Share this article on your favorite social media platform.

Create CMR consignment notes out of our transport management system - the IMPARGO ShipperPortal. We help you to automate your processes and to reduce your cost.

Learn how

CMR transport note (free pdf templates and forms)

Gerhard Hänel
Gerhard Hänel10.05.2021 8 min

Table of contents

  1. What is a CMR document?
  2. What is the function of a CMR waybill?
  3. Do you need a CMR document? When does the CMR apply?
  4. Which countries are CMR member states?
  5. Regulations for the contracting parties by the CMR
  6. CMR Liability
  7. Components of the CMR consignment note
  8. CMR templates

What is a CMR document?

CMR stands for "Convention relative au contrat de transport international de merchandises par route" and translated from the French means "Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road". The international agreement constitutes an international treaty on international inland transport. The Convention was signed in 1956 and applies throughout Europe. The CMR document is only binding if the contract includes either English and/or French as the contract language.

What is the function of a CMR waybill?

A CMR consignment note fulfills the following three functions for international freight transports:

  • Information function
  • Evidence function
  • Receipt function

1. Information function:

The CMR consignment note serves as an information carrier about the nature and quantity of the freight for everyone involved in the transport (sender, carrier, recipient, forwarder).

2. Proof function:

A CMR consignment note documents that the goods are in good condition when they are handed over and that the number of freight items is correct.

3. Receipt function:

According to point 2, the CMR consignment note also serves as a receipt during the transfer process.

Do you need a CMR document? When does the CMR apply?

The CMR document for transport is mandatory for the parties to the contract of carriage if the country of departure and/or destination of the transport is a member of the Convention and thus supersedes the prevailing national transport law. Agreements that conflict with CMR are null and void. If the CMR document does not cover certain topics, then the national transport law is complementary. The agreement remains valid only when road vehicles are loaded. Containers and swap bodies are only valid in connection with the corresponding vehicle. Also excluded are transports of postal goods (in accordance with the provisions of the International Postal Convention), removal goods and corpses. The CMR for transport also applies if the vehicle is transported together with the goods on another means of transport (such as a ferry).

Which countries are CMR member states?

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Morocco (excluding Western Sahara), Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. (Status 13. November 2008.)

Shipper TMS

Regulations for the contracting parties by the CMR document


  • assignment of the international land transport to the carrier
  • payment of the carrier according to the agreed freight (depending on the agreement with the consignee)
  • safe packaging of the goods (unless otherwise agreed)
  • timely provision of all important information regarding the goods (especially in the case of dangerous goods) as well as the delivery of the required (freight) documents
  • right of disposal over the goods is on the part of the sender (unless otherwise agreed) until delivery (then it is transferred to the consignee)
  • The obligation to load, unload and stow goods is not expressly regulated within CMR.


  • Ensuring safe and timely transport to the agreed transport destination
  • prohibition to tranship the goods unless there is a contractual agreement or an instruction from the sender in exceptional cases


  • right to delivery of a copy of the consignment note and delivery of the goods
  • payment of the freight in the amount of the value stated in the consignment note plus the costs incurred by the transport, such as freight surcharges, demurrage, customs duties, import turnover tax (depending on the agreement with the sender)
  • Issue of an acknowledgement of receipt to the carrier

CMR Liability

General information on liability:

CMR liability is mainly a strict liability, whereby the carrier is liable for the damage incurred independently of fault within the period of custody. In addition, the carrier is also responsible for any misconduct on the part of the staff (servants and subcontractors) employed by him. The liability independent of fault is limited in value. The lifting of the limitation of liability shall only come into effect if the carrier or his personnel have caused damage through qualified fault. Qualified fault means that the damage is caused intentionally or by fault on the part of the carrier which is equivalent to intent. The carrier's exemption from liability shall come into force if the damage is caused either by the conduct or instructions of the person entitled to dispose of the goods (usually the sender), in which case the carrier was unable to intervene, or if the damage is caused by certain events (as described in article 17, paragraph 4 of the CMR). If there are several carriers, they shall be jointly and severally liable for the damage suffered. If the carrier suffers damage as a result of the sender's misconduct, the sender shall be liable accordingly.

Liability for loss of or damage to goods

The strict liability limits the maximum compensation to 8.33 units of account per kg gross weight. The compensation shall be calculated on the basis of the value at the place and time of takeover. An increase in the maximum amount of liability is only possible by declaring the value, which usually means payment of a surcharge by the sender.

Liability for exceeding the delivery deadline

CMR limits the compensation in case of exceeding the delivery time, if a proven damage resulted from it, to the amount of the freight. An extension of liability is only possible through a declaration of value, which usually has a positive effect on the freight charge.

Components of the CMR consignment note:

  1. Sender
  2. Consignee
  3. Place of delivery of the goods
  4. Place and date of taking over of the goods
  5. Documents attached
  6. Marks and Nos
  7. Number of packages
  8. Method of packing
  9. Nature of goods
  10. Statistical number
  11. Gross weight in kg
  12. Volume in m³
  13. Sender's instructions
  14. Cash on delivery
  15. Instructions as to payment carriage
  16. Carrier
  17. Successive carriers
  18. Reservations and remarks by carriers
  19. To be paid by
  20. Special agreements
  21. Established in/on
  22. Signature and stamp of the sender
  23. Signature and stamp of the carrier
  24. Date of receipt as well as signature and stamp of the consignee

CMR templates and forms for free

CMR consignment note PDF and Excel:


All information without guarantee.
Status: 10.05.2021