All You Need to Know About CMR Notes

A CMR (Carriage of Merchandise by Road) note is a document used by 58 member states for cargo transported internationally by road. This paper is a contract between the consignor, consignee, and carrier that mentions liability and compensation in a standardized format. In this article, we will discuss the rudimentary concepts of a waybill or CMR note.

Why is CMR Required?

Carriage of Merchandise by Road was born in Geneva on May 19, 1956, through the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road. The purpose of CMR was to ensure a widely-accepted standard for the contract of carriage across ratified countries. As of January 2022, 58 states adhere to this standardized CMR format. However, the European Union has plans to make CMR mandatory by 2026. For local transportation, a CMR note is not required. 

What Information Is Enclosed in a CMR Note?

Here is a list of ten mandatory fields of data every CMR note must contain according to the CMR convention.

  • The date and location of the consignment and a signature stamp of the consignor or any designated signatories who represent the company
  • The name and address of the consignor
  • The complete name and address of the nominated carrier
  • The name and address of the consignee (buyer)
  • The location and date of cargo receipt and delivery – the confirmed location nominated by the consignee, regardless if it is a warehouse or a distribution center
  • The total quantity of the cargo items, in terms of carton numbers or palettes
  • A sufficient description of the goods, for example, shirts, hoodies, joggers, etc.
  • The weight and dimensions of the goods
  • Carrier charges that incur after the delivery – fees from custom duties and additional charges for other services
  • The expressed clause that carriage is part of the Carriage of Merchandise by Road, present in every template

Final Thoughts

In every CMR note, the fields mentioned above hold tremendous importance. Any inaccuracy can lead to a delay in transport or even a monetary penalty assigned to the sender of goods. The convention holds the sender responsible for providing correct and complete information.

Filling in forms can be a pain. Thus, using available tools and shortcuts is the wisest course of action. The merging of technology with the world of shipping has allowed the digitization of Carriage of Merchandise by Road documents. This will not only require less time, but by utilizing saved data, forms are error-free and take up less space than before!



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