Chapter I. General Provisions
Art. 561. – Contract of carriage.
A contract of carriage is a contract whereby a person, called the carrier, undertakes for reward to carry persons, baggage or goods and to convey them to a specified place.
Art. 562. – Baggage.
1. Objects which a passenger causes to be carried with him, such as objects contained in trunks, baskets, hand-bags or other packages of a similar nature, shall be deemed to be baggage.
2. Objects which a passenger is allowed to carry with him and which are not registered by the carrier shall be deemed to be hand-baggage.
3. Objects which are entrusted to and taken over by the carrier shall be deemed to the registered baggage.
Art. 563. – Carriage by land.
The provisions of this Title shall apply to any person who undertakes for reward to carry persons, baggage or goods by land, in particular by road, railway or inland waterways such as rivers, canals or lakes.
Art. 564. – Carriage by air.
The provisions of Title II of this Book shall apply to the carriage by air of persons, baggage or goods.
Art. 565. – Carriage by sea.
The relevant provisions of the Maritime Code shall apply to the carriage by sea of persons, baggage or goods.
Art. 566. – Contract 01 carriage made by agent.
The provisions of Art. 2251 of the Civil Code shall apply to contract of carriage made by agents.
Chapter 2. Transport Titles
Section 1. Passenger’s Ticket
Art. 567. – Ticket may be required.
1. A contract of carriage of persons shall come into being where the parties agree. The carrier may require the passenger to procure for himself and to preserve until completion of the voyage a transport title such as a bill, ticket or season ticket.
2. Provisions may be made to the effect that a person who travels without a ticket shall be liable to pay a surcharge in addition to the cost of the journey.
3. The cost of transportation and the time of departure and arrival shall be specified on the passenger’s ticket.
Section 2. Luggage – Tickets
Art. 568. – Right of passenger.
The passenger may require the carrier to deliver to him in respect of registered baggage a luggage-ticket showing the date and place of issue, the place from and to which the baggage is to be carried, the number of pieces and the weight of the baggage, and the cost of transport unless it is included in the cost of the passenger’s transport.
Art. 569. – Purpose of luggage-ticket.
1. Unless the contrary is proved, a luggage-ticket shall be proof of the registration and conditions of transport of the baggage.
2. The provisions of this Title shall apply and the contract of carriage shall be valid and remain in force notwithstanding that there is no luggage-ticket or no valid ticket or the ticket has been lost. The carrier shall not hand the baggage to the person who requires it without a luggage-ticket unless such person can show that he is entitled to the baggage.
Section 3. Transport titles in respect of goods
Art. 570. – Transport title not issued, not valid or lost.
The provisions of this Title shall apply and the contract of carriage of goods shall be valid and remain in force notwithstanding that there is no valid ticket or the title has been lost.
Art. 571. – Issue of consignment note.
Any carrier of goods may require the sender to prepare and to hand to him a document called a consignment note. Any sender may require the carrier to accept such consignment note.
Art. 572. – Copies of consignment note.
1. Three copies of the consignment note shall be made.
2. The first copy shall be signed by the sender and shall remain with the carrier.
3. The second copy shall be signed by the sender and the carrier and shall remain with the goods.
4. The third copy shall be signed by the carrier and handed by the carrier to the sender after the goods have been accepted.
Art. 573. – Particulars in consignment note.
The consignment note shall show:
1. the date and place of issue;
2. the place from and to which the goods are to be carried;
3. the names and addresses of the sender and addressee;
4. the name of the carrier;
5. the means of transport;
6. the nature, number, volume or weight of the goods;
7. the distinguishing marks or numbers affixed on the parcels, if any;
8. the cost of transport, the time within which and the route whereby the goods are to be carried.
Art. 574. – Consignment note to order.
A consignment note may be made to order where the sender and the carrier agree.
Art. 575. – Other documents.
Where the sender and the carrier agree, a consignment note may be replaced by any other document, such as a receipt delivered by the carrier on the sender having made all appropriate statements.
Art. 576. – Effect of transport titles.
