The amendment of the Road Transportation Act will lead to a change which will affect significantly the road freight transport from 2019 onwards. So far, freight transport has been governed by the Civil Code which however does not contain detailed provisions in this field. Instead of formulating completely new rules, the amendment however refers to the rules of the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) which has been well-established in the sector of freight transportation in the long term. From 1 January 2019, these rules will apply also to domestic transport.
The key change which will affect both the carriers and consignors subsists in the limitation of the carrier’s liability for loss of or damage to the consignment and obligation to pay damages in such case. According to the Civil Code, the carrier must pay damages in the full extent, based on the price of the consignment at the time of hand over to the carrier. Newly, the carrier’s liability will not exceed SDR 8.33, i.e. approximately CZK 260 per one kilogramme.
Nevertheless, there will still be an option of obtaining insurance of an extent covering in full the value of the consignment or regulating the liability between the consignor and the carrier differently by a contractual clause.