Montreal Convention

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Montreal Convention
Long name:
  • Convention for the Unification of certain rules for international carriage by air
Signed28 May 1999 (1999-05-28)
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Effective4 November 2003
Parties137 (136 states + EU) [1]
DepositaryInternational Civil Aviation Organization
LanguagesEnglish, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish

The Montreal Convention (formally, the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air) is a multilateral treaty adopted by a diplomatic meeting of ICAO member states in 1999. It amended important provisions of the Warsaw Convention's regime concerning compensation for the victims of air disasters. The Convention attempts to re-establish uniformity and predictability of rules relating to the international carriage of passengers, baggage and cargo. Whilst maintaining the core provisions which have served the international air transport community for several decades (i.e., the Warsaw regime), the new treaty achieves modernization in a number of key areas. It protects passengers by introducing a two-tier liability system that eliminates the previous requirement of proving willful neglect by the air carrier to obtain more than US$75,000 in damages, which should eliminate or reduce protracted litigation. [2]



Under the Montreal Convention, air carriers are strictly liable for proven damages up to 128,821.00 special drawing rights (SDR), a mix of currency values established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) equal to roughly US$175,000. [3] [4] Where damages of more than 128,821.00 SDR are sought, the airline may avoid liability by proving that the accident which caused the injury or death was not due to their negligence or was attributable solely to the negligence of a third party. [5] This defense is not available where damages of less than 128,821.00 SDR are sought. The Convention also amended the jurisdictional provisions of Warsaw and now allows the victim or their families to sue foreign carriers where they maintain their principal residence, and requires all air carriers to carry liability insurance.

The Montreal Convention was brought about mainly to amend liabilities to be paid to families for death or injury whilst on board an aircraft.

No compensation purely for psychiatric injury

The Convention does not recognize compensation for psychiatric injury or damage unless linked to physical injury. [6] Article 17 of the Convention refers to "bodily injury" in setting out the liability of the carrier for accidents. [ dubious ] Purely psychiatric injury is not eligible for compensation which has been criticised by people injured in plane accidents, [7] legal experts [8] and their families. [9]


Australia changed its law so as to fit with the Montreal Convention including in some of the following ways

Independent Australian senator Nick Xenophon will introduce a private member's bill into the Australian Parliament in May 2015 which will seek to protect the rights of plane crash survivors to be compensated for psychological trauma. [8]

Leading Australian current affairs TV show 4 Corners on the government owned broadcaster ABC, [11] broadcast a program [12] focusing on the unfairness and injustice of excluding psychiatric injury on March 23, 2015 featuring Karen Casey, a nurse injured when the medical evacuation flight she was nursing on crashed in the waters off Norfolk Island.

Lost baggage

The Montreal Convention changes and generally increases the maximum liability of airlines for lost baggage to a fixed amount 1,131 SDR per passenger (the amount in the Warsaw Convention is based on weight of the baggage). It requires airlines to fully compensate travelers the cost of replacement items purchased until the baggage is delivered, to a maximum of 1,131 SDR. At 21 days any delayed baggage is considered lost, until the airline finds and delivers it.

Disabled passengers and mobility equipment

The limitation of compensation for damage to baggage to 1,131 SDRs means that the value of damaged mobility equipment may often significantly exceed available compensation under the Montreal Convention, while the effect of the loss, even temporarily, of mobility equipment places disabled passengers at a substantially increased disadvantage in comparison to other passengers suffering damaged baggage. While for non-disabled people the major issue is the loss of hold baggage, for disabled people the problem tends to be physical damage to wheelchairs and other durable medical equipment due to inappropriate stowage in the hold. Even a basic individually-fitted wheelchair may cost twice the available compensation, with a three-month lead time for replacement. There have been further problems with airlines being reluctant to recognise that cheap mass-market wheelchairs may be unsuitable as even a temporary replacement due to the common need for customised seating solutions among long-term wheelchair users.

The EU in "Communication on the scope of the liability of air carriers and airports in the event of destroyed, damaged or lost mobility equipment of passengers with reduced mobility when traveling by air" [13] notes this disadvantage in relation to EC 1107/2006 "rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when traveling by air". [14]

The EU report notes that the United States under the Air Carrier Access Act and Canada under Part VII of the Air Transport Regulations have taken action to force airlines to fully cover the costs of damage to mobility equipment as a condition of allowing an airline to operate in their airspace, and notes that the EU may have to take similar steps if the additional duties imposed on airlines by EC 1107/2006 do not resolve the issue.