Unless the contrary is proved, a consignment note or receipt delivered by the carrier shall be proof of the making of the contract, of the receipt of the goods and of the nature, number, volume or weight of the goods.
Chapter 3. Rights and Duties of parties to a contract of carriage
Section 1. Rights and duties of sender and addressee
Art. 577. – Statements by sender.
1. Each piece of the consignment shall show:
a. the name and address of the sender and the addressee;
b. the place from and to which the goods are to be carried;
c. the nature, number, value or weight, of the goods;
d. the distinguishing marks or numbers affixed on the parcels, if any.
2. The sender shall be liable for any damage caused to the carrier or to a person for whom the carrier is responsible arising out of irregular, inaccurate or incomplete statements relating to the consignment.
Art. 578. – Packing.
1. Where the nature of the goods is such that packing is needed, the sender shall pack the goods so that they be not lost nor damaged nor likely to damage persons, baggage or other goods carried.
2. The sender shall be liable for any damage arising out of defective packing. The carrier shall be liable for such damage where he accepted to city the goods and he knew that they were not packed or the packing was defective.
Art. 579. – Right of sender to dispose of the goods.
1. Where he carries out all his duties under the contract of carriage, the sender may dispose of the goods, either by taking them back from the carrier or by stopping them during their transport or by causing them to be delivered during the transport before they arrive at the place of destination to a person other than the addressee named in the contract.
2. Where a transport title has been delivered to the sender, he may not dispose of the goods unless he produces the title to the carrier.
Art. 580. – When sender may not dispose of the goods.
The sender may not dispose of the goods after the transport title has been handed to the addressee or where the goods have been carried to their destination and the addressee has required the carrier to deliver them to him.
Art. 581. – Rights of addressee.
Without prejudice to the provisions of Art. 579 and 580, the addressee may exercise all the rights and shall incur all the liabilities arising out of a contract of carriage to which he has agreed.
Art. 582. – Cost of transport.
1. The cost of transport and all incidental expenses shall be met by the sender.
2. Where the goods have been sent carriage forward, the sender and the addressee who accepted the consignment shall be jointly and severally liable for the cost of transport and all incidental expenses.
Section 2. Duties of carrier of goods or registered baggage
Art. 583. – Conveyance of goods and baggage.
1. The carrier shall, within the agreed time, convey the goods to the agreed place with all customary care and deliver them to the addressee.
2. He shall in the same manner convey registered baggage and deliver it to the addressee or the person acting on his behalf.
Art. 584. – Notice to addressee.
Where the goods cannot be delivered at the addressee’s domicile or are not taken away by the addressee, the carrier shall without delay inform the addressee of the arrival of the goods and of the time when and place where they are available.
Art. 585. – Goods which cannot be delivered.
1. Where goods cannot be delivered, the carrier shall without delay inform the sender and require him to give instructions. Where the carrier cannot keep the goods in his custody, he shall move the court to order that the goods be deposited with a third party.
2. Where goods which cannot be delivered are of a perishable nature and the carrier cannot receive the sender’s instructions in due time, he shall cause the goods to be sold.
Art. 586. – Baggage which cannot be delivered.
1. Where registered baggage cannot be delivered at the addressee’s domicile and is not taken away on arrival by the passenger or the person acting on his behalf, the carrier shall where possible require the passenger to give instructions.
2. Where the carrier cannot keep the registered baggage in his custody or such baggage is of a perishable nature, the provisions of Art. 585 shall apply.
Section 3. Duties of parties to a contract of carriage of persons
Art. 587. – Duties of passenger.
The passenger shall pay the fare agreed in the contract, present himself at the time and place of departure and comply during the journey with the instructions given by the carrier or prescribed by law.
Art. 588. – Duties of carrier
The carrier shall carry the passenger safely to his destination and shall comply with the terms of the contract as to time and comfort.
Chapter 4. Liability of the carrier
Art. 589. – Hand baggage.
Hand baggage shall remain in the passenger’s custody and the carrier shall not be liable for the loss of or damage to such baggage.
