Attorney Leonard M. Singer, Boston, MA  (617) 737-7670  (

Excerpt from:

49 U.S.C. 14706. Liability of carriers under receipts and bills of lading

(c) Special Rules.

(1) Motor carriers.

(A) Shipper waiver. Subject to the provisions of subparagraph (B), a carrier providing transportation or service subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I or III of chapter 135 may, subject to the provisions of this chapter (including with respect to a motor carrier, the requirements of section 13710 (a)), establish rates for the transportation of property (other than household goods described in section 13102 (10)(A)) under which the liability of the carrier for such property is limited to a value established by written or electronic declaration of the shipper or by written agreement between the carrier and shipper if that value would be reasonable under the circumstances surrounding the transportation.

(B) Carrier notification. If the motor carrier is not required to file its tariff with the Board, it shall provide under section 13710 (a)(1) to the shipper, on request of the shipper, a written or electronic copy of the rate, classification, rules, and practices upon which any rate applicable to a shipment, or agreed to between the shipper and the carrier, is based. The copy provided by the carrier shall clearly state the dates of applicability of the rate, classification, rules, or practices.

(C) Prohibition against collective establishment. No discussion, consideration, or approval as to rules to limit liability under this subsection may be undertaken by carriers acting under an agreement approved pursuant to section 13703.

(2) Water carriers. If loss or injury to property occurs while it is in the custody of a water carrier, the liability of that carrier is determined by its bill of lading and the law applicable to water transportation. The liability of the initial or delivering carrier is the same as the liability of the water carrier.

Do not act or rely upon this statute without ensuring that it is up to date and without seeking professional legal advice.