CARRIAGE BY AIR ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title and the date of operation.

2. Provisions of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air to apply to Sri Lanka.

3. Notification of reservations and States Parties.

4. Action for compensation.

5. Modification of Convention.

6. Review of limits.

7. Advance payments.

8. Interpretation.

9. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

SCHEDULE

29 of 2018.

AN ACT to give effect to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air; and to provide for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto.

Preamble

WHEREAS the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air was done at Montreal on the Twenty eighth day of May One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-Nine:

AND WHEREAS Sri Lanka intends to accede to the aforesaid Convention:

AND WHEREAS it is necessary to make legal provisions to give effect to Sri Lanka’s obligations under the aforesaid Convention.

[Date of Commencement: On Notice]

1. Short title and the date of operation.

This Act may be cited as the Carriage by Air Act and shall come into operation on such date as the Minister, by Order published in the Gazette, certifies as the date on which the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) adopted at Montreal on May 28, 1999 enters into force in respect of Sri Lanka.

2. Provisions of the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air to apply to Sri Lanka.

The Articles contained in the Schedule to this Act, being the provisions of the Convention shall in so far as they relate to the rights and liabilities of carriers, passengers, consignors, consignees and other persons and subject to the provisions of this Act have the force of law in Sri Lanka in relation to any carriage by air to which the Convention applies, irrespective of the nationality of the aircraft performing that carriage.

3. Notification of reservations and States Parties.

(1) The Minister may, from time to time by Notification published in the Gazette specify any reservation under Article 57 of the Convention as may be declared to the Depositary.

(2) The Minister may, from time to time by Order published in the Gazette notify the States and territories of the States Parties to the Convention and the reservations made by such States Parties, and agreed stopping place within the territory of non-State Parties.

4. Action for compensation.

Notwithstanding anything contrary in any written law, no action for compensation shall be instituted against the carrier under any contract or in tort or otherwise except subject to the provisions of the Convention and such limits of liabilities as are set out therein.

5. Modification of Convention.

(1) The provisions of the Schedule to this Act shall mutatis mutandis apply to such carriage by air, not being international carriage by air as defined therein.

(2) Nothing in PART II (WARSAW-HAGUE CARRIAGE BY AIR CONVENTION) of the Air Navigation (Special Provisions) Act, shall apply in respect of any carriage by air to which the Convention applies.

6. Review of limits.

Upon the receipt of any notification relating to any revision of limits under Article 24 of the Convention, the Minister may, from time to time by Order published in the Gazette, specify the limits of liability as may be reviewed by the Depositary.

7. Advance payments.

In the case of aircraft accidents resulting in death or injury of passengers, the carrier shall make advance payments as provided by Article 28 of the Convention.

8. Interpretation.

In this Act unless the context otherwise requires—

“Minister” means the Minister to whom the subject of Civil Aviation is assigned.

9. Sinhala text to prevail in case of inconsistency.

In the event of any inconsistency between the Sinhala and Tamil texts of this Act, the Sinhala text shall
prevail.

SCHEDULE

[Section 2]

CONVENTION FOR THE UNIFICATION OF CERTAIN RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL CARRIAGE BY AIR
(Montreal, 28 May 1999)

CHAPTER I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1
Scope of Application

1. This Convention applies to all international carriage of persons, baggage or cargo performed by aircraft for reward. It applies equally to gratuitous carriage by aircraft performed by an air transport undertaking.

2. For the purposes of this Convention, the expression “international carriage” means any carriage in which, according to the agreement between the parties, the place of departure and the place of destination, whether or not there be a break in the carriage or a transhipment, are situated either within the territories of two States Parties, or within the territory of a single State Party if there is an agreed stopping place within the territory of another State, even if that State is not a State Party. Carriage between two points within the territory of a single State Party without an agreed stopping place within the territory of another State is not international carriage for the purposes of this Convention.

3. Carriage to be performed by several successive carriers is deemed, for the purposes of this Convention, to be one undivided carriage if it has been regarded by the parties as a single operation, whether it had been agreed upon under the form of a single contract or of a series of contracts, and it does not lose its international character merely because one contract or a series of contracts is to be performed entirely within the territory of the same State.

4. This Convention applies also to carriage as set out in Chapter V, subject to the terms contained therein.

Article 2
Carriage Performed by State and Carriage of Postal Items

1. This Convention applies to carriage performed by the State or by legally constituted public bodies provided it falls within the conditions laid down in Article 1.

2. In the carriage of postal items, the carrier shall be liable only to the relevant postal administration in accordance with the rules applicable to the relationship between the carriers and the postal administrations.

