A consignment note is a contract of carriage of goods which will bind the sender of the cargo, the freight forwarder and finally the carrier also called “voiturier”. This contract serves as a loading receipt and delivery commitment since December 1, 1999. Under the transport regulations, this document is mandatory for any national or international freight contract carried out by a company resident in France or elsewhere.
The document must include:
a) the date it was issued
b) the carrier’s contact information
c) the date of takeover of the goods
d) the nature and quantity, or weight or volume of the goods
e) the name of the shipper or the deliverer of the goods
f) the consignee’s address
g) the complete address of the loading/unloading places.
NB: in the presence of multiple consignors/consignees, a single consignment note accompanied by a summary slip is sufficient
If it is missing, it must be provided within 3 days after the inspection (except for MD or waste considered as dangerous)
The consignment note is of free form and can be established via digital means
The absence of a consignment note or of the required information is a 5th class offence (1.500 € fine).
The mention of the price is not imperative
The very common practice of requiring the subcontractor to use only documents on behalf of the transport operator is justified for obvious commercial reasons, and does not detract from the subcontractor’s autonomy.
The receiver (platform or other carrier) who accepts the delivery without saying that they are acting on their behalf becomes the consignee and may be subject to direct action.
The ancillary services do not necessarily have to be included in the consignment note, the only thing is that they are in the “follow-up document”, whether it is the consignment note or another document duly given to the carrier