The coming out party for the Rotterdam Rules may already be their farewell. Only 16 nations signed on to the new Convention at the signing ceremony this week in Rotterdam.
The United States, not surprisingly, was among the major trading nations to sign on, along with several European countries: Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo rounded out the list of signatories.
Together these nations account for approximately one-third of world trade, accordingly to the Journal of Commerce.
Prior to attending, Canada’s Ministry of Transport announced that it would not be signing on to the Convention at this time. The UK, Australia, Germany and Finland are among nations taking the same position.
It is important to recall that ratification, not signature, is what counts: the Convention will come into force one year after 20 nations have deposited their ratifying instruments.