The European Commission ran a public consultation on electronic documents for freight carriage during the period of mid-November 2017 until mid-January 2018. The questionnaire covered a variety of aspects such as the acceptance of electronic freight documents by EU member states, banks, and insurance companies as well as challenges related to interoperability.
The key concern from IUMI’s perspective is a fragmented regulatory approach on e-freight documents. The EU and other regional trade blocks developing various regulatory regimes for different regions around the globe would negatively impact international trade flows. Therefore, the only appropriate level for policy interventions on electronic freight documents is an international approach and a single set of policy measures.
Such a harmonised approach should be developed within the framework of global inter-governmental organisations. Any regional attempt to issue rules or regulations are likely to hamper transnational trade and would lead to a “spaghetti bowl” of various separate sets of policies around the world. For traders as well as insurers this is not desirable.
IUMI expressed these views in its submission to the European Commission (for a copy of our submission please email firstname.lastname@example.org). Further steps following the consultation process are expected to shape up in the course of this year. The results are also taken into consideration by the ongoing work on eFreight documents in the EU’s Digital Transport and Logistics Forum.