A Review on Guadalajara Convention – 1961

This convention is:

Supplementary to the Warsaw convention for the unification of the certain rules relating to the International Carriage by air performed by a Person other than the contracting carrier, signed at Guadalajara on 18 September 1961.

NOTING that the Warsaw Convention does not contain particular rules relating to international carriage by air performed by a person who is not a party to the agreement of carriage

CONSIDERING that it is therefore desirable to formulate rules to apply in such circumstances.

In Article 1 in this convention, definition of “Warsaw Convention” in this convention and definition of “Contracting Carrier” and “Actual Carrier” stated as below:

  • (a) “Warsaw Convention” means the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules Relating to International Carriage by Air signed at Warsaw on 12 October 1929, or the Warsaw Convention as amended at The Hague, 1955, according to whether the carriage under the agreement referred to in paragraph (b) is governed by the one or by the other


  • (b) “contracting carrier” means a person who as a principal makes an agreement for carriage governed by the Warsaw Convention with a passenger or consignor or with a person acting on behalf of the passenger or consignor;


  • (c) “actual carrier” means a person other than the contracting carrier, who, by virtue of authority from the contracting carrier, performs the whole or part of the carriage contemplated in paragraph (b) but who is not with respect to such part a successive carrier within the meaning of the Warsaw Convention. Such authority is presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary


Article 2 states that both contracting carrier and actual carrier shall be subject to the rules of the Warsaw convention.

Article 3 states that:

  • The acts and omissions of the actual carrier and of his servants and agents acting within the scope of their employment shall, in relation to the carriage performed by the actual carrier, be deemed to be also those of the contracting carrier


  • In item 2 of this article, the acts and omissions of the contracting carrier, in relation to the carriage performed by the actual carrier shall be deemed to be also those of the actual carrier.


Nevertheless, no such act or omission shall subject the actual carrier to liability exceeding the limits specified in Article 22 of the Warsaw Convention.


Any special agreement under which the contracting carrier assumes obligations not imposed by the Warsaw Convention or any waiver of rights conferred by that Convention or any special declaration of interest in delivery at destination contemplated in Article 22 of the said Convention, shall not affect the actual carrier unless agreed to by him.


Here we can find a useful hint;

In article 22 of Warsaw convention, if the consignor has made, at the time when the package was handed over to the carrier, a special declaration of the value at delivery, MEANS: the value at destination.

The reason is, here in Guadalajara convention clearly states that, “in delivery at destination”  

Article 4 states that:

  • Any complaint to be made or order to be given under the Warsaw Convention to the carrier shall have the same effect whether addressed to the contracting carrier or to the actual carrier. Nevertheless, orders referred to in Article 12 of the Warsaw Convention shall only be effective if addressed to the contracting carrier.

This means that the orders of shipper to return the goods, change destination, change consignee name on the AWB and … as stated in Article 12 of Warsaw convention is only effective when it is addressed to “contracting carrier”.

Article 5 states that:

  • In relation to the carriage performed by the actual carrier, any servant or agent of that carrier or of the contracting carrier shall, if he proves that he acted within the scope of his employment, be entitled to avail himself of the limits of liability which are applicable under this Convention to the carrier whose servant or agent he is unless it is proved that he acted in a manner which, under the Warsaw Convention, prevents the limits of liability from being invoked.

Article 6 states that the amounts recoverable from that carrier and the contracting carrier, shall not exceed the highest amount which could be awarded against either the contracting carrier or the actual carrier under this Convention.

Article 7 states that:

  • In relation to the carriage performed by the actual carrier, an action for damages may be brought, at the option of the plaintiff, against that carrier or the contracting carrier, or against both together or separately. If the action is brought against only one of those carriers, that carrier shall have the right to require the other carrier to be joined in the proceedings, the procedure and effects being governed by the law of the court seised of the case.

Article 8 states that:

  • Any action for damages contemplated in Article VII of this Convention must be brought, at the option of the plaintiff, either before a court in which an action may be brought against the contracting carrier, as provided in Article 28 of the Warsaw Convention, or before the court having jurisdiction at the place where the actual carrier is ordinarily resident or has his principal place of business.

Article 9 states that:

  • Any contractual provision tending to relieve the contracting carrier or the actual carrier of liability under this Convention or to fix a lower limit than that which is applicable according to this Convention shall be null and void …