CMR convention for the international carriage of goods by road

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Compilazione cmr trasporto internazionale

The international carriage of goods by road is ruled by the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road, or CMR. It relates to various legal issues concerning transportation.

The CMR convention was signed in Geneva in 1956 and it has been ratified by many countries (included all the European states and Switzerland).

It is applicable under two circumstances:

  • the places for receiving/returning the goods are situated in two different States (international transport)
  • at least one of the two States has ratified the CMR convention.


What is the CMR international consignment note

CMR is an acronym which may also indicate the document issued to regulate the international transportation by road: the international waybill.

The document consists of a transport contract issued by the sender and countersigned by the courier. It certifies the agreement between the parties involved about the transport of goods and the methods and conditions of shipment, which have to be in compliance with the Convention for the international carriage of goods by road (CMR).

In 1976 the IRU - International Road Transport Union, an international organization which controls and coordinate the truck driver federation, developed a standard CMR waybill prescribing all the conditions required by the Convention and all the clauses. It is written in three different languages and it is suitable for every country.

The CMR waybill has to be filled out in multiple copies at the time of loading the goods by both parties (sender and carrier), each one for its competence

  • A copy is delivered to the sender
  • A copy, under the responsibility of the addressee, accompanies the good to destination
  • A copy is retained by the carrier and countersigned to confirm the receipt of goods


The international waybill rules the distribution and the execution of the orders and the responsibilities relating to delays, losses and damages with regard to the international road freight transport.  


CMR filling out

The compilation of CMR letter must include some compulsory information and offers the possibility to insert some optional information considered useful by the parties.


CMR mandatory information

The mandatory information in the compilation of CMR are:

  • Date and place of the compilation
  • Name and address of the sender
  • Name and address of the carrier
  • Name and address of the addressee
  • Name and address of receipt of the goods (at the sender, the carrier or third parties) and place of return (if differs from the addressee)
  • Type, weight, quantity and/or number of the goods (packages and possible special marks; gross weight or quantity of the goods)
  • Indication of possible compulsory transit point for customs operations
  • Indication and classification of possible dangerous goods according to A.D.R. (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road)
  • Registration data of the vehicle, especially in case of full load transport.


CMR: optional information

The parties can include some additional information:

  • Transshipment prohibition
  • Amount to be collected upon return of the goods
  • Declared value of the goods and special interests upon return (decided by the sender after a prompt delivery of the goods to destination)
  • Instructions relating to the insurance of the goods provided by the sender to the carrier
  • Deadline for the transport to be carried out
  • List of the documents entrusted to the carrier


CMR: check and responsibilities of the carrier

Taking in charge the goods the carrier must verify the compilation of CMR waybill and the indications about number of packages and condition of the goods and their packaging.

The sender can ask the carrier to check the gross weight specified or the quantity of the goods, or to verify the contents of the packages.

This check must appear on the CMR waybill and it is under the responsibility of the sender. If this verification is not possible, the reservations about quantity and condition/compliance of goods and packaging must be reported in a specific box. Quantity and condition of the goods consigned to the sender have to comply with what is reported on the document, and the carrier has the full responsibility.

The reservations of the carrier do not obligate the sender if they are not motivated, not correctly reported on the document, they do not correspond to reality or they are not correctly specified.

The sender is responsible towards the carrier for damages to persons or other goods and for additional expenses due to the imperfection of packaging or the defective fixing of the goods on the vehicle (it the procedure is carried out by the sender itself).  

The CMR waybill also provides that the sender can suspend the transport of goods or change the destination or the addressee previously indicated. This right to counter order is subject to some conditions and must be used before the delivery of the second copy to the addressee.

The conditions regulating the counter order right of the sender are:

  • The first copy of the consignment note with the modifying instructions must be presented to the carrier
  • The modifications must be applicable to all the shipped goods
  • The carrier must be refund for the expenses relating to the execution of the new instructions.


The carrier must promptly inform the sender about the impossibility of carrying out the new instructions and refund him for the non-fulfilment.

The CMR international convention do not specify who is in charge to fill out the waybill. For this reason, the module can be filled out by the sender or by the carrier, always under the agreement of both parties.

The waybill must be signed by both parties. By signing, they will guarantee their respective responsibilities in compliance with the document.

In presence of different kind of goods or in case of transportation on different vehicles the sender and/or the carrier have the right to ask a number of waybills corresponding to the number of the categories or to the number of the vehicles


CMR compilation with Ansali

It is particularly important to pay attention ad care in compiling the CMR waybill, not only for its relevance, but also for its role in safeguard and guarantee the parties during the transportation.

To transport your goods safely and in compliance with the rules you can rely on the experts in the field for the compilation of the CMR waybill.

In Ansali our consultants are at your disposal to ensure compliance, efficiency and completeness of your transport documents. 


Don’t hesitate to contact us to receive further information or to ask for a price. We will answer you as soon as possible and Ansali team will come up with the best tailormade solution to your logistics needs. 

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