It is necessary to differentiate between carriage contract and forwarding contracts. Under contracts on the carriage of goods according to ß 610 of the Commercial Code, the carrier undertakes to carry a good or goods (i.e. a consignment) from a determined place of dispatch to another determined destination, while the consignor undertakes to pay him a carriage fee. With forwarding contracts, the forwarding agent undertakes in his own name to arrange the transport of a consignment for the sender (i.e. the consignor) on the sender's account, while the sender undertakes to pay the forwarding agent a fee.
If a carrier pursues domestic freight road transport, he must conclude a carriage contract according to the Slovak Commercial code.
However, if the carrier pursues international freight road transport (when the place the goods are taken over and the place designated for delivery are in two different countries, regardless of the place of residence and the nationality of the parties involved) then the legal relationship between the carrier and the consignor is regulated by the International Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR Convention). Any stipulation which directly or indirectly derogates from the provisions of the CMR Convention are null and void. The nullity of a stipulation does not mean that other provisions in the contract are also null. However, the carriage contract may contain a clause conferring competence on an arbitration tribunal if the clause conferring competence on the tribunal provides that the tribunal shall apply the CMR Convention.
The CMR carriage contract is confirmed by the issue of a consignment note. The consignment note must be made out in three original copies signed by the sender and by the carrier. The consignment note is prima facie evidence of the making of the carriage contract, the conditions of the contract, and the receipt of the goods by the carrier.
The period of limitations for an action arising from carriage under the CMR Convention is one year, although in the case of willful misconduct the period of limitations is three years.
A delay in delivery is said to occur when the goods have not been delivered within the agreed time-limit. No compensation is payable for delays in delivery unless a reservation has been sent in writing to the carrier within 21 days of the time that the goods were placed at the disposal of the consignee.
19. Feb 2007 at 0:00