The Benelux countries call for the use of electronic consignment notes

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The Benelux countries call for the use of electronic consignment notes

The transport ministers of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are calling on truck drivers and carriers to use e-CMR. The electronic version of the documents allows limiting contact and the spread of coronavirus.

The Benelux Transport Ministers stress the advantages of e-CMR during the coronavirus pandemic crisis and call for its use. Electronic consignment notes have gained an important advantage – they allow to limit contact between people and thus reduce the risk of coronavirus infection. 

The use of e-CMR not only provides many benefits in terms of administrative simplification but also contributes to the necessary social distance and increased safety and speed of control,” said François Bellot, Belgian transport minister quoted by Bellot called on the transport industry to use e-CMR as it can help in the fight against the coronavirus.

Similar appeals have been made to carriers by the ministers of transport from Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

E-CMR is an important tool to speed up the handling of goods throughout the whole supply chain from the consignor to consignee – you should use it where possible,” said François Bausch, Luxembourg’s transport minister.

Luxembourg and the Netherlands, unlike Belgium, have already ratified the e-CMR Additional Protocol. The Belgian Minister of Transport has declared, however, that Belgium will not do so until the pilot tests of the electronic consignment note have been completed. The project is scheduled to end in February 2021.

There are still too many problems with the different systems used by different countries for e-CMR,” said Bellot. 

The Benelux countries started joint e-CMR tests in 2018. The transition to e-CMR in these countries, according to IRU (International Road Transport Union) estimates, could generate annual savings of €270 million. The electronic consignment note may also be used by carriers in these countries for international transport, provided that it takes place within the Benelux countries.

Spain and e-CMR

Spanish carriers also appreciate the benefits of using e-CMR, especially during the pandemic. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with the regular exchange of paper documents, CETM wants to facilitate the digital use of transport documents in any form. To this end, the association offered its members free use of the Transfollow platform in April and May.

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