Returning from their skiing holiday in Austria, two passengers entrusted their skis to ÖBB to send to Switzerland. To begin with the skis were lost in Austria; after forty days they were found and sent on to their destination. During this period, the passengers hired new skis at a cost of around €1 000. To what compensation are the passengers entitled?
In accordance with Article 40 CIV, if registered luggage is not delivered within the fourteen days which follow the expected date of delivery, it may be considered to be lost. In that case the passenger will receive compensation equal to the value of the loss proven up to a maximum of 1 200 special drawing rights (SDR), equivalent to €1 344 (1), or if the value of the loss is not proven, compensation of SDR 300 (€336) per missing item.
If the luggage is recovered within a year, the carrier must notify the passenger and offer to deliver his luggage. In accordance with Article 43 CIV, the passenger has thirty days in which to accept delivery and return the compensation received for the loss. Nevertheless, the passenger is entitled to compensation for delayed delivery. This amounts to SDR 14 per day for up to a maximum of fourteen days, this thus is a maximum of SDR 196 (€220) per item.
In the case in point, the passengers are entitled to €440 for the two pairs of skis delivered late. On the other hand however, they are not entitled to compensation for the hire charges for new skis during the forty days of delay. The CIV Uniform Rules in fact cover liability for registered luggage exhaustively.
They do not leave any scope for the application of national law in contrast to the provisions for liability for personal injury or liability for delay. For the latter two, Articles 29 and 32 § 3 CIV refer specifically to national law for loss and damage not covered by the CIV Uniform Rules.
(1) DTS 1 = € 1.12 (rate on 30 May 2011 according to
Isabelle.Oberson(at)cit-rail.org Original :FR