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    Making International Connections
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CMR Note

This indicates the standard contract of carriage for goods being transported internationally by road.

What The CMR Note Is

The CMR is a consignment note with a standard set of transport and liability conditions. It proves confirmation that the carrier (for example, the road haulage company) has received the goods and that a contract of carriage exists between the shipper and the carrier. The CMR note is not a document of title or a declaration, however some countries regard it as such.

How To Complete The CMR Note

The shipper can complete the CMR note themselves, or they can have a freight forwarder or the carrier complete it on their behalf. However, the shipper remains responsible for the accuracy of its contents.

The following information has to be included on the CMR note:

  • Date and place at which the CMR note has been completed.
  • Name and address of shipper, carrier(s) and consignee (the buyer to whom the goods are being transported to).
  • Full description of the goods and their packing method.
  • Gross weight of the goods.
  • Any such charges related to the cargo, for example, customs duties or carriage charges.
  • Any such specific instructions for customs authorities and any other authorities such as hazardous goods information.

There are four copies to a CMR note. One is kept by the shipper and one is kept by the carrier, the third will accompany the goods to their final destination. The final copy can be used as an administration copy.

As the carrier is liable for any loss or damage to the goods until they are delivered, the shipper is responsible for any loss or damage the carrier suffers from any incorrect details submitted for the CMR note.

Forwarders Certificate Of Receipt (FCR)

The FCR confirms that a forwarder has received and accepted the goods with final instructions to deliver them to the consignee submitted on the FCR.

By having an FCR issued, this can speed up payment. For example, under the terms of sale if the buyer is responsible for collecting the goods from the shipper’s warehouse, an FCR can be issued when the buyer’s carrier collects the goods.

The FCR is then presented for payment, instead of having to wait until a non-negotiable or negotiable transport document (which evidences that the goods have been collected by the carrier for international transport) is issued.

An FCR is a non-negotiable document, however, a similar document called ‘Forwarders Certificate of Transport’ is negotiable. This implies that the forwarder accepts responsibility to deliver to an end destination that the shipper specifies and not to an unchangeable destination as with the FCR.

The TIR System

This system allows vehicles to cross different borders without continuous customs checks. The goods are checked and sealed at the beginning of its journey, and the vehicle is then allowed to pass through by customs authorities until it reaches its final delivery point. The seller must set up a security bond with the Road Haulage Association or the Freight Transport Association.

All traders moving goods across the EU under TIR must submit an electronic customs declaration using the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS). Find details of TIR and NCTS and links to newsletters on Community/Common Transit and TIR are available on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website.

TIR does not apply to transportation within the EU because there are no customs checks for EU only journeys.

Transporting Dangerous Goods By Road

Please find below the procedures that the shipper must comply with for carrying dangerous goods by road.

There are two different terms used to refer to these procedures and rules, ‘ADR’ and ‘The Carriage Regulations’. Both refer to the same provisions. ADR is a Europe wide code for dangerous goods, as where the Carriage Regulations translate that code into UK legislation. The Carriage Regulations also apply to the transport of goods by rail.

The regulations apply to traders and carriers. Traders are frequently instructed to produce the dangerous goods declaration and supporting documents such as vehicle documentation, safety and accident reporting and to also ensure the goods are suitably packaged and labelled. Traders must also comply with packaging and classification.


Any dangerous goods that is transported must be marked with their name, description and United Nations (UN) number.

Insurance For International Road Transport

The three main risks in international trade are:

· Loss
· Damage
· Delay (including detention at customs)


The risks are agreed upon between the buyer and the seller and falls under the sales contract.

When using a CMR contract, the carrier bears some limited liability (sometimes this is determined on a case by case basis and the liability sometimes can be total), traders need to be careful to arrange the correct insurance coverage.

It is standard practice to add 10% to the amount of cover of the goods, and transport where applicable. Cover can also be arranged for certain contingencies, for example, if the buyer refuses to accept the goods upon arrival.

Licences For International Road Transport

If transportation is arranged via couriers or hauliers, the shipper does not need to apply for any licences to transport the goods by road. 

Contact us

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Brighton Le Sands
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