The Contracting Parties
recognizing the need to maintain a high level of safety of human
life in the handling, stacking and transporting of containers,
mindful of the need to facilitate international container transport,
recognizing, in this context, the advantages of formalizing common
international safety requirements,
considering that this end may best be achieved by the conclusion of
have decided to formalize structural requirements to ensure safety
in the handling, stacking and transporting of containers in the
course of normal operations, and to this end
have agreed as follows:
General Obligation under the present Convention
The Contracting Parties undertake to give effect to the provisions
of the present Convention and the Annexes hereto, which shall
constitute an integral part of the present Convention.
For the purpose of the present Convention, unless
expressly provided otherwise:
1. "Container" means an article of transport eqipment
of a permanent
character and accordingly strong enough to be
suitable for repeated use;
designed to facilitate the transport of goods, by
one or more modes of transport, without intermediate
designed to be
secured and/or readily handled, having corner
fittings for these purposes;
of a size such that
the area enclosed by the four outer bottom corners
at least 14 sq.m.
(150 sq.ft.) or
at least 7 sq.m.
(75 sq.ft.) if it is fitted with upward corner
the term "Container" includes neither vehicles nor
packaging; however, containers when carried on chassis
2. "Corner fittings" means an arrangement of
apertures and faces at the upward and/or bottom of a
container for the purposes of handing, stacking and/or
3. "Administration" means the Government of a
Contracting Party under whose authority containers are
4. "Approved" means approved by the
5. "Approval" means the decision by an
Administration that a design type or a container is safe
within the terms of the present Convention.
6. "International transport" means transport
between points of departure and destination situated in
the territory of two countries to at least one of which
the present Convention applies. The present Convention
shall also apply when part of a transport operation
between two countries takes place in the territory of a
country to which the present Convention applies.
7. ""Cargo" means any goods, wares, merchandise
and articles of every kind whatsoever carried in the
8. "New Container" means a Container the
construction of which was commenced on or after the date
of entry into force of the present Convention.
9. "Existing Container" means a container which
is not a new container.
10. "Owner" means the owner as provided for under
the national law of the Contracting Party or the lessee
or bailee, if an agreement between the parties provides
for the exercise of the owner's responsibility for
maintenance and examination of the container by such
lessee or baillee.
11. "Type of container" means the design type
approved by the Administration.
12. "Type-series container" means any container
manufactured in accordance with the approved design type.
13. "Prototype" means a container representative
of those manufactured or to be manufactured in a design
14. "Maximum Operating Gross Weight or Rating" or
"R" (means the maximum allowable combined weight of the
container and its cargo.
15. "Tare Weight" means the weight of the empty
containers including permanently affixed ancillary
16. "Maximum Permissible Payload" or "P" means
the difference between maximum operating gross weight of
rating and tare weight.
1. The present
Convention applies to new and existing containers used
in international transport, excluding containers
specially designed for air transport.
Every new container shall be approved in accordance with the
provisions either for type-testing or for individual testing as
contained in Annex I.
existing container shall be approved in accordance with the
relevant provisions for approval of existing containers set out
in Annex I within 5 years from the date of entry into force of
the present Convention.
Prüfung, Besichtigung, Zulassung und
the enforcement of the provisions in Annex I every
Administration shall establish an effective procedure
for the testing, inspection and approval of containers
in accordance with the criteria established in the
present Convention, provided however that an
Administration may entrust such testing, inspection and
approval to organizations duly authorized by it.
Administration which entrusts such testing, inspection
and approval to an organization shall inform the
Secretary-General of the Inter-Governmental Maritime
Consultative Organization (hereinafter referred to as "the
Organization") for communication to Contracting Parties.
Application for approval may be made to the
Administration of any Contracting Party.
container shall be maintained in a safe condition in
accordance with the provisions of Annex I
5. If an
approved container does not in fact comply with the
requirements of Annexes I and II the Administration
concerned shall take such steps as it deems necessary to
bring the container into compliance with such
requirements or to withdraw the approval.
Acceptance of Approval
1. Approval under the authority of a Contracting
Party granted under the terms of the present Convention
shall be accepted by the other Contracting Parties for
all purposes covered bys the present Convention. It
shall e regarded by the other Contracting Parties as
having the same force as an approval issued by them.