Art. 590. – Loss of or damage to goods or registered baggage.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the following articles, the carrier shall be liable for the loss, whether total or partial, of goods or registered baggage or for any damage thereto or delay in the conveyance thereof.
Art. 591. – Liability excluded in certain cases.
The carrier shall be relieved in whole or in part of his liability under Art. 590 where he can show that the loss, damage or delay was due in whole or in part to force majeure, an inherent defect in the object carried or the fault of the sender or addressee.
Art. 592. – Wear and tear.
The loss of weight or volume which goods or registered baggage suffer by reason of the transport shall be regarded as an inherent defect and the carrier shall be liable for such loss only as exceeds customary limits.
Art. 593. – Provisions excluding liability.
1. The carrier may by agreement relieve himself of liability for delay in the conveyance of goods or registered baggage.
2. Any provision relieving the carrier of liability for loss of or damage to goods or registered baggage shall be of no effect.
Art. 594. – Limitation of liability.
The carrier may by agreement limit his liability for any total or partial loss of or damage to goods or registered baggage. Any such limitation shall be of no effect where the agreed compensation is so disproportionate to the value of the object carried as to make the carrier’s liability negligible.
Art. 595. – Liability of carrier of passengers.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the following articles, a person who carries passengers shall be liable for any delay in the carriage and for the death of or bodily injury to a passenger due to an accident occurring during the journey or whilst the passenger was mounting or alighting.
Art. 596. – Liability excluded in certain cases.
The carrier shall be relieved in whole or in part of his liability for death or bodily injury under Art. 595 where he can show that the accident was due in whole or in part to force majeure, the act of a third party or the fault of the passenger himself.
Art. 597. – Limitation of liability.
1. The carrier’s liability shall not exceed Eth. $ 40,000 per passenger, whoever the passenger may be.
2. Where compensation is to be paid by way of annuity, the capital of the annuity shall not exceed Eth. $ 40,000.
Art. 598. – Provisions excluding liability.
1. The carrier may by agreement relieve himself of liability for any delay in the carrying.
2. Any provision relieving the carrier of liability for death or bodily injury or limiting the carrier’s liability to less than Eth. $ 40,000 shall be of no effect.
Art. 599. – Liability not limited in certain cases.
The provisions of Art. 594 and 597 shall not apply where it is proved that the damage is due to the carrier’s act or omission and the carrier knew that such act or omission would or could cause damage.
Art. 600. – Liability of successive carriers.
1. Where a contract of carriage is performed by more than one carrier, the passenger or those having rights from him may only claim against the carrier in charge of that part of the journey during which the accident or delay occurred unless it has been expressly specified that the liability of the first carrier would extend to the whole journey.
2. In respect of goods or registered baggage, the sender may claim against the first carrier and the addressee may claim against the last carrier. The sender and addressee may in addition claim against the carrier in charge of that part of the carrying during which the loss, whether total or partial, the damage or the delay occurred.
3. The carriers mentioned in sub-art. (2) shall be jointly and severally liable to the sender and addressee.
Chapter 5. Legal proceedings
Art. 601. – Expert opinion, deposit and sale.
1. Where a dispute arises as to goods or registered baggage, the court within whose area of jurisdiction the goods or baggage are, may on application allow the calling of expert evidence. The applicant shall give notice thereof to all interested parties except in cases of urgency where notice may be waived by the court.
2. The court may order the goods or baggage to be deposited with a third party.
3. The court may order the goods or baggage to be sold on having checked the condition thereof.
Art. 602. – Acceptance and protest.
1. Unconditional acceptance of goods or registered baggage shall be a bar to any claim for total or partial loss, damage or delay being brought against the carrier, unless there has been fraud on the carrier’s part.
2. The carrier shall be liable for any non-apparent damage where the addressee enters a protest against the carrier as soon as he is aware of such damage or within not more than seven days from the delivery of the goods or baggage.
Art. 603. – Limitation.
1. Any claim arising out of a contract of carriage shall be barred after two years from the day when the passengers, goods or registered baggage have or should have arrived at their destination or when their carrying was abandoned.
2. Where e claim is barred, the creditor may not set up his claim by way of counter claim nor by way of defence.