Back to News


RHA Conditions of Carriage

In September 2020, the Road Haulage Association issued an update to the RHA Conditions of Carriage, which is widely used by the haulage sector as an industry-leading set of UK contract conditions.

In short, they set a contractual framework for the movement of goods, setting out obligations for customers and carriers alike. 

RHA 2020: Key updates

In general, the new conditions are considered to be in favour of the carrier of goods. As such, these changes may help to defend the carrier’s contractual position in the event of a dispute. 

If you make use of the document for your contracts, there are several key updates to be aware of.

  • Demurrage” term clarified (Clause 1; see also Clause 16): Update makes it clearer what carriers may wish to charge and recover from customers.
  • Use of third parties/sub-contractors noted (clause 2(2)): Update makes it clear that the performing carrier may not be the contracted carrier.
  • A more detailed regime for loading and unloading, with risks placed firmly with the customer, consignor, or consignee (clause 4): Customers can seek changes to the contract if they need them.
  • A new clause introduced requiring the customer to provide various warranties of the consignment, nature of goods, handling, health and safety and provision of information and materials (clause 5): This also sets out the consequences of any default by the customer, which may affect the carrier’s performance under contract.
  • New definition of the period of transit (clause 7): This now begins when goods leave the premises from which they are collected.
  • Requirement for the customer to pay the carrier’s costs and expenses incurred in the event of cancellation (clause 9(5)). 
  • Also clause 9(3) regarding payment notwithstanding the absence of POD and (clause 9.4), which deals with storage charges when lien is exercised.
  • A new definition of force majeure (clause 10.2(C)): This excludes the carrier’s liability in certain defined situations. 
  • List of excluded liabilities extended (clause 12): This now includes contractual penalties, loss of profits and other financial, indirect, or consequential losses.
  • Refinement of the wording of the customer’s indemnity (clause 13): This now favours the carrier. It requires the customer to indemnify the carrier in a variety of scenarios and for various categories of loss.
  • Clarification on the right of lien (clause 15): This increases the effectiveness of this mechanism to handle unpaid carrying charges.

This is a summary of the key points in the RHA 2020 document. Visit the RHA website to view the full wording.

Want to discuss the impact of the RHA’s changes on your business?

Whether you run a haulage company or your business relies on them, give Ian Limeburner a call on 01603 218228. He’ll discuss how the changes may affect you and your insurance arrangements. 

You may also be interested in reading: Direct Vision Standard: What do you need to know?

Related Articles