Training course on implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for commercial contracts

Training course on implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for commercial contracts
07 - 10 June 2022
9:30 - 13:00 CEST

International Sale of Goods on Shipment Terms and Carriage of Goods by Sea


The impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and related response measures have resulted in significant operational disruptions and delays across global networks, with important implications for the performance of international commercial contracts. Much of global commodities’ trade is conducted on CIF and FOB terms and more than 80% of the volume of global merchandise trade is carried by sea. Therefore, the implications of the pandemic for international sale of goods on shipment terms and contracts of carriage of goods by sea, as well as related contractual rights and obligations deserve particular attention and need to be better understood, to reduce the need for costly litigation and to help inform commercial contracting practice into the future.

Course overview:

Against this background, UNCTAD has developed a four-day virtual training course with a focus on the implications of the pandemic for some of the key commercial contracts in international shipping and trade, in particular contracts for the international sale of goods on Shipment Terms CIF and FOB and carriage of goods by sea under charterparties and bills of lading. The course is designed to help in the understanding and assessment of key issues arising from the pandemic for the different types of closely interconnected contracts; the relevant legal implications; as well as contractual approaches to addressing some of these, in particular the use of standard form clauses for commercial risk-allocation between the parties. As commercial and maritime law contracts at the international level are often subject to English law, by agreement of the parties, the course focuses on the position under English law, although reference will also be made as appropriate to other legal systems.

The course will be delivered virtually, by a team of renown academic experts in International Maritime and Commercial Law, and will be offered on four occasions, to enable broad participation and accommodate participants in different time-zones.

Each course consists of four daily sessions (am or pm CEST), covering: international sale of goods on CIF and FOB terms and related payment mechanisms; time and voyage charterparties; specialist standard form ‘pandemics’ clauses and force majeure clauses; bills of lading and related cargo claims, including special considerations applicable in the context of charterparty bills.

While participation in only some of the sessions is possible, only participants who complete the full course will receive a course certificate.

Four course dates are available and early registration is advised, as places are limited.

Course dates:

03 – 06 May:      9:30 – 13:00 CEST – for participants in Asia, Africa, Europe

10 – 13 May:    15:00 – 18:30 CEST – for participants in Americas, Africa, Europe

16 – 19 May:    15:00 – 18:30 CEST – for participants in Americas, Africa, Europe

07 – 10 June:     9:30 – 13:00 CEST – for participants in Asia, Africa, Europe

Target audience:

The course requires some legal background and is particularly aimed at legal professionals and advisers involved in negotiation of relevant contracts and/or providing advice in connection with related rights and obligations, claims or dispute resolution; as well as others involved in related training and continuing education, especially from developing countries.

Participants are encouraged to register early, as places are limited. Priority will be given to participants from developing countries. Female participants are also particularly encouraged to register.

Related Materials:

Related materials will be made available in due course on the meetings page. The training also draws on related analytical reports, which participants may wish to consult by way of background information and for additional guidance.

Sort by:  Symbol  |  Title  |  Date  |  Agenda item

Key issues arising from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic
(UNCTAD/DTL/TLB/INF/2022/1) -  15 Feb 2022
Transport and Trade Facilitation Series No. 20
(UNCTAD/DTL/TLB/2023/1) -  11 Jan 2023
Sponsor / funding:
UN Development Account

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