Digitalisation of freight transport information – Council adopts new rules

The Council today adopted new rules which will make it easier for freight transport companies to provide information to authorities in digital form. Increased digitalisation of freight transport and logistics will bring significant cost savings for businesses, and make the transport sector more efficient and sustainable.

A provisional agreement was reached between the presidency and the European Parliament on 26 November 2019. The agreed text was endorsed by member states’ ambassadors meeting in the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) on 18 December 2019, and the Council confirmed the political agreement on 18 February 2020.

The new rules will create a uniform legal framework for the use of electronic freight transport information for all modes of transport. All relevant public authorities will be required to accept information provided electronically on certified platforms whenever companies choose to use such a format to provide information as proof of compliance with legislative requirements. However, companies will still be able to present the information in paper format if they prefer.

At the moment, most freight transport companies and other transport business stakeholders use paper documents.

Next steps

Today’s vote, taken using a written procedure, means that the Council has adopted its position at first reading. The legal act now needs to be adopted by the European Parliament at second reading before being published in the Official Journal.

The new regulation will enter into force 20 days after publication. The Commission will adopt the relevant technical specifications before the obligation for public authorities to accept information made available electronically comes into force.