Warsaw Convention
The Warsaw Convention is an international convention which regulates liability for international carriage of persons, luggage or goods performed by aircraft for reward.

Originally signed in 1929 in Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

 (hence the name), it was amended in 1955 at The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 and in 1975 in Montreal. United States courts have held that, at least for some purposes, the Warsaw Convention is a different instrument from the Warsaw Convention as Amended by the Hague Protocol.

There are 5 chapters of the document:
  • Chapter I - Definitions
  • Chapter II - Documents of Carriage; Luggage and Passenger Ticket
  • Chapter III - Liability of the Carrier
  • Chapter IV - Provisions Relating to Combined Carriage
  • Chapter V - General and Final Provisions

The Convention was written originally in French and the original of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Poland.

In particular, the Warsaw Convention:
  • mandates carriers to issue passenger tickets;
  • requires carriers to issue baggage checks for checked luggage;
  • creates a limitation period of 2 years within which a claim must be brought (Article 29); and
  • limits a carrier's liability to at most:
    • 250,000 Francs or 16,600 Special Drawing Rights
      Special Drawing Rights
      Special Drawing Rights are supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets defined and maintained by the International Monetary Fund . Not a currency, SDRs instead represent a claim to currency held by IMF member countries for which they may be exchanged...

       (SDR) for personal injury;
    • 17 SDR per kilogram
      The kilogram or kilogramme , also known as the kilo, is the base unit of mass in the International System of Units and is defined as being equal to the mass of the International Prototype Kilogram , which is almost exactly equal to the mass of one liter of water...

       for checked luggage and cargo, or $20USD per kilogram for non-signatories of the amended Montreal Protocols. .....
    • 5,000 Francs or 332 SDR for the hand luggage of a traveller.

The sums limiting liability were originally given in Gold franc
Gold franc
The gold franc was the unit of account for the Bank for International Settlements from 1930 until April 1, 2003. It was replaced with the Special Drawing Right...

s (defined in terms of a particular quantity of gold by article 22 paragraph 5 of the convention). These sums were amended by the Montreal Additional Protocol No. 2 to substitute an expression given in terms of SDR's. These sums are valid in the absence of a differing agreement (on a higher sum) with the carrier. Agreements on lower sums are null and void.

On June 1, 2009, the exchange rate was 1.00 SDR = 1.088 EUR
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

1.00 SDR = 1.548 USD
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....


A court may also award a claiming party's costs, unless the carrier made an offer within 6 months of the loss (or at least 6 months before the beginning of any legal proceedings) which the claiming party has failed to beat.

The Montreal Convention
Montreal Convention
The Montreal Convention, formally the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, is a treaty adopted by a Diplomatic meeting of ICAO member states in 1999. It amended important provisions of the Warsaw Convention's regime concerning compensation for the...

, signed in 1999, replaced the Warsaw Convention system.

External links

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