Adopted by the general meeting of the Freight Forwarders Association of the Russian Federation of 11.01.2001. Recommended by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (the resolution of the Presidium of the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the protocol №). Approved by the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation (the resolution of the Board of). Are effective since Deposited in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation. Deposited in the regional chambers of commerce and industry of Moscow.
1. General provisions and application
1.1. The present General conditions of the Russian forwarders, hereinafter referred to as “General conditions”:
1.1.1. Establish and govern relations between the forwarder and the customer of forwarding services;
1.1.2. Have force and effect and shall apply only if they are included into the forwarding contract in written form or when there is a reference to these General conditions in written form in the forwarding contract;
1.1.3. Cancel the effect of other terms and conditions of the forwarding contract, if they contradict the present General conditions.
2. Definition of terms
2.1. «Forwarding services» — any actions, related to the organization and performance of carriage, consolidation, storage, warehousing, processing and delivery of cargo to the addressee at the destination, as well as ancillary and advisory services, related to the performance of the above mentioned works, including services related to customs clearance, passing of quarantine and phyto-sanitary control, dealing with tax matters, declaring, provision of insurance, performance of payments, execution of documents related to cargoes and their carriage.
2.2. «Forwarder» — a legal or physical person of the Russian Federation, that has the right to perform forwarding activities in accordance with the current legislation of the Russian Federation, that has concluded a contract for freight forwarding with the customer.
2.3. «Customer» — any Russian or foreign legal or physical person, that has concluded with the forwarder a contract for freight forwarding or has issued the forwarder with an order for forwarding, accepted by the latter, and that has such rights and obligations as a result of actions, related to the order for forwarding.
2.4. «Carrier» — any legal or physical person, that performs the carriage of cargoes with its own means of transportation (an actual or real carrier) or any physical or legal person, that has assumed obligations of a carrier (a contracting carrier). The forwarder can act as a contracting carrier.
2.5. «Cargo» — any property, including live animals, as well as containers, pallets and other similar items of transportation and packing, unless they are provided by the forwarder or the carrier.
2.6. «SDR» — special drawing rights in the definition of the International Monetary Fund.
2.7. «In written form» — letters, telegrams, telexes, faxes and any record, made by electronic media.
2.8. «Values, valuables, jewels» — gold and silver bars, coins, money, negotiable documents, precious gems, jewelry, antiques, pictures, works of art and other such property.
2.9. «Dangerous cargoes» — cargoes, officially classified as hazardous, and cargoes, which can become dangerous, inflammable, toxic by their nature, as well as cargoes, which can cause damage to nature and the environment.
3. Contract of forwarding
3.1. The forwarding contract shall be concluded in written form.
3.2. Under the forwarding contract the forwarder undertakes, for reimbursement and at the customer’s expense, to perform and organize the performance of services, stipulated in the forwarding contract, related to the delivery of cargoes to the customer in a direct or combined (multimodal) message.
3.3. The forwarding contract may stipulate obligations of the forwarder to organize the carriage of cargo by vehicle and by route, selected by the forwarder or the customer, the obligation of the forwarder to conclude a contract of carriage of cargo on behalf of the customer or on its own behalf, to ensure shipping and receipt of cargo, the receipt of documents, required for export, import, transit of cargo, execution of customs and other formalities, verification of quality, quantity and condition of cargo, its loading and discharging, payment of fees, duties and other expenses, as well as performance of other works and services, connected with the carriage of cargo. These rules also apply in cases, when the forwarder performs obligations of a carrier under the contract.
3.4. Under the forwarding contract the customer undertakes to reimburse to the forwarder all expenses and costs, incurred in the execution of the contract, and to pay to the forwarder an agreed commission.
3.5. If the performance of its obligations by the forwarder is at risk of failure due to possible interferences, obstructions or any risks, including danger to condition of cargoes, and if such risk of failure wasn’t caused by fault or negligence of the forwarder and cannot be prevented by taking reasonable measures and efforts, the forwarder shall have the right to refuse carriage of cargoes under the concluded contract and, as far as possible, to transfer these cargoes or their part to the customer in a place, which, at the forwarder’s opinion, is safe, convenient and suitable for such action. In this case the liability of the forwarder in respect of such cargo must be terminated, and the forwarder shall have the right to get a commission and compensation, agreed under the contract, and the customer is obliged to pay additional costs and expenses, arising from the above mentioned circumstances.
