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A transport order in international transport in view of the CMR Convention - LAW IN POLAND

transport order polish law

The CMR Convention is an international agreement signed in Geneva in 1956 (ratified by Poland in 1962) which regulates issues of international carriage of goods by road. This means that in some situations transport services provided by a Polish carrier may fall within the scope of this convention. Simply put, if  a carriage of goods by road for reward is conducted from Poland to another state or to Poland from another state, then the provision of this conventions are applicable.

The provisions of the CMR Convention are of mandatory character. This means that the content of a transport order to perform an international carriage of goods cannot contradict this Convention. Should there be any such provisions in a contract, they will be null and void. Any persons wronged by such a contract may effectively defend themselves by quoting the provisions of the CMR Convention. In my other articles I have discussed the liability of a carrier for a delay in delivery (...), compensation limits concerning claims against a carrier for a delay in delivery or for loss of the goods and for damage thereto (...), and other issues. Even if these issues have been otherwise regulated in the transport order, the provisions of the CMR Convention are applicable in this respect.

The transport order is usually sent in the form of telefax message or electronic mail. The CMR Convention does not specify what form a transport order should take therefore the abovementioned are admissible. The sender and the carrier are parties to the contract. However, as the practice shows, the carrier often acts as the sender and a subcontractor is a carrier as he in fact performs the carriage. Ipso facto, the provisions of the CMR Convention are also applicable for a contract between a carrier and a subcontractor.

The Convention regulates, among others, the following issues:

  • consignment note,
  • the making and performing of the contract,
  • persons the carrier is liable for,
  • the liability of the sender and of the carrier,
  • making claims,
  • the period of limitation.

If one would want to know in detail under what conditions the order must be performed and what should happen if the completion is not what has been agreed, it is worth to verify it with the CMR Convention.

Ewa Kosowska-Czapla
Attorney at law

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