CMR Convention

CMR Convention

Advancements in technology have led to developments in transportation vehicles, expanding the scope of goods subject to trade between countries. The scope of goods subject to international trade has expanded and international goods transportation has increased with the emergence of trailers, closed trailers, and closed trailers with cooling systems as a result of technological developments in motor vehicles As a result, the “Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR)” dated 19 May 1956 was adopted in order to solve the problems caused by international transport of goods within the framework of uniform rules. The CMR Convention was later amended by the Protocol dated July 5, 1978.  For Türkiye, the CMR Convention and the Additional Protocol to the CMR Convention entered into force on October 30, 1995.  A recent development includes the acceptance, with reservation, of the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road concerning the Electronic Transport Document. According to this Protocol, it is possible to issue the document of carriage electronically, and this electronic document is considered equivalent to the document of carriage specified in the Convention. Additionally, the provisions of the Turkish Commercial Law No. 6102 on the business of carriage are regulated in accordance with the CMR Convention.

The purpose of the CMR Convention is to regulate the liability of the carrier for loss, damage, and delay, as well as the limits of compensation claims, by subjecting international road transport to uniform regulation. It aims to provide the parties to the contract of carriage with foreseeable risks that can be insured, thereby reducing the costs of transportation and related trade. Moreover, the functions of the transport bill and the obligations of the parties to the transport contract have been clarified. However, the CMR Convention does not contain definitive provisions on issues such as the establishment of the contract, its subject matter, responsibility for loading and unloading, stowage obligations, transportation fee, pledge, imprisonment, termination, and withdrawal. Therefore, in cases where there is no provision in the CMR Convention, the provisions of the law applicable to the concrete case govern, serving as complementary provisions.

When evaluating the place of the CMR Convention in domestic law, the provisions of the CMR Convention have the force of law pursuant to Article 90(5) of the Constitution of the Republic of Türkiye No. 2709, since they have duly entered into force. They cannot be challenged in the Constitutional Court for constitutionality. Compared to other domestic law rules, the CMR Convention must be applied first in matters falling within its field of application.

[1]   See Official Gazette dated 07.12.1993 and numbered 21788.

[2]   See Official Gazette dated 22.08.2017 and numbered 30162.

[3]   See Turkish Commercial Law Draft and Justice Commission Report, 23rd Term of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Legislative Year 2, Docket No. 1/324, P. 96, p. 51-52, , et – 12.04.2020.

[4] Karan, Hakan: Convention CMR Commentary on the Convention on the International Carriage of Goods by Road, Ankara 2011, p. 14.

[5] Adıgüzel, Burak: “Comparison of Road Inland Transport Insurance and CMR Insurance”, Gift to Prof. Dr. Fırat Öztan, Vol. I, Ankara 2010, p. 20, 21.

[6] Adıgüzel, p. 21.

[7]   See Official Gazette dated 22.08.2017 and numbered 17863.

[8] Karan, p. 15.