The International Road Transport Union ("IRU") supports the EU’s policy move towards a more digital transport environment and thanks the European Commission for providing stakeholders with the opportunity to contribute at this stage of the process. IRU welcomes the support for the use of electronic control documents in the recently published Mobility Package, particularly relating to the potential of eCMR to be used in the enforcement of cabotage and as a tool to make the EU carrier industry more competitive and robust as a whole. Therefore the EC should continue to actively pursue the introduction and full recognition of electronic documents in EU road freight transport, as this could reduce the administrative burden for transport companies as well. IRU is therefore encouraging the European Commission to further increase its legislative and non-legislative actions and to subsequently enable and align the implementation of electronic documents for road freight transport and logistics. IRU is prepared to continue to work together with the Commission in a constructive way to achieve this.
IRU reiterates the need for the continued support of the EU Commission not only with regard to road transport relevant initiatives such as eCMR but also with regard to the need to standardise all relevant electronic road transport documents in order to ensure the interoperability of data between all modes of transport and the full acceptance of such electronic systems by national authorities.
Since the digitalisation of the road transport sector is making significant progress, IRU is proposing the initiation of an impact assessment in order to evaluate how this upcoming development might impact the society as the whole. The scope of such assessment shall therefore apply to new business opportunities on the one side whilst not ignoring the social aspects of such developments, especially as far as they affect job security, on the other side.
Following the ongoing eCMR operations between Spain and France, and the important eCMR pilot will kick-off on 22 June 2017 in Greece, IRU is also looking into further pilot initiatives with its member associations that would link up all relevant countries into major eCMR pilot corridors, making the logistics operations more efficient, transparent and safer thanks to modern IT technologies. Since it is so important to go fully digital for the transport industry, IRU is also using its global reach and supports initiatives such as eCMR on a global level through its close cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and other relevant organisations such as the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
In addition to its support to eCMR, IRU encourages the digitalisation of all transport operations, including the usage of electronic TIR, which has already proven to function adequately within computerized environment, electronic invoicing and all other daily operations and documents in transport business.
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