The Convention of CMR (Convention Marchandise Routier) 'The Contract of International Carriage of the Goods by the road' Turkey has been ratified this convention in 1995 and therefore it became a binding international agreement.

CMR (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road), while it is arranging the carriage which is being handled through the road, also at the same time, if the place where receives the goods and the place where it is predicted that the carriage has been completed is two different states under the agreement, than it can be considered as applicable. States where the agreement has already been applied are, some European states, Russia, Turkey, China, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon and also some other states.

This agreement is a standard for the carriage of goods agreement between the sender, carrier and receiver and only under the circumstances which has been specified in the agreement it can be changed by the sides.

In this article, the term CMR and accordingly with the CMR provisions, the responsibilities which should be complied by the carrier, is going to be observed.

CMR, Provided that it is stated in the agreements made between the parties of the contract, it can be applied for all kinds of goods transportation, but it will not apply to the transportations made in accordance with the international postal agreements, funeral transportations and household goods transportation. In this context, different types of transport transactions such as commercial goods transport transactions, non-commercial goods transport transactions and transit transport transactions between countries may also be subject to the provisions of the CMR.

The Term CMR:

CMR (Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road), is an agreement regarding to the international carriage of goods via road. This agreement also arranges the rights and responsibilities of the parties for the goods carriage and also identifies the risks for those carriage of goods at the same time.

CMR, it has been signed in Switzerland in 31 August 1978 and today, more than 60 countries has been signed and ratified it. Agreement, states important issues regarding the carriage of goods. Certificate of carriage, liabilities during the carriage, arrangements for damages and compensations, and also provisions for the solutions of the disputes.

The aim of CMR is the standardization of the international carriage of goods by road and resolution for the disputes which may occur in this field. Thanks to that, It is aimed to contribute to the development of international trade by making transactions between the parties more secure and transparent.

Liability of the Carrier Under CMR:

CMR provisions are arranging the responsibilities for the international carriage of goods via road. It is firstly necessary to state that accordingly with the CMR provisions, the responsibilities of the carrier are highly broad.

Firstly, CMR Convention Article 3 is mentioning the responsible bodies for the carrier, "For the implementation of this Agreement, the carrier shall be liable for the acts and omissions of the persons employed and other persons whose services has been used for the purpose of carrying out the transport, as if themselves had committed such acts and omissions".

The responsibility of the carrier due to the loss and/or damage to the goods and exceeding the transportation period is covered by CMR's Article 17. In the doctrine, aggravated fault liability or softened strict liability qualifications appear in the doctrine.

Chapter 4 of the CMR Convention is written under the title of "Carrier's Responsibility" and this chapter covers Articles 17 and 29. According to the said provisions, the responsibilities of the carrier are as follows:

  • Safe transportation of goods: The carrier is responsible for the safe transportation of the goods. In this context, the carrier is responsible in case of damage, loss or delay of the goods. In other words, the carrier is responsible for the partial or complete loss of the cargo and the damage that may arise from the moment it receives the cargo until it is delivered.
  • About the vehicles with which the transportation is carried out: The carrier is responsible for the faulty vehicles used to carry out the transportation, due to the mistakes and omissions of the person who rented this vehicle or his/her representative or employees.
  • Issuance of the transport document: The carrier is obliged to issue a transport document conforming to the CMR together with the sender. This document should contain information such as the license plate of the vehicle in which the goods are transported, the name and address of the carrier, the nature and quantity of the goods. When receiving the cargo, the carrier is responsible for checking the number of parts in the shipping letter, the brand on them and the correctness of these numbers, as well as the apparent condition of the cargo and the package.
  • Delivery of the goods: The carrier is obliged to deliver the goods at the place and time specified in the contract. At the time of delivery of the goods, a receipt must be signed by the buyer. If the cargo is not delivered within the agreed time limit or in cases where there is agreed time limit, if the normal time of the transport and especially the time required to bring the whole load together in partial loads exceeds the time required for a diligent carrier, there is a delay in delivery.
  • Protection of the goods: The carrier is obliged to take the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the goods. In this context, it should perform operations such as making sure that the goods are safely loaded, properly stored during transportation and safely unloaded.
  • Complying with the instructions: The carrier is obliged to fulfill the instructions of the persons who have the right of disposal, given in the forms stipulated in the contract.
  • Reporting: In case of loss, damage or delay of the goods, the carrier must notify the sender and the sender as soon as possible.

If the loss, harm or delay happened due to the fault or omission of requestor, than the carrier cannot be held responsible if it is caused not by the fault of the carrier, but by the instruction given by the requester, a fault specific to the cargo or situations that cannot be prevented by the carrier.

In addition to these general reasons for exemption from liability, there are also specific reasons that allow the carrier to be released from liability. Accordingly, special reasons are to be carried out by open vehicles not covered with metal plates, as specified in the consignment letter; transportation of goods without packaging or with insufficient packaging; loading, stowing and unloading by the sender or the consignee; the goods are of a nature that may be partially or completely damaged; insufficient branding or numbering on the shipment; If it can be proved by the carrier that one of the live animal transport cases caused damage or loss, the carrier will not be liable.

The CMR provisions regulate in detail the responsibilities that the carrier must fulfill. If carriers fail to meet these responsibilities, it is quite possible that buyers will be entitled to compensation.

Violation of CMR Provisions by the Carrier:

According to CMR provisions, the carrier, is obliged to fulfill the obligations determined in the country where the goods are sent and in the country where the goods are received by the buyer. In this context, if the carrier violates the provisions of the CMR during transportation, its liability will arise.

The carrier may be held liable in accordance with the provisions of the CMR if the information contained in the transport document specified in the contract is not correct and complete, if the goods are damaged or lost during transportation, or if the transportation period is exceeded. At this point, it should be noted that the concept of harm should not be considered in a narrow sense. For example, if the goods that need to be transported with certain vehicles and at certain temperatures are not transported in accordance with these standards, if the sale period of the goods is shortened, the goods may be damaged even though there is no loss in value, and in this case, compensation may be requested based on the damage provisions.

In the event that the carrier violates the provisions of the CMR, the sender or receiver may send a written notice to the carrier, asking the carrier to fulfill its responsibilities and/or indemnification claims. If the carrier does not respond to the warning, does not solve the problems or does not fulfill the claims for compensation, the sender or the recipient may initiate legal action against the carrier and claim compensation in accordance with the provisions of the CMR.

In case the carrier violates the provisions of the CMR, it should not be forgotten that the limits of the carrier's liability are determined by the provisions of the CMR, as well as the compensation principles to be paid by the carrier in accordance with the provisions of the CMR are regulated within the scope of the CMR.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.