As September 2018, there are 133 parties to the Convention. Included in this total is 132 of the 191 ICAO Member States plus the European Union. The states that have ratified represent 131 UN member states plus the Cook Islands. Other states that have ratified include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, all member states of the European Union, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nepal Norway, Pakistan, Russia Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. [1]

Member stateDate of entry into forceNotes
Flag of Afghanistan.svg  Afghanistan -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Albania.svg  Albania 19 December 2004
Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Andorra.svg  Andorra 28 June 2004
Flag of Angola.svg  Angola -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Antigua and Barbuda.svg  Antigua and Barbuda -None International Protocol
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 14 February 2010
Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia 15 June 2010
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 24 January 2009
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 28 June 2004
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg  Azerbaijan 11 April 2015
Flag of the Bahamas.svg  Bahamas Signed. Not ratified
Flag of Bahrain.svg  Bahrain 4 November 2003
Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh Signed. Not ratified
Flag of Barbados.svg  Barbados 4 November 2003
Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Belgium.svg  Belgium 28 June 2004
Flag of Belize.svg  Belize 4 November 2003
Flag of Benin.svg  Benin 29 May 2004
Flag of Bhutan.svg  Bhutan -None International Protocol
Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia (Plurinational State of) 5 July 2015
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 May 2007
Flag of Botswana.svg  Botswana 4 November 2003
Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil 18 July 2006
Flag of Brunei.svg  Brunei Darussalam 17 May 2020
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 9 January 2004
Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso 25 August 2013
Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi -None International Protocol
Flag of Cape Verde.svg  Cabo Verde 22 October 2004
Flag of Cambodia.svg  Cambodia Signed. Not ratified
Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 4 November 2003
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 4 November 2003
Flag of the Central African Republic.svg  Central African Republic Signed. Not ratified
Flag of Chad.svg  Chad 10 September 2017
Flag of Chile.svg  Chile 18 May 2009
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 31 July 2005
Flag of Colombia.svg  Colombia 4 November 2003
Flag of the Comoros.svg  Comoros -Warsaw Convention
Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Congo 17 February 2012
Flag of Costa Rica (state).svg  Costa Rica 8 August 2011
Flag of Cote d'Ivoire.svg  Côte d'Ivoire 5 April 2015
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 23 March 2008
Flag of Cuba.svg  Cuba 13 December 2005
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 4 November 2003
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 4 November 2003
Flag of North Korea.svg  North Korea -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  Democratic Republic of the Congo 19 September 2014
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 28 June 2004
Flag of Djibouti.svg  Djibouti -None International Protocol
Flag of Dominica.svg  Dominica -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of the Dominican Republic.svg  Dominican Republic 20 November 2007
Flag of Ecuador.svg  Ecuador 26 August 2006
Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 25 April 2005
Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador 6 January 2008
Flag of Equatorial Guinea.svg  Equatorial Guinea 17 November 2015
Flag of Eritrea.svg  Eritrea -None International Protocol
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 4 November 2003
Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 22 June 2014
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 9 January 2016
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 28 June 2004
Flag of France.svg  France 28 June 2004
Flag of Gabon.svg  Gabon 5 April 2014
Flag of The Gambia.svg  Gambia 9 May 2004
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 18 February 2011
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 28 June 2004
Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 3 August 2018
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 4 November 2003
Flag of Grenada.svg  Grenada -Hague Protocol
Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala 6 August 2016
Flag of Guinea.svg  Guinea -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Guinea-Bissau.svg  Guinea-Bissau -None International Protocol
Flag of Guyana.svg  Guyana 21 February 2015
Flag of Haiti.svg  Haiti -None International Protocol
Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg  Honduras 16 January 2016
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 7 January 2005
Flag of Iceland.svg  Iceland 16 August 2004
Flag of India.svg  India 30 June 2009
Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 19 May 2017
Flag of Iran.svg  Iran (Islamic Republic of) -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland 28 June 2004
Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 20 March 2011
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 28 June 2004
Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica 5 September 2009
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 4 November 2003
Flag of Jordan.svg  Jordan 4 November 2003
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 31 August 2015
Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 4 November 2003
Flag of Kiribati.svg  Kiribati -None International Protocol
Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait 4 November 2003
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Laos.svg  Lao People's Democratic Republic -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia 15 February 2005
Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 14 May 2005
Flag of Lesotho.svg  Lesotho -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Liberia.svg  Liberia -Warsaw Convention
Flag of Libya.svg  Libya -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Liechtenstein.svg  Liechtenstein 28 June 2004
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 29 January 2005
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 28 June 2004
Flag of Madagascar.svg  Madagascar 26 February 2007
