After several years of negotiation and political posturing, 15 countries signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement on November 15, 2020. The RCEP includes several countries from the Southeast Asia and the Pacific region, including Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.

In matters of international trade, a bill of lading often serves as the contract of carriage between a shipper and carrier for transportation of goods. A Himalaya clause is a provision contained in certain bills of lading protecting carrier’s servants, agents, and independent contractors from third-party claims by limiting shipper’s rights to bring suit against