The CMR is a consignment note with a standard set of transport and liability conditions, which replaces individual business terms and conditions. It confirms that the carrier (i.e. the road haulage company) has received the goods and that a contract of carriage exists between the trader and the carrier.
Unlike a bill of lading, a CMR is not a document of title nor a declaration, although some states regard it as such. It does not necessarily give its holder and/or the carrier rights of ownership or possession of the goods, although some insurance is included.