The cargo handling sector in seaports, which includes terminal operators, stowers and receivers, is evolving rapidly. Terminal operators today do more than just storage and transshipment of goods. The changing role of the terminal operator is accompanied by new opportunites, risks and claims.
The current legal framework no longer reflects the realities of these port operators. In Belgium, for example, there is currently a great deal of uncertainty about the position of the terminal operator when receiving goods on behalf of the cargo interest for outgoing goods, as well as in the port procedures relating to incoming goods.
In order to put an end to the legal uncertainty experienced by terminal operators, on 1 April 2019, the House of Representatives approved the legislative proposal to introduce the Belgian Shipping Code. The new Code will govern, among other things, a new legal regime for the liability of terminal operators and other important ancillary issues. The new legal regime will also oblige terminal operators to make choices and contractually protect their positions. The versatility of the activities and capacities of terminal operators requires legal customization.
Leeward advises terminal operators in drawing up practical but legally watertight agreements tailored to their specialisations. We also assist this logistics provider in contractual discussions and the exercise of rights of retention. If necessary, we assist terminal operators in all their disputes, both judicial and extrajudicial, with other actors in the sector.