EU seeks comments on digital freight documents

The European Commission wants to know why electronic freight transport documents aren’t used more widely, and has launched a consultation into the matter.

Along with potential benefits such as improving the efficiency, reliability and cost-effectiveness of transport and logistics, electronic records could also be of value in helping to secure the supply chain. However, the consultation document notes that “a majority of the documents used in freight transport operations are still issued, transferred and archived on paper.”

Feedback on the idea can be provided via a questionnaire – open until January 18 – and could help formulate an EC policy on digitization of freight documents, says the Commission, which is seeking input from  public authorities in the transport sector, as well as customs, fiscal authorities and law enforcement, shipping companies, transport and logistics companies, ITS/telecommunication service providers, etc.”

The scope of the consultation mainly covers transport documents such as contracts of carriage, and at the moment it is anticipated that it will not be extended to other forms of paperwork such as dangerous goods certificates, phytosanitary certificates, certificates of origins, waste declarations etc.

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