Carriage by Road Act, 2007
The Carriage by Road Act, 2007 is an Act of the Parliament of India which provides for the regulation of common carriers of goods by roads. The Act was published on 29th September 2007.
The Act states that no person shall engage in the business of common carrier, after the commencement of the Act, unless a certificate of registration has been granted to him. Persons engaged in the business of common carrier before the commencement of the Act, were required to either apply for a registration within 90 days from the date of commencement of the Act or cease to engage in such business on the expiry of 180 days from the date of commencement of the Act.
The Act defines a “common carrier” as a person engaged in the business of collecting, storing, forwarding or distributing goods to be carried by goods carriages under a goods receipt or transporting for hire of goods from place to place by motorized transport on road. It also includes a goods booking company, contractor, agent, broker and courier agency engaged in the door-to-door transportation of documents, goods or articles utilizing the services of a person, either directly or indirectly, to carry or accompany such documents, goods or articles.
The Act mandates that every consignor shall execute a goods forwarding note (GFN) which would include a declaration about the value of the consignment and goods of dangerous and hazardous nature. Every common carrier is liable to the consignor for the loss or damage to any consignment in accordance with GFN.
In exercise of the powers conferred by the Act, the Central Government of India made the Carriage by Road Rules 2011.
Carriage by Road Rules, 2011
In exercise of the powers conferred by the Carriage by Road Act, 2007, the Central Government of India made the Carriage by Road Rules, 2011. These Rules relate to the regulation of common carriers of goods by roads. The Rules came into force on 28th February 2011.
Conditions for grant of registration
A person applying for registration under Carriage by Road rules shall comply with the following conditions:
- The applicant should produce registration certificates of two commercial vehicles registered in his name or in the name of an Organisation or in the name of a partner or proprietor or director, or a contract letter or work
order for carrying out functions as a common carrier, from a registered company;
- The applicant should have net worth of minimum rupees five lakhs of his own or of any of the proprietor or partner or director. In case of applications for certificate of registration for providing service at a higher risk, the net worth of the applicant or of any of its proprietor or partner or director shall be minimum rupees twenty lakhs.
- In case common carriers are proprietorship firms or partnership firms, the proprietors or partners should not have been blacklisted or deregistered earlier.
Grant or renewal of certificate of registration
The registering authority shall grant or renew the certificate of registration within a period of 30 days after
- Receiving the application
- Receiving the fees specified
- Satisfying that the applicant has complied with all the conditions required for grant of registration.
Every holder of a certificate of registration needs to maintain a record of the transactions in a register, updated on a quarterly basis. The summary of the entries are to be submitted to the registering authority. Every consignor needs to execute a goods forwarding note (GFN), carrying details of the goods, at the time of booking his goods. On receipt of GFN from the consignor for booking of goods to be transported, every common carrier shall issue a goods receipt.
Liability for loss of or damage to any consignment
Liability of the common carrier is limited to ten times the freight paid or payable, provided that the amount so calculated does not exceed the value of the goods as declared in GFN. In case of partial damage to the goods, the evaluation of damage may be done by an independent Government approved valuer or surveyor selected by the consignor out of the list notified by the common carrier and the cost of such evaluation is to be borne by the common carrier.The liability for loss of documents sent along with the consignment order should not exceed rupees five hundred. In case of perishable goods, the consignor or the consignee should select the Government approved valuer or surveyor within a period of 24 hours from the time of report of the loss or deterioration of the goods, failing which the common carrier shall be free to select the said valuer or surveyor. The delivery of the consignment by the common carrier is treated as prima facie evidence of delivery of the goods as described in the GFN unless notice of the general nature of loss of, or damage to, the goods is given in writing, by the consignee to the common carrier at the time of handing over of the goods to the consignee. The responsibility of the common carrier is limited to the transit period, from the date of taking over the goods in his or her charge from the consignor to the date of arrival at the destination point plus three calendar days. The date of arrival of the consignment is taken as the day on which the goods physically arrive at the destination or the day when the consignee or consignor is informed of the arrival of the goods at the destination, whichever is later. The liability of the common carrier is to be calculated on the actual freight collected or due or ninety per cent of total charges excluding the taxes shown on goods receipt, whichever is higher.