Turkey has ratified an additional protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (“Convention”). Accordingly, consignment notes, as well as other related documents and communications, can now be made electronically. Electronic consignment notes which meet the Additional Protocol’s provisions will be deemed to be equivalent to other consignment notes referred in the Convention, carrying the same effects.

The Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road Concerning the Electronic Consignment Note (“Additional Protocol”) was ratified by Council of Ministers Decision number 2017/10619, published in Official Gazette number 30162 on 22 August 2017.

According to the Additional Protocol, consignment notes referred to in the Convention, as well as any demand, declaration, instruction, request, reservation or other communication relating to the performance of a contract of carriage to which the Convention applies, can be made by electronic communication.

Contract parties will authenticate electronic consignment notes via a reliable electronic signature, which ensures a link to the electronic consignment note.

Electronic consignment notes must contain the same particulars as other consignment notes, referred to in the Convention. The particulars outlined in electronic consignment notes can be amended in the cases authorized by the Convention, provided the original information also continues to be recorded.

Parties which wish to use electronic consignment notes must agree on the following procedures and their implementation, with these details clearly outlined on the electronic consignment note:

  • Method for issuing and delivering electronic consignment notes.
  • Assurance that the electronic consignment note retains its integrity.
  • Manner for demonstrating rights arising from the electronic consignment note.
  • Manner for confirming delivery to the consignee has been effected.
  • Procedure for supplementing or amending the electronic consignment note.
  • Procedure for replacing electronic consignment notes with a note issued by other means.

Please see this link for the full text of the Decree (available in both Turkish and English).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.