Full term: convention relative to international transport contract of goods by road


What is CMR ?


The convention of transport of goods by road is an international convention ratified by all European countries and standardizes conditions of road freight. It regulates transport of goods by road contracts, also called a bill of lading, a document by which the transporter acknowledges his responsibilities.

The was signed in Geneva, 19 May 1956. According to this convention, the document is obligatory if either the country of departure or destination has signed the convention. logistics regulates the entirety of the general conditions relative to international transport of goods by road.

The founding members are France, Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden and Poland. Today, all countries of the European Union have signed the convention. The has also been adopted by Morocco, Tunisia, as well as several countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.


The specificities of CMR transport


The transport document helps to oversee the smooth execution of road transport services between several countries. The document provides:

  • The mission order;
  • The transport route plan;
  • The responsibility of the transporter in the event of damage or loss of goods, and in case of delays in delivery.

It also outlines the regulations relative to any eventual claims and successions of the transporters.


Examples and practical applications


Conditions necessary for validation of a CMR document

Though legally, there isn’t a required minimum number of copies of the , it is recommended that there should be at least three original copies. They are destined for:

  • The expediter;
  • The recipient;
  • The transporter.

The transporter is required to keep his copy in the vehicle. He must be able to present the document to authorities during any checks.

By law, the document must be written before the execution of the transport contract. However, there has been no precision given as who must issue the document. Therefore, the can be written by the expediter, recipient or the transporter.

In general, the transporter usually takes charge of writing the document. Though the format has not been standardized by the authorities, the mention of certain information is obligatory, as follows:

  • Date of the document;
  • Identity of the transporter;
  • Address of the transporter;
  • SIREN number or the transporter’s Intra-Community registration number;
  • Date of taking over of goods;
  • Nature of the goods;
  • Quantity, weight or volume of goods;
  • Identity of the expediter or his agent;
  • Exact address of place of loading;
  • Identity of the recipient;
  • Exact address of the place of unloading;
  • Number of packages;
  • Packaging mode;
  • Costs relative to transport;
  • Instructions for formalities;
  • Statement confirming that the transport is subject to logistics regulations.


Responsibilities of the transporter

The transporter is considered as responsible in the following cases:

  • Loss of all or part of the goods, or damage incurred between the initial loading and delivery of the goods
  • Delays in delivery of goods.

However, the transporter can be released of any liability if:

  • The loss, damage or delay was caused by the wrongful or neglectful act of the claimant, a defect of the goods themselves or unforeseen circumstances;
  • The claimant has used vehicles and without covering;
  • Packaging is defective or inexistent;
  • The labeling or coding on the packaging are unclear…


Regulatory basis


Articles on the Convention relative to the international transport of goods by road contract

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