member of the Organization shall be entitled to participate and vote when the amendment is considered by the Assembly.
(b) If adopted by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting in the Assembly, and if such majority includes a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Parties present and voting, the amendment shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all Contracting Parties for their acceptance.
(c) Such amendment shall come into force twelve months after the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds of the Contracting Parties. The amendment shall come into force with respect to all Contracting Parties except those which, before it comes into force, make a declaration that they do not accept the amendment.
3. Amendment by a Conference:
Upon the request of a Contracting Party, concurred in by at least one-third of the Contracting Parties, a Conference to which the States referred to in Article VII shall be invited will be convened by the Secretary-General.
1. Any amendment to the Annexes proposed by a Contracting Party shall be considered in the Organization at the request of that Party.
2. If adopted by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting in the Maritime Safety Committee of the Organization to which all Contracting Parties shall have been invited to participate and to vote, and if such majority includes a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Parties present and voting, such amendment shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all Contracting Parties for their acceptance.
3. Such an amendment shall enter into force on a date to be determined by the Maritime Safety Committee at the time of its adoption, unless by a prior date determined by the Maritime Safety Committee at the same time one-fifth or five of the Contracting Parties, whichever number is less, notify the Secretary-General of their objection to the amendment. Determination by the Maritime Safety Committee of the dates referred to in this paragraph shall be by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, which majority shall include a two-thirds majority of the Contracting Parties present and voting.
4. On entry into force any amendment shall, for all Contracting Parties which have not objected to the amendment, replace and supersede any previous provision to which the amendment refers; an objection made by a Contracting Party shall not be binding on other Contracting Parties as to acceptance of containers to which the present Convention applies.
5. The Secretary-General shall inform all Contracting Parties and Members of the Organization of any request and communication under this Article and the date on which any amendment enters into force.
6. Where a proposed amendment to the Annexes has been considered but not adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee, any Contracting Party may request the convening of a Conference to which the States referred to in Article VII shall be invited. Upon receipt of notification of concurrence by at least one-third of the other Contracting Parties such a Conference shall be convened by the Secretary-General to consider amendments to the Annexes.
1. Any Contracting Party may denounce the present Convention by effecting the deposit of an instrument with the Secretary-General. The denunciation shall take effect one year from the date of such deposit with the Secretary-General.
2. A Contracting Party which has communicated an objection to an amendment to the Annexes may denounce the present Convention and such denunciation shall take effect on the date of entry into force of such an amendment.
The present Convention shall cease to be in force if the number of Contracting Parties is less than five for any period of twelve consecutive months.
1. Any dispute between two or more Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention which cannot be settled by negotiation or other means of settlement shall, at the request of one of them, be referred to an arbitration tribunal composed as follows: each party to the dispute shall appoint an arbitrator and these two arbitrators shall appoint a third arbitrator, who shall be the Chairman. If three months after receipt of a request one of the parties has failed to appoint an arbitrator if the arbitrators shall have failed to elect the Chairman, any of the parties may request the Secretary-General to appoint an arbitrator or the Chairman of the arbitration tribunal.
2. The decision of the arbitration tribunal established under the provisions of paragraph 1 shall be binding on the parties to the dispute.
3. The arbitration tribunal shall determine its own rules of procedure.
4. Decisions of the arbitration tribunal both as to its procedure and its place of meeting and as to any controversy laid before it, shall be taken by majority vote.
5. Any controversy which may arise between the parties to the dispute as regards the interpretation and execution of the award may be submitted by either party for judgment to the arbitration tribunal which made the award.
1. Reservations to the present Convention shall be permitted, excepting those relating to the provisions of Articles I-VI, XIII, and of the present Article and of those contained in the Annexes, on condition that such reservations are communicated in writing and, if communicated before the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, are confirmed in that instrument. The Secretary-General shall communicate such reservations to all States referred to in Article VII.
2. Any reservations made in accordance with paragraph 1:
(a) modifies for the Contracting Party which made the reservation the provisions of the present Convention to which the reservation relates to the extent of the reservation; and
(b) modifies those provisions to the same extent for the other Contracting Parties in their relations with the Contracting Party which entered the reservation.
3. Any Contracting Party which has formulated a reservation under paragraph 1 may withdraw it at any time by notification to the Secretary-General.
In addition to the notifications and communications provided for in Articles IX, X and XIV, the Secretary-General shall notify all the States referred to in Article VII of the following:
(a) signatures, ratifications, acceptances, approvals and accessions, under Article VII;
(b) the dates of entry into force of the present Convention in accordance with Article VIII;
(c) the date of entry into force of amendments to the present Convention in accordance with Articles IX and X;
(d) denunciations under Article XI;
(e) the termination of the present Convention under Article XII.
The original of the present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General, who shall communicate certified true copies to all States referred to in Article VII.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed the present Convention.
DONE at Geneva this second day of December, one thousand nine hundred and seventy-two.