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Direct action of the effective carrier against the shipper and intermediaries. – Juan Antonio Tavara


The Spanish Supreme Court has already repeatedly ruled on the possibility that the effective carrier directly claim payment of the postage due from both the main shipper and all carriers that have preceded it in the subcontracting chain.

After many contradictory rulings by different Provincial Courts in relation to said direct action, the Supreme Court has definitively interpreted that said action is not affected by the fact that the The main shipper or the intermediate carriers have previously complied with paying the person who commissioned the execution of the transport. That is, Spanish jurisprudence admits that, in the event of non-payment to the effective carrier, the main shipper and/or the intermediate carriers must pay the national land transport freight twice, although it also recognizes that whoever has been affected by the breach of whoever contracted the effective carrier, it can then repeat against the defaulter.

This provision is considered mandatory and of public order, so any pact or agreement aimed at exempting the main shipper and/or the intermediate carrier from liability in advance will be null and void. full right and will be taken for not put.

The Supreme Court justifies this interpretation in the need to protect the effective carrier as the weakest link in the land transport contracting chain, while encouraging shippers or intermediaries of transport to monitor more the choice of their counterparts.

For all these reasons, it is advisable to implement procedures for homologation of land transport providers, entering into framework contracts with the homologated ones in which they are required to grant sufficient solvency guarantees (eg. bank guarantees, surety insurance, etc.), while specific penalties are imposed (equivalent to twice the amount corresponding to the contracted transport) in the event that said supplier or any of its subcontractors fails to pay the carrier cash and he chooses to claim the postage due.

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