Earlier this month, the Road Haulage Association released a major update to their Conditions of Carriage. These changes impact upon both hauliers and their insurers, directly affecting their operations. At Transmode, we are on the pulse, ensuring that our clients and connections are kept up to date with the latest changes.
RHA’s Conditions of Carriage are a set of terms and conditions that detail the haulier’s relationship with their customers, setting out the responsibilities of the customer in regards to the collection, transport and delivery of goods. These conditions ensure hauliers and their insurers are meeting an industry standard in regards to contracts and their liabilities.
It is essential that hauliers incorporate the new and improved Conditions of Carriage into their consignment contracts. If you fail to adhere to them, you can be held responsible for the total value of a load as well as losses arising from damages or failed delivery. It is an important safety-net should problems arise. Moreover, the Conditions of Carriage offer assurance to customers that you are committed to industry standards.
Whilst the overriding purpose of the RHA Conditions of Carriage remain the same, the new 2020 changes set out a number of revisions that fall in favour of the carrier. We will summarise each of these changes, ensuring that our community can implement required changes and maintain their liability cover.
In the first condition, the RHA has introduced and defined two new terms. Firstly, the term ‘demurrage’ has been redefined, so that it encompasses the extra costs which members might charge in the event of a detention of a vehicle.
Secondly, the definition of a ‘Force Majeure Event’ has been specifically outlined in a new clause. This solidifies the stipulation that RHA members cannot be found liable for an act of God, riots, civil disruption and other events that can’t have been anticipated.
This condition has changed significantly. It outlines a new default position, that the customer is now responsible for loading the goods that will be loaded onto the RHA member’s vehicle. Moreover, the consignee is responsible for unloading these goods from the vehicle.
These changes ensure that the haulier cannot be found liable for loss or damage of goods during the loading and unloading of the vehicle.
This new condition stipulates that the customer warrants that the goods which are moved by a haulier cannot pollute the environment or affect human health in the event that it escapes from its packaging.
It also outlines that RHA members should not need official consent to move the goods, as all licences and approvals should have already been acquired and they should already have all the necessary information to comply with the legal obligations of the load.
This condition stipulates that where a contract is cancelled at any point during its performance, the customer has to pay the RHA member all costs and expenses that were incurred before the job was cancelled.
In this condition, the RHA has introduced a list of specific excluded liabilities, which includes any fines imposed on the customer as a result of indirect or consequential loss. However, it’s important to note that the general liabilities still remain steadfast.
Often viewed as the most contentious clause of the Conditions of Carriage, this condition ensures that The Lien is activated when a customer owes overdue amounts to the RHA member.
The changes to this condition have made it crystal clear that the RHA member has the right to hold the goods and sell them on in the event of customer arrears.
It is evident that these new conditions will offer more protection to the carrier. However, many are anticipating pushback from both commercial and legal customers against this increased protection.
What’s next for hauliers?
It’s essential that all RHA members are aware of the new changes and implement them in their consignment contacts. For more detailed information about the new changes, you can refer to the RHA’s member instructions.
At Transmode, we ensure that all our contracts are in line with the most up-to-date Conditions of Carriage. Get in touch today to