eTrade in focus as EU4Digital event highlights achievements and prospects

  • Date: 13/10/20
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Progress and future plans in the area of eTrade were presented at a thematic session organised by the EU4Digital Facility on 9 October 2020, as part of the annual Steering Committee Meeting, which took place virtually between 5 and 9 October. 

The eTrade session was attended by more than 60 participants, including: 

  • Speakers from the European Commission;
  • EU4Digital eTrade contact network members; 
  • Harmonising Digital Market (HDM) coordinators from the Eastern partner countries; 
  • Civil Society Forum eTrade experts;
  • Working group members in eTrade activities: cross-boder eTrade (eDelivery), eCustoms, eCommerce, digital transport corridor (DTC); 
  • EU4Digital Facility country coordinators from the Eastern partner countries.

The leader of the EU4Digital Facility’s eTrade thematic stream, Ruta Salvyte-Tamosiuniene, outlined the progress and plans of eTrade activities, including the piloting of eDelivery, eCustoms and eCommerce, as well as preparatory actions for the DTC. Specifically, the EU4Digital team presented the key achievements since the last Steering Committee Meeting, their benefits for businesses, government and citizens, and future plans in the sector.

One of the key milestones of the cross-border eTrade activity (eDelivery) was presented: 9 October saw the successful launch of the eDelivery pilot between four companies in Ukraine and Poland. The pilot will enable involved parties to exchange data with the EU and beyond. 

In eCustoms, one of the key achievements has been strengthened bilateral cooperation between customs services in Lithuania and Belarus. The EU4Digital Facility also noted that the SEED (Systematic Exchange of Electronic Data) solution’s capacity to adapt to user needs and national requirements had been proven. Currently, the implementation of the required adjustments is in progress, and the start of the pilot between Lithuania and Belarus is foreseen in November 2020.

The digital transport corridor activity has been completed, with the design of a three-year programme, and definition of preparatory actions to establish a DTC between the Baltic and the Black Seas. This programme leverages the current initiatives in Belarus and Ukraine, which have confirmed their willingness to proceed with the DTC, in line with key EU legislation and developments. The implemented programme aims to establish a seamless end-to-end logistics information exchange across the transport corridor between the Baltic and the Black Seas. The programme has an estimated budget of €10.5 million and can start in early 2021. 

The eCommerce team has completed the eCommerce state-of-play in the EU, including the key areas in legal, standards, and ecosystem, which are critical for B2C cross-border transactions​. It has served as a basis for extensive data collection in the Eastern partner countries, with more than 50 stakeholders involved across the region, and over 100 questions asked in more than 15 key areas, covering the entire value chain of eCommerce. Regional and country-level gaps and recommendations are currently being finalised. The aim is to eliminate the obstacles to cross-border eCommerce and facilitate its development, which will also be supported with a pilot scheduled for November 2020. 

During the session, the eTrade Network Coordinator and other representatives of the Eastern partner countries shared their desire to see a wider range of countries participating in the pilot activities, as well as expanding pilots to other modes of transport (e.g. maritime) and other areas, such as sanitary and phytosanitary. 

Further information

The EU4Digital second annual Steering Committee Meeting was organised by the EU4Digital Facility as a series of virtual sessions, reviewing results achieved under the programme. Subscribe to the Newsletter to be always informed.