3. Except as provided in paragraph 2 of this Article, the provisions of this Convention shall not apply to the carriage of postal items.

CHAPTER II
DOCUMENTATION AND DUTIES OF THE PARTIES RELATING TO THE CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS, BAGGAGE AND CARGO

Article 3
Passengers and Baggage

1. In respect of carriage of passengers, an individual or collective document of carriage shall be delivered containing:

(a) an indication of the places of departure and destination;

(b) if the places of departure and destination are within the territory of a single State Party, one or more agreed stopping places being within the territory of another State, an indication of at least one such stopping place.

2. Any other means which preserves the information indicated in paragraph 1 may be substituted for the delivery of the document referred to in that paragraph. If any such other means is used, the carrier shall offer to deliver to the passenger a written statement of the information so preserved.

3. The carrier shall deliver to the passenger a baggage identification tag for each piece of checked baggage.

4. The passenger shall be given written notice to the effect that where this Convention is applicable it governs and may limit the liability of carriers in respect of death or injury and for destruction or loss of, or damage to, baggage, and for delay.

5. Non-compliance with the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs shall not affect the existence or the validity of the contract of carriage, which shall, nonetheless, be subject to the rules of this Convention including those relating to limitation of liability.

Article 4
Cargo

1. In respect of the carriage of cargo, an air waybill shall be delivered.

2. Any other means which preserves a record of the carriage to be performed may be substituted for the delivery of an air waybill. If such other means are used, the carrier shall, if so requested by the consignor, deliver to the consignor a cargo receipt permitting identification of the consignment and access to the information contained in the record preserved by such other means.

Article 5
Contents of Air Waybill or Cargo Receipt

The air waybill or the cargo receipt shall include:

(a) an indication of the places of departure and destination;

(b) if the places of departure and destination are within the territory of a single State Party, one or more agreed stopping places being within the territory of another State, an indication of at least one such stopping place; and

(c) an indication of the weight of the consignment.

Article 6
Document relating to the Nature of the Cargo

The consignor may be required, if necessary, to meet the formalities of customs, police and similar public authorities to deliver a document indicating the nature of the cargo. This provision creates for the carrier no duty, obligation or liability resulting therefrom.

Article 7
Description of Air Waybill

1. The air waybill shall be made out by the consignor in three original parts.

2. The first part shall be marked “for the carrier”; it shall be signed by the consignor. The second part shall be marked “for the consignee”; it shall be signed by the consignor and by the carrier. The third part shall be signed by the carrier who shall hand it to the consignor after the cargo has been accepted.

3. The signature of the carrier and that of the consignor may be printed or stamped.

4. If, at the request of the consignor, the carrier makes out the air waybill, the carrier shall be deemed, subject to proof to the contrary, to have done so on behalf of the consignor.

Article 8
Documentation for Multiple Packages

When there is more than one package:

(a) the carrier of cargo has the right to require the consignor to make out separate air waybills;

(b) the consignor has the right to require the carrier to deliver separate cargo receipts when the other means referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 4 are used.

Article 9
Non-Compliance with Documentary Requirements

Non-compliance with the provisions of Articles 4 to 8 shall not affect the existence or the validity of the contract of carriage, which shall, nonetheless, be subject to the rules of this Convention including those relating to limitation of liability.

Article 10
Responsibility for Particulars of Documentation

1. The consignor is responsible for the correctness of the particulars and statements relating to the cargo inserted by it or on its behalf in the air waybill or furnished by it or on its behalf to the carrier for insertion in the cargo receipt or for insertion in the record preserved by the other means referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 4. The foregoing shall also apply where the person acting on behalf of the consignor is also the agent of the carrier.

2. The consignor shall indemnify the carrier against all damage suffered by it, or by any other person to whom the carrier is liable, by reason of the irregularity, incorrectness or incompleteness of the particulars and statements furnished by the consignor or on its behalf.

3. Subject to the provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, the carrier shall indemnify the consignor against all damage suffered by it, or by any other person to whom the consignor is liable, by reason of the irregularity, incorrectness or incompleteness of the particulars and statements inserted by the carrier or on its behalf in the cargo receipt or in the record preserved by the other means referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 4.

Article 11
Evidentiary Value of Documentation

1. The air waybill or the cargo receipt is prima facie evidence of the conclusion of the contract, of the acceptance of the cargo and of the conditions of carriage mentioned therein.

2. Any statements in the air waybill or the cargo receipt relating to the weight, dimensions and packing of the cargo, as well as those relating to the number of packages, are prima facie evidence of the facts stated; those relating to the quantity, volume and condition of the cargo do not constitute evidence against the carrier except so far as they both have been, and are stated in the air waybill or the cargo receipt to have been, checked by it in the presence of the consignor, or relate to the apparent condition of the cargo.

