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CMR convention

The Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) governs the transportation of goods by vehicles between countries, at least one of which is a contracting party to the convention. This document standardizes the conditions of international road transport contracts, including transport documents and the carrier’s liability.


Preamble and Scope

The aim of the CMR convention is to harmonize the conditions of international road transport contracts and related documents, ensuring a uniform approach to carrier liability. The convention applies to any contract for the carriage of goods by road if the places of taking over and delivering the goods are in different countries, at least one of which is a contracting party.


Application of the Convention and Exceptions

The CMR also applies to transport organized by states or governmental authorities, except for transport under international postal conventions, transport of deceased persons, and household removal goods. If a vehicle carrying goods is transported for part of the journey by sea, rail, inland waterways, or air without transloading the goods, the convention applies to the entire journey.


Carrier’s Liability

The carrier is responsible for their actions and negligence, as well as for the actions of their agents and other persons whose services they use. The transport contract is evidenced by the preparation of a consignment note, but its absence does not affect the existence or validity of the transport contract.


Preparation and Content of the Consignment Note

The consignment note is prepared in three copies and signed by both the sender and the carrier. It must include the following information: the names and addresses of the sender and carrier, the dates and places of taking over and delivering the goods, the description and type of packaging of the goods, the number and markings of the packages, the weight of the goods, charges related to the transport, and customs instructions. If necessary, special instructions such as prohibition of transshipment, insurance of goods, and the value of the goods are added.


Sender’s and Carrier’s Responsibility

The sender is responsible to the carrier for all costs and damages resulting from incorrect or incomplete information in the consignment note. The carrier must check the accuracy of the consignment note’s information and the external condition of the goods and packaging upon receipt. If the consignment note is without remarks, it is presumed that the goods were in good condition.


Right to Dispose of the Goods

The sender has the right to dispose of the goods until the second copy of the consignment note is handed over to the consignee. Thereafter, the carrier follows the consignee’s instructions. The consignee may demand the delivery of the goods against a receipt and make claims against the carrier for loss or delay of the goods.


Impossibility of Fulfilling the Transport Contract and Requesting Instructions

If the transport contract cannot be fulfilled or an obstacle arises in delivering the goods, the carrier must request instructions from the person entitled to dispose of the goods. The carrier may unload and store the goods if instructions cannot be obtained, and is entitled to reimbursement of costs.

Sale and Preservation of Goods

For perishable goods or if preservation costs are disproportionate to the value of the goods, the carrier may sell the goods without waiting for instructions. The convention stipulates that all payments and costs related to the transport must be paid against the goods delivered.

In summary, the CMR convention provides uniform rules for the conclusion, execution, and determination of liability in international road transport contracts, facilitating the transport of goods between different countries.