The Road Haulage Association (RHA) have introduced an updated version of their  Conditions of Carriage.

These Conditions are widely recognised as the industry standard, and provide a framework which regulates the contract between hauliers and their customers. They protect carriers by limiting or excluding liability, and imposing time limits for bringing claims. By incorporating these Conditions, members of the RHA manage some of the legal risks associated with carrying goods for their customers.

What are the key changes?

The recent revision includes a number of changes which provide added protection to hauliers. A brief summary of the key changes is as follows:

  • The period of transit is redefined as commencing after the consignment has left the premises from which they were collected and ending upon arrival at the place of delivery, with the customer having risk in the goods outside this period (clause 7).
  • The list of excluded liabilities has been expanded, to include contractual penalties, loss of profits, and other types of consequential loss (clause 12).
  • A new definition of force majeure has been introduced to exclude the carrier’s liability in certain defined situations (clause 10.2(c).
  • Risk for loading and unloading has been placed with the customer /consignor /consignee by default. The carrier is excluded from being found liable for loss or damage done to goods that arise from the loading onto or unloading off the vehicle or from overloading the vehicle. Under these terms the customer would also indemnify the carrier against any loss, damage, death or injury that might arise during loading and/or unloading.
  • The term ‘demurrage’ has been clarified to take account of extra costs which carriers may wish to charge as a consequence of the detention of a vehicle (clause 1; see also clause 16).
  • A new requirement for the customer to pay the carrier’s incurred costs and expenses in the event of cancellation has been introduced (clause 9(5).
  • There is a new clause requiring the customer to provide warranties in respect of the safety of the consignment.
  • The Lien clause has been made clear so that there is no doubt that the carrier has the right to hold the goods and sell them on.

Further information is available on the RHA web site: https://www.rha.uk.net/news/2020-09-september/updated-conditions-of-carriage-from-the-rha