4. Forwarding documents. In order to perform their activity, forwarders – members of the Association, with the permission of the management of the Association, can use forms of forwarding documents, worked out by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA). The right to use such forms of documents is given by the Association upon condition of admission of the forwarder as an individual member of FIATA. Forwarding documents of FIATA include: — Forwarding order; — Shipper’s Intermodal Weight Certificate; — Shipper’s declaration on carriage of dangerous cargoes; — Shipper’s warehouse receipt; — Forwarder’s certificate of receipt; — Forwarder’s certificate of transport; — IATA air waybill, used by forwarders; — Negotiable consignment note of a combined carriage; — Non-negotiable consignment note of a combined carriage.
5. Order for forwarding (a forwarding order)
5.1. A forwarding order means a document issued by the customer to the forwarder for the organization of carriage and rendering forwarding services to the customer. A forwarding order may be issued either within the framework of the concluded forwarding contract or on a onetime basis. A general form of a forwarding order shall be worked out by the Freight Forwarders Association of the Russian Federation, taking into account recommendations of FIATA, and can be issued to the forwarder at its request. 5.2. If a forwarding order is issued by the customer within the framework of the contract signed between the customer and the forwarder, and if agreed rates of tariff are available, the forwarder begins the execution of this order immediately upon its receipt.
5.3. If a forwarding order is placed by the customer as a separate instruction, then the forwarder’s confirmation of this order shall be required. A forwarding order confirmed by the forwarder shall be regarded as a concluded contract for freight forwarding.
5.4. A forwarding order shall be issued in written form: orders, transmitted by telex, by cable or in a form of fax and electronic means shall be deemed as issued in written form.
5.5. In case of urgent execution of a forwarding order the forwarder may accept this order in verbal form over the telephone on condition of obligatory issuance of a written order later on. Until the forwarder has received written confirmation the customer shall assume all risks involved in inaccurate or incomplete transmission of the order.
5.6. If on receipt of a written confirmation of the order transmitted by telephone a discrepancy is found out between the verbal and the written order, the forwarder shall immediately inform the customer about this discrepancy and request it to give more precise definitions to the instructions.
5.7. Any changes or amendments to forwarding orders shall only be made in written form.
5.8. The forwarding order issued to the forwarder must contain all the information required for its proper execution. The forwarder is not responsible for the possible consequences entailed by the provision of inaccurate or incomplete information.
6.1. The forwarder shall not verify the weight and the number of packages of the cargoes received by the carrier from the customer or by the customer from the carrier, unless stipulated otherwise in a special agreement. The number of packages shall be ascertained only if the cargo is taken in charge to the forwarder’s storage or is shipped from the forwarder’s storage.
6.2. Cargoes that can cause damage to other cargoes (dangerous cargoes) or perishable cargoes shall not be accepted by the forwarder in the absence of a written order. If such cargoes are transferred to the forwarder without special indications, the customer shall assume responsibility for all losses that may be caused in connection with carriage of these cargoes.
6.3. Upon receipt of the order for carriage of dangerous cargoes, the forwarder can offer the customer to fill the FIATA Declaration on carriage of dangerous cargoes. Forms of mentioned declarations shall be provided to the forwarder by the management of the Freight Forwarders Association of the Russian Federation.
6.4. At the request of the customer, the forwarder can issue forms of documents of FIATA on received cargoes.
7. Method and route of transportation. The forwarder shall provide services in accordance with the order, received from the customer. If the order is inaccurate or incomplete, or doesn’t correspond to the contract, the forwarder shall have the right to act at risk and expense of the customer as it deems appropriate in the current situation. Unless otherwise agreed, the forwarder may organize a carriage on deck or under it without notifying the customer, select or replace a vehicle, a route of carriage, an order of processing of goods, their storage, stowage and transportation on the basis of protection of the interests of the customer.
8.1. Cargo insurance may be carried out by the forwarder only with written consent of the customer. In this case insurance shall be carried out with account of exceptions and conditions of policies of insurance companies, which assume risks.
8.2. When issuing forms of forwarding documents of FIATA to the customer, the forwarder is obliged to insure its liability.
9. Forwarder’s rights and obligations. The forwarder shall have the right:
9.1. Invite third parties for the execution of the order.
9.2. Effect carriage of cargoes with its own means of transportation. In this case the forwarder shall conclude with the customer a contract of carriage.
9.3. Offer the customer a combined (multimodal) method of transportation and act as a contracting carrier. In this case the forwarder shall issue a document of combined (multimodal) transportation – a consignment note or an invoice of FIATA, by agreement with the customer, and the relations between the forwarder and the customer shall be regulated by the provisions of these documents.
9.4. Demand from the customer the reimbursement of all expenses that has incurred in pursuance of the order and the payment of the agreed commission. The forwarder shall be obliged to:
9.5. Execute the customer’s order with proper care and diligence in the interests of the customer.
9.6. Strictly follow the customer’s instructions. If the customer’s instructions interfere with the economical and safe shipment of cargoes, the forwarder must immediately bring this to the customer’s attention. If the customer insists on its instructions, the forwarder shall carry out the order, with all risks being placed on the customer.
