Transport Contract

The transport of works of art, stage equipment, instruments, etc., i.e. movables, is best regulated by a transport contract, as referred to in Section 2555 of Act No. 89/2012 Sb., the Civil Code, effective from 1 January 2014. Transport contracts are concluded mostly with professional transport companies and are governed by national law. Cross-border contracts are also subject to relevant international conventions depending on the particular type of transport (e.g. the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road, or CMR).

The most important part of a transport contract is the provision setting liability for damage to the object to be transported. The contract should also set out the conditions for reimbursement of expenses and relevant deadlines. In terms of insurance, the limit of the insurance benefit is often linked with the total volume of the transport, among other things, which may result in a relatively low insurance benefit – unless an intent or gross negligence on the part of the transport company is proven.

Transport companies usually use their own standardised contracts and general terms and conditions, so in the case of small-scale transport it is usually impossible for an individual to negotiate any major changes to the contract or the terms and conditions. For small-scale transport, only the basic parameters of transport can be set without changing the other legal essentials. For this reason, it seems useful to take out an insurance policy for valuable works of art or expensive equipment (see also Transport Insurance).

It is not easy to prove that damage to the objects was incurred during transport. Reports on the condition of the goods or consignment (condition reports) can help with this. In any case, great care should be taken to prevent damage to the objects, especially through their proper packaging and loading (see also Transport and Customs Duties).