[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 219 (Monday, November 16, 2009)]
[Pages 59017-59018]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-27386]



Office of the Secretary

Inflation Adjustments to Liability Limits Governed by the 
Montreal Convention Effective December 30, 2009

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Department is publishing guidance to U.S. and certain 
foreign air carriers on inflation adjustments to liability limits of 
air carriers and foreign air carriers under the Montreal Convention.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicholas Lowry, Attorney, Office of 
Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings (C-70), 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE., 
Washington, DC 20590, (202) 366-9349.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice provides guidance to U.S. and 
certain foreign air carriers on inflation adjustments to liability 
limits of air carriers and foreign air carriers under the Montreal 
Convention (Convention).\1\ The adjustments affect limits on liability 
for damages for passenger death or injury, delay in passenger's 
arrival, and the loss, delay or damage to baggage or cargo, increasing 
those limits by approximately 13 percent and will be effective in 
December 2009. The U.S. and foreign air carriers affected by these 
changes to the Convention include those providing international 
carriage between countries that, like the United States, are parties to 
the Convention, and all who provide round trip foreign air 
transportation that originates and terminates in the United States.

    \1\ Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for 
International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal on May 28, 1999.

    The liability limits are those set out in Articles 21 and 22 of the 
Montreal Convention. Under Article 24 of the Convention, ICAO is to 
review those limits every five years in light of inflation that has 
occurred during that period. In a note of June 30, 2009, the Secretary 
General of ICAO advised parties to the Convention of revisions required 
pursuant to this review. These revisions are as follows, stated in 
Special Drawing Rights (SDRs): \2\: for destruction, loss, damage or 
delay of cargo 19 per kilogram (currently 17); for destruction, loss, 
damage, or delay of baggage, per passenger, 1,131 (currently 1,000); 
for delay in carriage of passengers, 4,694 (currently 4,150); ``strict 
liability'' for death or bodily injury to passengers, 113,100 
(currently 100,000). The revised amounts reflect inflation between 2003 
and 2008 in the countries whose currencies comprise the SDR.

    \2\ The SDR, an international reserve asset, is a defined basket 
of major currencies periodically reviewed by the International 
Monetary Fund to reflect the relative importance of the constituent 
currencies. As of October 28, 2009, the U.S. dollar value of the SDR 
was $1.58.

    Pursuant to the terms of Article 24, the increased limits will take 
effect six months following the notice referred to above, or December 
30, 2009. Carriers should, therefore, revise their contracts of 
carriage, tariffs, required notices, and practices to conform to the 
Convention's requirements. Failure to implement in a timely manner the 
revised liability limits and required notices would, in the view of the 
Aviation Enforcement Office, constitute an unfair or deceptive business 
practice and unfair method of competition in violation of 49 U.S.C. 
41712. This disclosure guidance, it should be noted, also extends to 
ticket agents and indirect air carriers. Questions regarding this 
notice may be addressed to the Office of Aviation Enforcement and 
Proceedings (C-70), U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey 
Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20590.

[[Page 59018]]

    Dated: November 9, 2009.

    An electronic version of this document is available at http://www.regulations.gov.
Samuel Podberesky,
Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings.
[FR Doc. E9-27386 Filed 11-13-09; 8:45 am]