Flag of Malawi.svg  Malawi -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 29 February 2008
Flag of Maldives.svg  Maldives 30 December 2005
Flag of Mali.svg  Mali 16 March 2008
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 4 July 2004
Flag of the Marshall Islands.svg  Marshall Islands -None International Protocol
Flag of Mauritania.svg  Mauritania -Warsaw Convention
Flag of Mauritius.svg  Mauritius 3 April 2017
Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico 4 November 2003
Flag of Federated States of Micronesia.svg  Micronesia (Federated States of) -None International Protocol
Flag of Monaco.svg  Monaco 17 October 2004
Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia 4 December 2004
Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro 16 March 2010
Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 14 June 2010
Flag of Mozambique.svg  Mozambique 28 March 2014
Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar -Warsaw Convention
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 4 November 2003
Flag of Nauru.svg  Nauru -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Nepal.svg    Nepal 15 December 2018
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 28 June 2004
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 4 November 2003
Flag of Nicaragua.svg  Nicaragua -None International Protocol
Flag of Niger.svg  Niger 1 April 2018
Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 4 November 2003
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 28 June 2004
Flag of Oman.svg  Oman 27 July 2007
Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 17 February 2007
Flag of Palau.svg  Palau -None International Protocol
Flag of Panama.svg  Panama 4 November 2003
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg  Papua New Guinea -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 4 November 2003
Flag of Peru (state).svg  Peru 4 November 2003
Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 18 December 2015
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 18 March 2006
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 4 November 2003
Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 14 November 2005
Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 29 December 2007
Flag of Moldova.svg  Republic of Moldova 16 May 2009
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 4 November 2003
Flag of Russia.svg  Russian Federation 21 August 2017
Flag of Rwanda.svg  Rwanda 19 December 2015
Flag of Saint Kitts and Nevis.svg  Saint Kitts and Nevis -None International Protocol
Flag of Saint Lucia.svg  Saint Lucia -None International Protocol
Flag of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.svg  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 28 May 2004
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of San Marino.svg  San Marino -None International Protocol
Flag of Sao Tome and Principe.svg  Sao Tome and Principe -None International Protocol
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 14 December 2003
Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 6 November 2016
Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 4 April 2010
Flag of the Seychelles.svg  Seychelles 12 November 2010
Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  Sierra Leone 24 January 2016
Flag of Singapore.svg  Singapore 16 November 2007
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia 4 November 2003
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 4 November 2003
Flag of the Solomon Islands.svg  Solomon Islands -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Somalia.svg  Somalia -None International Protocol
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 21 January 2007
Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan -None International Protocol
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 28 June 2004
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg  Sri Lanka 18 January 2019
Flag of Sudan.svg  Sudan 17 October 2017
Flag of Suriname.svg  Suriname -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Eswatini.svg  Swaziland 22 January 2017
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 28 June 2004
Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 5 September 2005
Flag of Syria.svg  Syrian Arab Republic 4 November 2003
Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan -None International Protocol
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 2 October 2017
Flag of North Macedonia.svg  The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 4 November 2003
Flag of East Timor.svg  Timor-Leste -None International Protocol
Flag of Togo.svg  Togo 26 November 2016
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 19 January 2004
Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg  Trinidad and Tobago -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 20 November 2018
Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 26 March 2011
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan -Warsaw Convention
Flag of Tuvalu.svg  Tuvalu -None International Protocol
Flag of Uganda.svg  Uganda 27 January 2018
Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 5 May 2009
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 4 November 2003
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 28 June 2004
Flag of Tanzania.svg  United Republic of Tanzania 4 November 2003
Flag of the United States.svg  United States of America 4 November 2003
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 4 April 2008
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Vanuatu.svg  Vanuatu 8 January 2006
Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Vietnam.svg  Viet Nam 26 November 2018
Flag of Yemen.svg  Yemen -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol
Flag of Zambia.svg  Zambia Signed. Not ratified
Flag of Zimbabwe.svg  Zimbabwe -Warsaw Convention & Hague Protocol

See also

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  1. 1 2 Signatures and ratifications.
  2. A 73-Year Odyssey: The Time Has Come For a New International Air Liability System.
  4. "MC99" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  5. IATA: The Montreal Convention 1999 (Article 22)
  6. "17 - Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air - Montreal, 28 May 1999".
  7. 2009 Pel-Air Westwind ditching
  8. 1 2 "Pel-Air crash survivor Karen Casey entitled to compensation for psychological trauma, Nick Xenophon says". ABC News.
  9. "Karen Casey, Pel-Air crash survivor tells of PTSD on 4 Corners". NewsComAu.
  11. "ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corporation".
  12. "Ditched".
  13. Scope of Liability.
  14. (EC)1107/2006.