What is a CMR and why do I need to sign it?

Freight shipments being exported to or imported from Europe are carried under CMR conditions. A CMR is a document that contains the rights and obligations of parties involved in European road transport. These are the shipper, the carrier and the consignee.

The CMR document is referred to in the event of any discrepancy at the time of collection or delivery. It is the document that must be claused if the shipper, driver or consignee have any issues. In the event of a claim, discrepancies communicated verbally will carry little if any weight. As the shipper you are required to sign the drivers or your own CMR if you produce them in house. You should check that the driver has secured the load properly. If the driver refuses to re-secure your load, you need to make a note of this on the CMR and ensure the driver signs it and retain a copy.

Delivery points must clause the driver’s CMR if the goods have been damaged / stolen in transit. Failure to do so will greatly weaken any claim you may file with your carrier. If damage is not visible at the time of delivery and subsequently discovered after the driver has left, you have up to 7 days after the delivery date to lodge a claim with the carrier.

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