Application of the CMR
1. The origins of the CMR
“Having recognised the desirability of standardising the conditions governing the contract for the international carriage of goods by road, particularly with respect to the documents used for such carriage and to the carrier’s liability”, 1 nine European states (Austria, France, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, West Germany, the Netherlands and Yugoslavia) signed the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road on 19 May 1956. 2 The Convention is generally known by the acronym for its title in French: “Convention relative au Contrat de Transport International de Marchandises par Route: CMR”. Carriage by road was one of the last types of transport to be the subject of uniform law, a reflection of the intensity of the conflict of interests involved. 3 The CMR came into force, as regards those states that had ratified or acceded to it, in October 1961. The United Kingdom acceded to the CMR on 21 July 1967, it having been given legislative expression as a Schedule to the Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965, which came into force on 19 October 1967. That Act remains in force, as amended by the Carriage by Air and Road Act 1979. This book refers chiefly to the application of the CMR in England. In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, to which the Acts also apply, the effect will for most purposes be the same. 4
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