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What Is CMR Insurance? And More Haulage Insurance Requirements

30 March 2021

CMR insurance is essential if you want to carry goods across European borders. It will cover you for a range of incidents including theft, arson, accidents, and natural disasters.

To explain what CMR insurance is and why you need it, we first need to take a brief look at a United Nations convention from 1956: The CMR Convention.

What is the CMR Convention?

“CMR” refers to a French expression: Convention relative au contrat de transport international de marchandises par route. In English, this is the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road.

45 European states have ratified this convention. Anyone transporting goods across European borders for reward is legally required to carry a CMR waybill, which customs and police will check at borders. As CMR is a statutory requirement, it is not possible for hauliers to contract out of it.

Other CMR Convention requirements include:

  • The sender must complete the consignment.
  • You must complete the consignment with a ballpoint pen, a typewriter, a computer, or an electronic consignment note (an eCMR).
  • The driver who uses the consignment should be familiar with both the consignment and the waybill. The driver must also be able to inform the recipient about various aspects of the waybill, including the point of origin, the destination, and the route.

Learn more about the CMR Convention.

What is CMR Insurance?

Under the CMR Convention, you are liable for any losses or damages to the goods you transport across European borders. You’re also liable for any significant delay in delivering these goods. CMR insurance covers you for these losses, damages, and delays.

It ensures that, should anything happen to your goods in transit, you won’t take a financial hit, so you’ll be able to continue trading and recover from the incident.

What Does CMR Insurance Cover?

CMR Insurance will cover your liabilities as a haulier under the CMR Convention. Your CMR insurance policy might cover arson, theft, on-road and off-road accidents, and natural disasters including fire and floods.

One thing to bear in mind, though: The CMR Convention applies to carriage of goods for reward. So a CMR insurance policy would not cover the transport of personal goods, mail services, furniture removals, and funeral arrangements.

Do I Need CMR Insurance Cover?

If you want to move goods for reward across European borders, current law requires you to carry a CMR waybill for border checks. The law does not require you to get CMR insurance. But as we said above, under the CMR convention you could be liable for any incidents that happen during transit.

The financial cost of covering losses will be huge. So think of CMR insurance as an essential safety net for when you’re transporting goods across Europe.

Do I Still Need CMR Insurance After Brexit?

If you’ve not done so already, it’s worth taking the time to read the new rules for transporting goods between Britain and the EU. The government’s online guidance has lots of information on the sort of documentation you might require.

CMR was enacted into UK law by virtue of the Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965 so CMR is definitely here to stay. This means that CMR insurance still provides essential cover if you’re transporting goods across Europe.

Also, any goods you transport across the UK might have originated from an overseas European country. Or, goods you transport across the UK might cross the channel for delivery into Europe. In either case, you’ll still need CMR insurance to cover the European leg of the journey.

Even UK only hauliers should consider investing in CMR Insurance. This is because they could unwittingly pick up the tail end of a CMR consignment and therefore by liable for CMR.

Haulage Insurance Removes the Risk of International Transit

Your fleet drivers could be the most careful drivers in the world. But anything can happen on the roads. All it takes to cause an accident is bad weather, a careless driver in another vehicle, or a totally unexpected natural disaster. And what about delays? A long traffic jam could scupper your plans, and you could be liable for the delay in delivery.

In short, the roads are inherently risky. You’ve no way of knowing what could happen as you move goods from A to B. But good haulage insurance will cover you for almost any mishap.

At Hazelton Mountford, we understand your business requirements, and our haulage experts are dedicated to staying up to date with the latest regulations at home and abroad. So our haulage insurance will truly meet your fleet’s needs and your legal obligations, while our dedicated client service portal will help you stay up to date with everything.

Head here to learn more about our expert haulage insurance, and to get a quote.