9.7. Should the forwarder be in no position to completely or partially execute the order for reasons beyond its control, the execution of the order shall be postponed for a period commensurate with the time these reasons are in action. The forwarder must immediately inform the customer about the impossibility of execution of the order.
10. Forwarder’s liability
10.1. Liability of the forwarder, acting as the customer’s agent.
10.1.1. The forwarder is obliged, it is its duty to execute the customer’s order with due diligence and responsibility. The forwarder shall be liable and obliged, if it doesn’t show due diligence and doesn’t take reasonable measures, to compensate cargoes and reimburse direct financial losses, arising from a breach by the forwarder of its duty and obligation to act with due diligence and responsibility.
10.1.2. The forwarder shall not be liable for acts and omissions of a third party (carriers, warehouse owners, warehouse workers, stevedores, port authorities, port workers, other forwarders), if the forwarder has shown due diligence and responsibility when selecting such third parties, issuing orders and monitoring the execution of its order.
10.2. Liability of the forwarder, acting as a customer.
10.2.1. Liability of the forwarder, acting as a contracting carrier. The forwarder shall be liable as a customer not only in cases when it actually performs carriage with its own means of transportation (an actual carrier), but also when the forwarder issues its own carriage document, or when the forwarder otherwise has expressed its intention to assume liability of a carrier (a contracting carrier). However the forwarder shall not be liable as a carrier, if the customer has obtained a carriage document, issued by a person other than the forwarder, and if within as reasonable time the customer has not proved that the forwarder, however, is liable as a carrier.
10.2.2. Liability of the forwarder, acting as a customer when providing other services. In respect of other services, not related to the carriage of cargoes, such as storage, warehousing, processing, packing, delivery of cargoes, as well as additional works related to the above mentioned services, the forwarder shall be liable as a customer in cases: – if these services were performed by itself, using its own funds or its employees – if the forwarder has expressed a clear intention to assume the obligation and be liable as a customer. In both cases the liability of the forwarder shall be confirmed by the document, issued by the forwarder, its signature and seal.
10.2.3. The forwarder, acting as a customer, shall be liable for acts and omissions of the third party, hired by it for performance of the contract of carriage or other services, to the same extent, to which it would be liable, if such acts and omissions were made by the forwarder itself. In this case rights and obligations of the forwarder shall be subject to provisions of corresponding regulations, regarding the means of transport and type of services, for provision of which there is a clearly expressed consent.
10.3. In all the above mentioned cases, the forwarder shall be liable for actual damages, caused to the customer by improper execution of the order, if this happened by its fault.
10.4. The forwarder shall not be liable: for valuables or dangerous cargoes, if they are not declared to the forwarder while concluding the forwarding contract; for damages, arising from non-compliance with the terms of delivery, unless such liability is clearly expressed in writing; for any direct or indirect damages, incurred as a result of loss of profits, market.
11. Appraisal of damages. The value of cargo shall be determined in accordance with the current stock exchange price for a cargo; if there is no such price, then in accordance with the current market price; if there is no stock exchange nor market price, the value of a cargo shall be determined by reference to a normal value of cargo of the same kind and quality.
12. Limits of the forwarder’s liability
12.1. For non-performance or improper performance of obligations under the forwarding contract the forwarder shall be liable before the customers on the grounds and to the extent, determined in accordance with the rules of Chapter 25 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation.
12.2. When working with documents of FIATA, the forwarder may be liable for loss of goods and damages, caused to goods in the amount, exceeding the equivalent of two (2) units of Special Drawing Rights per kilogram of gross weight of lost or damaged goods, unless a larger amount is demanded from the customer, that the forwarder is liable before.
12.3. If the forwarder is liable for damages, connected with the delay in delivery of cargo, then such liability shall be limited with an amount, not exceeding actual damages for this delay.
12.4. Notwithstanding the preceding articles, the limits of the forwarder’s liability for any loss or damage in each case shall not exceed the amount, established by Russian regulations, unless a larger sum is demanded from the customer of the forwarder, than the forwarder is liable before.
12.5. If the cargo wasn’t delivered to the recipient within 90 calendar days after the date, when this cargo must be delivered, the customer can deem the cargo lost, if there is no evidence to the contrary.
