Road Freight CMR Document

The standard contract of carriage for goods being transported by road is the Road Freigt CMR Document (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road) and quite simply it works. The CMR convention was signed in Geneva on 19 May 1956 and is a United Nations convention. Since then it has been ratified by most of the European states.


What is the Road Freight CMR Document?

As the CMR replaces individual business terms and conditions it is essentially a consignment note with a set of liability and transport conditions. One of its main functions is to confirm that the carrier has received the goods and a contract of carriage exists between the carrier and the trader. The CMR is not a document of title of declaration unlike the Bill of Lading. It also does not give the carrier or holder the rights or ownership of the goods.


When is a CMR used?

A CMR is used when transporting cargo or goods throughout Europe. The CMR will be checked by customs and police and it must be present when the goods are being transported. Within the CMR there is a minimum amount of information that must be filled in.


What are the parts to a CMR?

Generally there will be 4 parts to a CMR. One will be kept by the carrier, the trader and the third part will travel with the goods. The 4th and final copy will be the administration copy.

The CMR is usually colour coded.

  • The red copy will be kept by the trader
  • The blue copy will travel with the carrier for the consignee
  • The green copy is issued to the carrier
  • The black copy will be used if there is a second carrier involved


What information is needed to complete a Road Freight CMR Document?

The trader has the overall responsibility for the accuracy of the contents of the CMR and the document can be completed either by the trader or the freight forwarder. The following information must be included:

  • The place at which the CMR has been completed
  • The date when the CMR has been completed
  • A description of the goods being carried and how they are packaged
  • The weight and dimensions of the goods
  • The name and address of the carrier, sender and consignee
  • Any charges related to the goods, such as carriage charges and customs


Who is responsible for loss or damage to cargo?

Essentially the carrier is responsible for any damage or loss prior to the delivery of any the goods.