Contracting Party shall not impose any other structural
safety requirements or tests on containers covered by
the present Convention, provided however that nothing in
the present Convention shall preclude the application of
provisions of national regulations or legislation or of
international agreements, prescribing additional
structural safety requirements or tests for containers
specially designed for the transport of dangerous goods,
or for those features unique to containers carrying bulk
liquids or for containers when carried by air. The term
"dangerous goods" shall have that meaning assigned to it
by international agreements.
1. Every container which has been approved under
article III shall be subject to control in the territory
of the Contracting Parties by officers duly authorized
by such Contracting Parties by officers duly authorized
by such Contracting Parties. This control shall be
limited to verifying that the container carries a valid
Safety Approval Plate as required by the present
Convention, unless there is significant evidence for
believing that the condition of the container is such as
to create an obvious risk to safety. In that case the
officer carrying out the control shall only exercise it
in so far as it may be necessary to ensure that the
container is restored to a safe condition before it
continues in service.
Where the container appears to have become unsafe as a
result of a defect which may have existed when the
container was approved, the Administration responsible
for that approval shall be informed by the Contracting
Party which detected the defect.
Signature, ratification, acceptance, approval and
1. The present Convention shall be open for
signature until 15 January 1973 at the Office of the
United Nations at Geneva and subsequently from 1
February 1973 until 31 December 1973 inclusive at the
Headquarters of the Organization at London by all States
Members of the United Nations or Members of any of the
Specialized Agencies or of the international Atomic
Energy Agency or Parties to the Statute of the
International Court of Justice, and by any other State
invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to
become a Party to the present Convention.
present Convention is subject to ratification,
acceptance or approval by States which have signed it.
present Convention shall remain open for accession by
any State referred to in paragraph 1.
Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General
of the Organization (hereinafter referred to as "the
Entry into force
The present Convention shall enter into force twelve
months from the date of the deposit of the tenth
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or
For each State ratifying, accepting, approving or
acceding to the present Convention after the deposit of
the tenth instrument of ratification, acceptance,
approval or accession, the present Convention shall
enter into force twelve months after the date of the
deposit by such State of its instrument of ratification,
acceptance, approval or accession.
Any State which becomes a Party to the present Convention after
the entry into force of an amendment shall, failing an
expression of a different intention by that State.
be considered as a Party to the Convention as
be considered as a Party to the unlamented
Convention in relation to any Party to the
Convention not bound by the amendment.
Procedure for amending any part or parts of the present
present Convention may be amended upon the proposal of a
Contracting Party by any of the procedures specified in
Amendment after consideration in the Organization:
Amendment by a Conference:
Upon the request of a Contracting Party, any
amendment proposed by it to the present Convention
shall be considered in the Organization. If adopted
by a majority of two-thirds of those present and
voting in the Maritime Safety Committee of the
Organization, to which all Contracting Parties shall
have been invited to participat and vote, such
amendment shall be communicated to all Members of
the Organization and all Contracting Parties at
least six months prior to its consideration by the
Assembly of the Organization. Any Contracting Party
which is not a Member of the Organization shall be
entitled to participate and vote when the amendment
is considered by the Assembly.
if adopted by a two-thirds majority of those present
and voting in the Assembly, and if such majority
includes a two-thirds majority of the Contracting
Parties present and voting, the amendment shall be
communicated by the Secretary-General to all
Contracting Parties for their acceptance.
Such amendment shall come into force twelve months
after the date on which it is accepted by two-thirds
of the contracting Parties. The amendment shall come
into force with respect to all Contracting Parties
except those which, before it comes into force, make
a declaration that they do not accept the amendment.
