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Robert.Jervis_43227 Jan 13

Guide to CMR case law now online

How to avoid the pitfalls
A new, country by country case law guide on interpretation of the ‘Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road’, known as CMR, has been published online, including an analysis of UK case law by shipping and transport specialist John Habergham of Myton Law.
Stichting Vervoeradres, the Netherlands-based foundation which creates standards for the carriage of goods, produced the guide in cooperation with the Institut du Droit International des Transports (IDIT).  The foundation has gathered together up to date reports from experts in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands and the UK, with reports from other countries to follow, illustrating how each country interprets CMR.
The guide is intended as a reference point for those dealing with transport law, including in-house company lawyers, counsels and claims staff as well as insurance companies.
Myton Law’s John Habergham said:

“We are delighted that Myton Law’s transport law expertise has been recognised through this invitation to provide the UK section for this prestigious guide.
“Over the years, courts in different countries have interpreted CMR differently.  For hauliers and forwarders carrying goods by road, often across a number of countries, when disputes arise it is important to understand how the law is applied in each.  In the UK, for example, interpretation tends to favour the carrier, whereas in Germany courts tend to find against the carrier.  These differing approaches lead to ‘jurisdiction shopping’ - a scramble to fix jurisdiction in the face of a dispute.  However, that can be avoided by ensuring a carrier’s terms and conditions include a jurisdiction clause and that the carrier makes sure its terms are incorporated into every contract.”
Shula Stibbe, Secretary General of Stichting Vervoeradres, said:

“We are pleased that John was able to provide the UK case law information.  The IDIT website includes reports from seven different countries with more to follow, so making access to comparison of interpretation of CMR easier for all involved.”
With the movement of goods in the spotlight following the end of the Brexit transition period, the publication of this up-to-date comparison of ‘national’ interpretations is timely.  However, law relating to the carriage of goods by road as defined by CMR is unaffected by Brexit as CMR is a UN convention drawn up in Geneva in 1956 and subsequently signed up to by the UK and other European countries, but also by countries on other continents.
In addition to the online case law information, Stichting Vervoeradres is producing a standard manual for all European lawyers having to deal with CMR questions, which is scheduled for print publication in autumn 2021.  The manual will give high level information on the main themes of the CMR treaty and include the newest insights on the interpretation of CMR.  The country by country case law has been published on the IDIT website, so that it can be updated regularly.
Myton Law provides specialist shipping, rail and logistics legal services for clients across the UK and beyond.  The firm’s expertise also includes insurance, commercial property, renewables and international trade law.
Stichting Vervoeradres, active for 75 years, writes general terms and conditions that are used by nearly all Dutch road hauliers and promotes the good practice of using a standard consignment note for transport transactions