The Concept of CMR Forms Simplified
May 30th, 2022 by Candis Hall
A CMR form, also known as a consignment note, is a contract between the consignor, the consignee, and the carrier. This document functions according to the 1956 CMR convention.
A Beginner’s Guide to CMR Forms
This section outlines the fundamental ideas of the CMR document in an easily understandable form.
History of the CMR Convention
The CMR document came into being at the 1965 convention held in Geneva to reduce malpractices in the international carriage of goods by road and establish standardized protocols for the entire procedure. As of January 2022, 58 countries ratify the CMR convention.
CMR: A Four-Copy Document
For every shipment, the consignor needs to prepare four copies of the CMR. One remains with the consignor (sender), another is for the carrier (transport company), the third copy goes to the consignee (receiver), and the fourth goes to the administration. Some online CMR document generators often color-code the CMR notes in the following order: red, green, blue, and black.
Content of the CMR Forms
CMR forms contain essential information regarding the consignment parties, cargo, and payment details. They must include the complete names and addresses of the consignor and consignee according to the invoice. In addition, CMR notes contain the final destination of the cargo and the location where the shipper picked up the goods.
The consignment note also encloses details about the cargo, i.e., weight, quantity, dimensions, and other necessary attributes. It contains the stamp and signature of the consignee, the license plate and signature of the driver, and the stamp of the consignor in separate fields.
Additional Points to Remember
Remember, rules can vary depending on the country. For example, you cannot pick up Italian and Spanish cars in person. Instead, only a transport company can pick them up since an official transport CMR from the consignor is necessary to unregister the goods and release original car documents.
Additionally, most transport companies don’t accept unspecified locations such as “To be confirmed” or “International” as final destinations for security purposes. It is also the carrier’s responsibility to ensure that they record the precise condition of the cargo and update it in the CMR accordingly.
Finally, although the content and rules are standard, there is no predetermined spatial allocation for the contents of a CMR form, so the fields may vary from one form to the other.
Without the CMR convention in place, transporting goods throughout Europe won’t be as simple as it is today. The next path forward will relate to the implementation of eCMR as the industry standard.