Upon the request of a Contracting Party, concurred in by
at least one-third of the Contracting Parties, a
Conference to which the States referred to in article
VII shall be invited will be convened by the
Special procedure for amending the Annexes
1. Any amendment to the Annexes proposed by a
Contracting Party shall be considered in the
Organization at the request of that Party.
adopted by a two-thirds majority of those present and
voting in the Maritime Safety Committee of the
Organization to which all Contracting Parties shall have
been invited to participate and to vote, and if such
majoity includes a two-thirds majority of the
Contracting Parties present and voting, such amendment
shall be communicated by the Secretary-General to all
Contracting Parties for their acceptance.
an amendment shall enter into force on a date to be
determined by the Maritime Safety Committee at the time
of its adoption unless, by a prior date determined by
the Maritime Safety Committee at the same time,
one-fifth or five of the Contracting Parties, whichever
number is less, notify the Secretary-General of their
objection to the amendment. Determination by the
Maritime Safety Committee of the dates referred to in
this paragraph shall be by a two-thirds majority of the
Contracting Parties present and voting.
entry into force any amendment shall, for all
Contracting Parties which have not objected to the
amendment, replace and supersede any previous provision
to which the amendment refers; an objection made by a
Contracting Party shall not be binding on other
Contracting Parties as to acceptance of containers to
which the present Convention applies.
Secretary-General shall inform all Contracting Parties
and Members of the Organization of any request and
communication under this article and the date on which
any amendment enters into force.
Where a proposed amendment to the Annexes has been
considered but not adopted by the Maritime Safety
Committee, any Contracting Party may request the
convening of a Conference to which the States referred
to in article VII shall be invited. Upon receipt of
notification of concurrence by at least one-third of the
other Contracting Parties such a Conference shall be
convened by the Secretary-General to consider amendments
to the Annexes.
1. Any Contracting Party may denounce the present
Convention by effecting the deposit of an instrument
with the Secretary-General. The denunciation shall take
effect one year from the date of such deposit with the
Contracting Party which has communicated an objection to
an amendment to the Annexes may denounce the present
Convention and such denunciation shall take effect on
the date of entry into force of such an amendment.
The present Convention shall cease to be in force if
the number of Contracting Parties is less than five for
any period of twelve consecutive months
Settlement of Disputes
1. Any dispute between two or more Contracting
Parties concerning the interpretation or application of
the present Convention which cannot be settled by
negotiation or other means of settlement shall, at the
request of one of them, be referred to an arbitration
tribunal composed as follows: each party to the dispute
shall appoint an arbitrator and these two arbitrators
shall appoint a third arbitrator, who shall be the
Chairman. If three months after receipt of a request,
one of the parties has failed to appoint an arbitrator
or if the arbitrators have failed to elect the Chairman,
any of the parties may request the Secretary-General to
appoint an arbitrator or the Chairman of the arbitration
decision of the arbitration tribunal established under
the provisions of paragraph 1 shall be binding on the
parties to the dispute.
arbitration tribunal shall determine its own rules of
Decisions of the arbitration tribunal, both as to its
procedure and its place of meeting and as to any
controversy laid before it, shall be taken by majority
controversy which may arise between the parties to the
dispute as regards the interpretation and execution of
the award may be submitted by any of the parties for
judgment to the arbitration tribunal which made the
1. Reservations to the present Conventions shall be
permitted, excepting those relating to the provisions of
articles I-VI, XII, the present article and the Annexes
on condition that such reservations are communicated in
writing. an, if communicated before the deposit of the
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession, are confirmed in that instrument. The
Secretary-General shall communicate such reservations to
all States referred to in article VII.
Any reservations made in accordance with paragraph 1:
modifies for the Contracting Party which made the
reservation the provisions of the present Convention
to which the reservation relates to the extent of
the reservation; and
modifies those provisions to the same extent for the
other Contracting Parties in their relations with
the Contracting Party which entered the reservation
Any Contracting Party which has formulated a reservation
under paragraph 1 may withdraw it at any time by
notification to the Secretary-General.
In addition to the notifications and communications
provided for in articles IX, X and XIV, the
Secretary-General shall notify all the States referred
to in article VII of the following:
ratifications, acceptance, approvals and accessions
under article VII;
the dates of
entry into force of the present Convention in
accordance with article VII;
the date of
entry into force of amendments to the present
Convention in accordance with articles IX and X;
under article XI;
termination of the present Convention under article
The original of the present Convention, of which the
Chinese, German, French, Russian and Spanish texts are
equally authentic, shall be deposited with the
Secretary-General, who shall communicate certified true
copies to all States referred to in article VII.
whereof the undersigned Plenipotentiaries, being duly
authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have
signed the present Convention.
Done at Geneva
this second day of December, one thousand nine hundred