How many times does the customer pay?
When organizing transport, we check the credibility and references of the company we
intend to submit the commission. For some, the contractor’s credibility testing is limited to
checking the Carrier’s Civil Liability Insurance (CMR). More investigative ask the carrier for a
current transport license, but a king’s ransom to those who are wondering about the
financial condition of their contractor…, because what’s that got to do with the price of
eggs when we pay the transport company? But are you sure?
If our contractor is a direct carrier who, in addition, does not conduct shipping activities, their possible financial problems will only be their concern. The case is different if:
– you order a forwarding that does not have to transport the cargo with your car, but may subcontract the service to another carrier, becoming the contractual carrier itself,
– as a recipient of the goods, you arrange with the sender to organize the transport.
Let us now imagine a situation where: the client submits a commission to the company “Specter Sp. z o.o”, which resells this cargo to its subcontractor. After the end of the service, which ran smoothly, the client pays the invoice to the contractor – a forwarding company “Specter Sp. z o.o.”, which turns out to be in fact a company with very limited liability and disappears with the remuneration received, without paying its carrier.
A similar scenario can be written when the sender of the goods undertakes to organize and pay for transport, and then, for various reasons, decides to “save” on the carrier, because, for example, the shipper’s entire property was the goods that had just traveled.
We will organize any
transport in 45 minutes
Our employee will quickly prepare a specific offer, and after its acceptance, they will personally ensure that nothing will prevent the delivery at the agreed time.
Unexpected orders do not surprise us because we are well-prepared.
In such situation, the only solution for the carrier may be to submit a financial claim to the client. It sounds ridiculous, especially in that context, when the recipient of the goods did not participate in transport negotiations at all, let alone in the exchange of commissions, and the client’s participation in the entire transport was limited only to accepting the shipment and signing the bill of lading. Even though such a move by the carrier may seem crazy and illegal, there is a legal loophole in both the Transport Law and the CMR Convention that makes it possible.
Particularly dangerous, from the point of view of the recipient, is Art. 51.1 of the Transport Law, according to which the recipient, by accepting the shipment and the bill of lading, undertakes to pay the amounts due on the shipment. Based on a literal interpretation of this provision and judgments of the Supreme Court, the carrier does not have to undertake any other additional steps beforehand that would allow the use of this specific provision of the Transport Law. In particular, the carrier does not even have to submit its claim before delivering the goods to the recipient…. Thus, the recipient may not even know the freight amount and not have the slightest idea that they owe someone something until the reception of the payment request. It is true that we can meet with the position of various authors dealing with transport law that this provision is archaic, because it was created in “rightly past” times and was intended to protect the financial interests of state-owned transport companies, including PKP. In fact, the lawyers raising this argument are right because……. the discussed article of the Transport Law was written in the times of the People’s Republic of Poland. However, it does not change the fact that despite so many different amendments to the law, introduced after 1989, it is still in force.
The recipient, accepting the shipment, becomes under the law “in solidum” responsible for the charges on the shipment, which also include freight. This debt exists regardless of the debt resulting from other contracts, for example between the shipper and the carrier, or the forwarder and the carrier.
However, the recipient’s situation is much better in the case of international transport. The carrier may claim payment of their invoice from the recipient only if the amount due is properly placed in the CMR consignment note – because in accordance with art. 13 point 2 of the CMR Convention, the recipient is obliged to settle only “the amounts due resulting from the consignment note”.
So, if someone does not want to pay twice for the same transport, it is worth using proven companies with a good reputation on the transport market, regulating all their obligations. Stan-Trans is such a company. Therefore, we invite you to cooperate in the implementation of transport services.