Lithuania encourages the EU to follow the example of the Baltic States and to step up its efforts to reduce paper-based freight transport procedures

At the meeting of the European Union (EU) Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council in Luxembourg, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania Marius Skuodis emphasised the importance of developing an interoperable electronic freight information exchange system in Europe and called on EU Member States to take action in reducing paper-based freight transport procedures.

At the Council meeting the Minister presented some statistics of the year 2020 stating that, on average, there were 33.690 incoming and 24.468 outgoing trucks per month. Each of those trucks had to carry 100 sheets of paper per trip.

“16 tonnes of paper documents cross our borders each month,” Skuodis said.

He underlined that, seeking to become leaders in transport and logistics digitalisation, Lithuania and other Baltic States had already developed and successfully tested necessary solutions. Baltic States had already finished a pilot project on freight information exchange in international operations involving technical and administrative tools that ensure smooth and paper-free logistic chains operation in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland.

Minister Skuodis expressed his views on the matter during a discussion on interoperable electronic freight information exchange system development at the TTE Council meeting on Thursday and said: “Making the digitalisation of transport documents a priority is not enough. We need to take serious action and to switch from paper-based procedures to exchanging information electronically. It is unacceptable that in this digital age, 99 percent of all international transport operations in the EU still use paper documents”.

At the meeting, Estonia presented a proposal to develop an interoperable European electronic freight information ecosystem, which had already been welcomed by Lithuania, alongside with Latvia, Poland, Finland, Hungary, Romania and Malta. Denmark and the European Commission also expressed their support at the Council meeting.

According to the Minister, once a regulation on electronic freight transport information is approved EU-wide, it will ensure transparency and increase efficiency, while other EU Member States and neighbouring countries will be able to use a fully-applicable international electronic freight waybill (eCMR).

The EU regulation on electronic freight transport information (eFTI) is to come into effect in August 2024, which means that state authorities will have to accept digitally submitted carriers’ information in a unified format valid EU-wide.

Pranešimą paskelbė: Dalia Perednienė, LR Susisiekimo ministerija

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