Article 1 – Unless expressly agreed otherwise in writing between the parties, all of our operations take place in accordance with the present general contractual terms and conditions, which take precedence over those of the contractor. Additionally (on a complementary basis), the 2005 General Belgian Forwarding Conditions, published in the annexes to the Belgian Official Gazette dated 24 June 2005 under no. 0090237, apply to all of our operations. Our contracts of carriage, both for international and national transport, are governed by the provisions of the CMR convention of 19/05/56 and of the CMR protocol of 05/07/78, which our general contractual terms and conditions complement and specify.
Article 2 – As far as contracts of carriage are concerned, our general contractual terms and conditions apply to any transaction agreed between parties as part of the contract of carriage, including the actual transport activities, as well as the storage and storage services before, during and after the execution of the actual transport order, except where expressly agreed otherwise in writing between the parties. If we act as the carrier, the term ‘carrier’ hereinafter shall mean ‘we’.
Article 3 – The information in the consignment note, including the cargo, the identity of the consignee and of the consignor, shall be considered prima facie evidence by the parties. In the event of signature of the consignment note by the shipper, the quay personnel or the shipping agent, instead of the consignor as the carrier’s principal, the aforesaid parties are deemed to act as representative of the consignor and, insofar as is necessary, favouring the acceptance by the consignor of the terms and conditions stated in the consignment note in question.
Article 4 – The ‘said to contain’ clause applies ipso jure if the carrier, without examining the content and sample, takes delivery of:
- The goods in crates, bags, packs or opaque packages;
- Vehicles and containers turned over while filled.
Article 5 – The weight specified by the consignor in the consignment note is not recognised by the carrier and can under no circumstances be used as evidence against him, unless it appears it has been verified as provided for in art. 8 §3 CMR, which, in such a case, must be specified separately in the consignment note.
Article 6 – The carrier, in completing the customs formalities, acts solely as the representative of the consignor. Unforeseen circumstances, such as abnormal waiting times when completing the customs formalities due to missing, incomplete or inaccurate standard documents and records required, such as T documents, sanitary certificates etc. give the right to a surcharge. If we are tasked with completing the customs formalities, we have the right to demand security in advance. The customer undertakes to provide, upon first request, the security demanded or to supply the funds requested by us to settle the customs duties, failing which we may refuse to intervene. Any late payment shall result in interest, fines and costs that are the exclusive responsibility of the customer. The customs duties passed on by us are always payable in cash and in advance, even in the case of a dispute.
Article 7 – The carrier’s employees and/or deputies are not bound by any instructions and will not accept any declarations that bind the carrier outside the limits set with respect to:
- the value of the goods to be used as references in the case of total or partial loss, or in the case of damage (art. 23 and 26 CMR);
- the delivery times (art. 19 CMR);
- COD instructions (art. 21 CMR);
- special value or special interest in delivery (art. 24 and 26 CMR);
- carriage of dangerous goods (A.D.R.) or goods subject to special regulations.
Article 8 – In the absence of an explicit written agreement on standstill times and compensation during the loading and unloading process, the carrier cannot be held accountable for that.
Article 9 – The principal must pay the price, including postage. Unless expressly stated otherwise in writing, the invoices are payable in cash and in advance at our registered office or into our bank account. No offsetting of debts against any amounts owed by us is allowed. Nor shall offsetting against other transport orders be allowed or have legal effect with regard to us. Therefore, no action or claim may be brought against us to postpone or suspend payment of our invoices.
Article 10 – Unless agreed in writing to the contrary:
- the consignor must arrange the loading;
- the consignee must arrange the unloading;
- the carrier must, insofar as necessary, arrange the stowage of the goods.
The party charged with the aforementioned actions is liable for its own acts, as well as for those of the persons who assist it and, therefore, act for its account. The deputies, employee and the personnel of the carrier are forbidden from participating in the loading and unloading operations. Insofar as this prohibition is not observed, such an intervention and course of action is extraneous to the contract of carriage and is to be regarded as an appointment of the deputy, employee or member of personnel by the consignor or consignee.
Article 11 – Pick-up and/or order at the home is understood to mean at the doorstep or at the quay of the buildings. Any intervention by personnel of the carrier beyond the doorstep or the quay is forbidden. Insofar as this prohibition is not observed, such an intervention and course of action is extraneous to the contract of carriage and is to be regarded as an appointment of the deputy, employee or member of personnel by the consignor or consignee.
Article 12 – The route to be followed by the vehicles in factories, on construction sites, in warehouses and in other locations is indicated by the manager responsible for those locations. The carrier may object to a mode of driving or transport imposed by the aforementioned managers insofar as the local conditions can endanger the vehicle or cargo.
Article 13 – In the absence of payment of our invoice on the due date, the outstanding amount shall carry, ipso jure and without notice of default, interest at 16% per day, without prejudice to conventional damages, also at 16%, with a minimum of EUR 250.00 to cover administrative charges, trade distortion and the monitoring of the accounts receivable. In case of non-payment of an invoice on the due date, all claims against the customer that are not yet due shall become payable, ipso jure and without notice of default, in which case we have the right to suspend all further services.
Article 14 – Our claims against the debtor, even insofar as they pertain to various shipments and to goods that are no longer in our possession, constitute a single indivisible claim to the benefit of which we may exercise all of our rights and privileges.
Article 15 – The goods that are in or come into our possession will serve as collateral for the settlement of our claim(s) against this debtor or against the owner of the goods. This shall occur in accordance with the provisions concerning trade collateral. We are allowed to exercise a right of lien on the goods that are in our possession.
Article 16 – Any disputes concerning our contracts shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Antwerp, section Antwerp, without prejudice to our right to sue before the courts of the domicile/registered office of the defendant. Belgian law applies.
Article 17 – In the event that one of the aforementioned terms and conditions is declared to be void or ineffective, in whole or in part, the invalidity thereof shall not affect the validity of the other terms and conditions. The void provision must be replaced by a provision that corresponds as closely as possible to the purpose of the void provision.