The transport lexicon
CMR is an international treaty regarding transport of goods via land across country borders.
CMR is an abbreviation of "Convention relative au contrat de transport international de marchandises par route", in English: Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road. The treaty regulates assigning and completion of contracts, liability in the event of delays or in the case of loss or damage of the transported goods. The convention also includes regulations regarding complaints and the case of successive hauliers. If a case is not sufficiently regulated by the CMR, national law is also applied. The agreement applies solely to the freight carried by road vehicles. Containers and swap bodies do not, in and of themselves, qualify as vehicles in accordance with the CMR. A standardised CMR waybill is issued for this type of international transport.
The treaty came into being under the leadership of the UNO in 1956. It was initially signed by ten countries. The CMR Founding Members were Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.
The treaty was ratified in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1961, and in 1974 in the DDR. Since then, all European countries have become signatories, as well as two African countries (Morocco and Tunisia), as well as multiple Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
The term CMR refers, in principle, to the treaty itself, but is often (incorrectly) used to refer to the CMR-waybill. This standardised form is really only required for transport across borders if (at least) the country of origin or destination country of the goods is a member of the CMR. However, in the transport industry it is often also used for national transports.