Article 12
Right of Disposition of Cargo

1. Subject to its liability to carry out all its obligations under the contract of carriage, the consignor has the right to dispose of the cargo by withdrawing it at the airport of departure or destination, or by stopping it in the course of the journey on any landing, or by calling for it to be delivered at the place of destination or in the course of the journey to a person other than the consignee originally designated, or by requiring it to be returned to the airport of departure. The consignor must not exercise this right of disposition in such a way as to prejudice the carrier or other consignors and must reimburse any expenses occasioned by the exercise of this right.

2. If it is impossible to carry out the instructions of the consignor, the carrier must so inform the consignor forthwith.

3. If the carrier carries out the instructions of the consignor for the disposition of the cargo without requiring the production of the part of the air waybill or the cargo receipt delivered to the latter, the carrier will be liable, without prejudice to its right of recovery from the consignor, for any damage which may be caused thereby to any person who is lawfully in possession of that part of the air waybill or the cargo receipt.

4. The right conferred on the consignor ceases at the moment when that of the consignee begins in accordance with Article 13. Nevertheless, if the consignee declines to accept the cargo, or cannot be communicated with, the consignor resumes its right of disposition.

Article 13
Delivery of the Cargo

1. Except when the consignor has exercised its right under Article 12, the consignee is entitled, on arrival of the cargo at the place of destination, to require the carrier to deliver the cargo to it, on payment of the charges due and on complying with the conditions of carriage.

2. Unless it is otherwise agreed, it is the duty of the carrier to give notice to the consignee as soon as the cargo arrives.

3. If the carrier admits the loss of the cargo, or if the cargo has not arrived at the expiration of seven days after the date on which it ought to have arrived, the consignee is entitled to enforce against the carrier the rights which flow from the contract of carriage.

Article 14
Enforcement of the Rights of Consignor and Consignee

The consignor and the consignee can respectively enforce all the rights given to them by Articles 12 and 13, each in its own name, whether it is acting in its own interest or in the interest of another, provided that it carries out the obligations imposed by the contract of carriage.

Article 15
Relations of Consignor and Consignee or Mutual Relations of Third Parties

1. Articles 12, 13 and 14 do not affect either the relations of the consignor and the consignee with each other or the mutual relations of third parties whose rights are derived either from the consignor or from the consignee.

2. The provisions of Articles 12, 13 and 14 can only be varied by express provision in the air waybill or the cargo receipt.

Article 16
Formalities of Customs, Police or other Public Authorities

1. The consignor must furnish such information and such documents as are necessary to meet the formalities of customs, police and any other public authorities before the cargo can be delivered to the consignee. The consignor is liable to the carrier for any damage occasioned by the absence, insufficiency or irregularity of any such information or documents, unless the damage is due to the fault of the carrier, its servants or agents.

2. The carrier is under no obligation to enquire into the correctness or sufficiency of such information or documents.

CHAPTER III
LIABILITY OF THE CARRIER AND EXTENT OF COMPENSATION FOR DAMAGE

Article 17
Death and Injury of Passengers - Damage to Baggage

1. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger upon condition only that the accident which caused the death or injury took place on board the aircraft or in the course of any of the operations of embarking or disembarking.

2. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in case of destruction or loss of, or of damage to, checked baggage upon condition only that the event which caused the destruction, loss or damage took place on board the aircraft or during any period within which the checked baggage was in the charge of the carrier. However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent that the damage resulted from the inherent defect, quality or vice of the baggage. In the case of unchecked baggage, including personal items, the carrier is liable if the damage resulted from its fault or that of its servants or agents.

3. If the carrier admits the loss of the checked baggage, or if the checked baggage has not arrived at the expiration of twenty-one days after the date on which it ought to have arrived, the passenger is entitled to enforce against the carrier the rights which flow from the contract of carriage.

4. Unless otherwise specified, in this Convention the term “baggage” means both checked baggage and unchecked baggage.

Article 18
Damage to Cargo

1. The carrier is liable for damage sustained in the event of the destruction or loss of or damage to, cargo upon condition only that the event which caused the damage so sustained took place during the carriage by air.

2. However, the carrier is not liable if and to the extent it proves that the destruction or loss of, or damage to, the cargo resulted from one or more of the following:–

(a) inherent defect, quality or vice of that cargo;

(b) defective packing of that cargo performed by a person other than the carrier or its servants or agents;

(c) an act of war or an armed conflict;

(d) an act of public authority carried out in connection with the entry, exit or transit of the cargo.

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