Carriage by Road Act, 2007

This act was passed by the Parliament to regulate common carriers, limit the magnitude of their liability as well as help in declaring the value of goods which are delivered to them in order to determine their liability. It also covers the damages to the goods caused by criminal acts, negligence of the carrier or someone else. Carriage by Road Act, 2007 was passed in 2007 to fix the loopholes of the Carriers Act, 1865.

Definition of ‘Common Carrier’

According to this act a ‘Common Carrier’ is any person who is involved in a business of

  • Storing
  • Collecting
  • Distributing of goods

All the goods carriages which come under the goods receipt or for transport from one place to another using a motorised medium on road. A company, agent, contractor who is involved in door to door distribution or a single common spot distribution of services and goods in a direct or indirect way is also included in the definition of ‘common carrier’

Objective of Carriage by Road Act, 2007

The objective is to prevent any person who is not registered and authorised to act or carry out a business of common carrier. Now all those who are engaged in the business of common carrier have to apply for registration and then engage in such a business or stop engaging in such a business.

It also directs all the consignor to declare the total value of the consignment in a Goods Forwarding Note(GFN) and also the nature of the goods being transported. As per this act each common carrier is responsible for the safe keeping of the goods and prevent any loss or damage to the consignment.

In exercise of the powers conferred by the Act, the Central Government of India made the Carriage by Road Rules 2011.

Provisions for Safekeeping

  • In a case of partial damage to the goods, an independent Government verified and approved surveyor is assigned to check for the damages as mentioned by the client and finalise the cost to be borne by the common carrier as a penalty.
  • In case of complete damage, the liability of the common carrier is to at maximum ten times the freight payable and the penalty calculated should not be more than the value of the goods as declared in the GFN
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