There are three steps in the Hague-Visby Rules:
1. The Hague Rules which contain the International Convention of Brussels which was accepted on the 25th of August 1924.
2. A Protocol which was signed at Brussels on the 23rd of February 1968 which amended the Hague Rules and which is called the Visby Amendments. A second amendment was adopted in 1979 and known as the SDR Amendments. (See remark hereunder.)
3. The Hague-Visby Rules as amended by the Brussels Protocol 1968, which is the Hague Rules together with the 1968 Visby Amendments. Both are called the Hague-Visby Rules.
On the 21st of December1979 a new Protocol was adopted which modified article 4, paragraph 5 of the 1924 Convention as modified by the 1968 Visby Amendments. It mainly deals with limitation of liability where the limits of the carrier’s liability are tied to the IMF’s “Special Drawing Right” (SDR), which is tied to a basket of the main currencies and is quoted daily in the financial press. The original Hague-Visby Rules (incorporating the 1968 Amendments) tied the limits to the gold standard, which no longer exists.
The 1979 SDR Amendments entered into force in 1984. They are fully integrated in the Hague-Visby Rules given in the Maritime Law paragraph of this site.
As is the case with most international legislation, the Hague Rules and the Hague-Visby Rules have been incorporated in most local legislation. They often then receive a particular name. In the UK, the Hague Rules are known as COGSA 1924 and the Hague-Visby Rules as the COGSA 1971. In Belgium, the Hague-Visby Rules can be found in Article 91 of the Commercial Code.