12.б. If the forwarder wasn’t given the notice about the loss of cargo or damages, caused to the cargo by a person, authorized to receive this cargo, in the moment of transfer of the cargo to it, then such transfer shall be an actual evidence of the delivery of cargo in good condition and integrity. In cases when the loss or damage is not apparent, the same rule of actual delivery of cargo shall be recognized, if, within six calendar days after the date of receipt of cargo, there was no written notice from the recipient about the loss or damage of the cargo.
12.7. In respect of all other losses and damages, arising from services, provided by the forwarder to the customer, or services, which the forwarder has undertaken to provide to the customer, claims must be presented to the forwarder in writing within 14 days from the date when the customer became aware that there was a need to present such a claim. If within the specified time limits the claim wasn’t presented to the forwarder, it shall be deemed invalid and fully rejected, except when the customer proves that for reasons beyond its control it couldn’t present this claim, and that it presented the claim as soon as there was a reasonable possibility. 13. Limitation of action
13.1. Unless otherwise clearly and expressly stated, the forwarder shall be released from the responsibility under the present rules after a period of nine months after the delivery of cargoes or after the date, when these cargoes must be deemed delivered, or from the date, when the customer had the right to deem these cargoes lost or not delivered. In respect of other damages, other than loss or damage of cargoes, the period of nine months shall be calculated from the date when it is established that the forwarder failed to fulfill its obligations, and when such failure has given the right to present a claim to the forwarder.
14. Forwarder’s liability for acts of a third party, invited by it for the execution of the forwarding contract. 14.1. The forwarder shall be responsible for acts of any third party, invited by it for the execution of the forwarding contract. In this case the total liability of the forwarder and of the invited participant of the execution of the forwarding contract shall not exceed limits of the liability, related to this type of services in accordance with a clearly expressed agreement between the forwarder and the customer, or limits, arising from the present General conditions.
15. Right of pledge
15.1. At any time and under the current legislation the forwarder shall have the right of pledge for cargoes and documents, related to cargoes, to any amount payable to the forwarder by the customer, including costs of warehousing and storage, as well as compensation of all expenses, incurred by the forwarder.
15.2. The forwarder may retain a pledge in any reasonable way, which, at the forwarder’s opinion, is convenient for such purposes.
16. Customer’s rights and obligations
16.1. The customer shall have the right to demand from the forwarder the execution of the order accepted by it in a proper manner, with due diligence and care of an honest entrepreneur, within established time limits and in the interests of the customer.
16.2. The customer shall have the right to withdraw an earlier issued order, with an obligatory reimbursement to the forwarder of actual expenses, related to the execution of the order.
16.3. The customer shall assume all costs and expenses, related to actions of the forwarder in the interests of the customer in unforeseen circumstances.
16.4. The customer is obliged to provide the forwarder with all necessary information about the cargo in order to perform forwarding, as well as all documents, required for the execution of the order, in time. To indicate special properties of the cargo, which can cause damage to other cargoes, people, the environment, as well as to draw attention to exposure of the cargo to fast spoilage and decomposition.
16.5. The customer shall ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information about the cargo, provided to the forwarder, paying special attention to properties, concerning general nature of the cargo, its marking, weight, volume, quantity and, if necessary, to the degree of danger of the cargo.
16.6. The customer is obliged to reimburse to the forwarder all costs and expenses, incurred by it in executing the order for forwarding the cargo, except for cases, specified in the paragraph 10.1.1.
16.7. The customer is obliged to reimburse to the forwarder all claims, presented to it, arising from general average, and, at the forwarder’s request, to give guarantees, which ensure settle of such claims.
16.8. The customer is obliged to pay to the forwarder the agreed commission in accordance with the forwarding contract. 17. Customer’s liability
17.1. The customer shall be liable before the forwarder for all losses, damages, costs, expenses and official fees, incurred by the forwarder due to incomplete information or inaccurate order, issued to the forwarder by it or by any person, acting on its behalf, or to any other person, that the forwarder can be liable before, about cargoes, which caused death or injury to a man, damages to property, to the environment or any other loss. 17.2. The customer shall be liable for ineffective time of vehicles under loading or discharging or in expectation of loading/discharging, caused by wrongful acts or omissions of the customer, as well as by untimely reception or pickup of cargo from warehouses of the forwarder in the amount of penalties, presented by the carrier.
18. Claims and actions. Unless otherwise is stipulated, disputes and disagreements between the forwarder and the customer, arising from the execution of the contract or the forwarding order, shall be regulated by the current legislation of Russian Federation and terms and conditions of the contract for forwarding.
19. Binding force of General conditions. General conditions have legal force and apply only if they don’t contradict provisions of international conventions and Russian laws, governing forwarding activities and forwarding services.
20. The present General conditions cancel effect of General conditions of activities of Russian international freight forwarders of April 18, 1995.