Notification to Air Carriers of Upward Revision of the Limits of Liability for International Transportation Governed by the Montreal Convention

November 2009

Reference is made to the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, done at Montreal, on May 28, 1999 (Montreal Convention), which came into force on November 4, 2003 for international carriage involving countries that have ratified the Convention, including Canada.  The Montreal Convention has the force of law for most international carriage to and from Canada by virtue of the Carriage by Air Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. C-26.

Articles 21 and 22 of the Montreal Convention establish the liability limits of the air carrier for damages in relation to the carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo. Article 24 of the Montreal Convention provides that the limits of liability be reviewed by the Depositary, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) at five-year intervals in order to determine whether the levels need to be revised for inflation. The first review has been completed.

In a state letter dated November 4, 2009, ICAO advised that the levels of the limits of liability will be revised, according to the determined inflation factor of 13.1 per cent. Please refer to Annex A which reflects the revised limits which come into effect on December 30, 2009.

The Air Transportation Regulations SOR/88-58, as amended (ATR), require air carriers to set out their policy with respect to limitations of liability in their respective tariffs.  As a result of the change to the limits set out in the Montreal Convention, these revised levels must be updated in carriers' tariffs and carriers must apply the new limits as of December 30, 2009.  Air carriers are therefore requested to amend their tariffs on file with the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) accordingly on or before December 29, 2009 for effect on December 30, 2009.  Carriers that are unable to meet the 45 day statutory deadline can request a Special Permission to file on less than the required notice to have their tariff come into effect on December 30, 2009.

Until such time as new tariff language reflecting the effectiveness of the Montreal Convention has been agreed upon between the Agency and industry, many carriers have chosen to incorporate the Montreal Convention by reference only. In this case, the tariff does not set out the level of the limits of liability and an amended tariff is not required. Nonetheless, carriers must be prepared to apply the revised limits of liability to passenger claims related to events occurring on or after December 30, 2009.

For further information:

Canadian Transportation Agency
15 Eddy St, Gatineau, QC  K1A 0N9


Annex A

17 special drawing rights (SDRs) per kilo

in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay in relation to the carriage of cargo

(Article 22, paragraph 3, Montreal Convention of 1999 refers)

1000 SDRs for each passenger

in the case of destruction, loss, damage or delay with respect to baggage

(Article 22, paragraph 2, Montreal Convention of 1999 refers)

1 131
4150 SDRs for each passenger

in relation to damage caused by delay in the carriage of persons

(Article 22, paragraph 1, Montreal Convention of 1999 refers)

4 694
100 000 SDRs for each passenger for damage sustained in case of death or bodily injury of a passenger (for the first tier Article 21, paragraph 1, Montreal Convention of 1999 refers) 113 100
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