Written by: Griffiths & Armour on: 14 Mar 2024

RHA Conditions 2024 Update | Griffiths & Armour

RHA Conditions 2024 Update

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has announced the publication of a new set of Conditions of Carriage, effective January 2024.

Hauliers and customers who rely upon these familiar standard terms and conditions should make themselves comfortable with the updates, and indeed the contract overall, given the last major update was in 2020.

The RHA has provided these trading terms for a significant time-period. They are seen as the industry standard, and it is an easily accessible contract with known terms and conditions to be entered into by contracting parties. Whilst all conditions need to be understood, customers should be particularly mindful of the haulier’s limitations on liability and strict timescales for the bringing of claims by customers even more so with the latest update. The conditions create liability contractually, but do not include a provision for insurances, so both parties need to consider their own insurance responses and declarations.

Legally, only RHA members are able to use the conditions and we would recommend that hauliers and customers explicitly reference in any service contract the version of the conditions you agree upon using. Like any contract, the RHA conditions can be altered if mutually agreed upon but it is highly recommended that any changes are checked by legal professionals and intent of the change is clear.

The explanatory notes provided by RHA advise the following changes for 2024:

  • Customer and Consignee Loading/Unloading
    Indemnity is expanded to cover any losses arising as a result of how the vehicle has been loaded by the customer, an expansion from 2020 where indemnity applied to any losses arising whilst loading and unloading operations were taking place. Therefore, the customer needs to ensure the goods are correctly, safely and securely loaded.
    Any equipment used for loading and unloading must be well maintained and only operated by suitably qualified personnel. The indemnity provided by the customer is also to cover any misuse of equipment.
  • Where a carrier is complying with the instructions of the customer/consignee, the customer’s obligation to indemnify is extended to cover the carrier where the carrier has not been allowed to inspect the load, which has been loaded by the customer/consignee.
  • The customer, where reasonably required, shall provide the carrier with information relating to weight and contents of the consignment.
  • The customer is required to allow the carrier’s drivers to access any welfare facilities available at their sites, whilst the driver is at the premises.
  • Regarding requirements for proof of delivery, the reference to ‘signed’ documents has been removed, and now notes that the customer cannot withhold payment where a proof of delivery is not provided.
  • The time limit for a customer to bring a claim against the carrier for any damage/loss of goods remains at 7 days. This has been updated to include that the customer also needs to provide evidence of said damage/loss within that 7 day period.
  • You will note that the above evidences a further shift in protecting the haulier, pushing the customer’s liability obligations. Regarding your insurances, we would recommend you speak with your broker/insurers to notify them if you propose to adopt the latest edition of the RHA Conditions of Carriage (or any other contract terms not previously disclosed to them), or immediately advise if you are already using them seeking confirmation that is acceptable. Please don’t hesitate to contact Griffiths & Armour if you require any further advices on this matter.

For further information on the RHA Conditions of Carriage, please visit the RHA website.

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