The importance and benefits of implementing electronic freight transport information (eFTI) exchange in the logistics industry were highlighted in an event for stakeholders from Eastern partner countries on 31 January 2023. The EU4Digital eTrade stream organised the event to raise awareness and understanding of eFTI exchange and the EU’s eFTI Regulation.
During the event, the eTrade stream’s EU4Digital Facility phase II Digital Transport Corridors (eFTI deployment) activity was also kicked-off. This activity is directed at developing a roadmap to create e-freight infrastructure and to implement eFTI Regulation in two selected Eastern partner countries.
EU4Digital Facility team leader Artūras Piliponis opened the event. He spoke about the need for a harmonised partnership between EU and Eastern partner logistics industries.
Ruta Salvyte-Tamosiuniene, EU4Digital eTrade stream leader, highlighted the advantages of electronic freight transport information exchange: these include increased transparency and efficiency in the transport industry, reduced costs, easier business-to-administration (B2A) data exchange and the associated environmental benefits. She highlighted the importance of eFTI Regulation, which sets out the standards for electronic exchange of freight information in the EU, and how it can support transport sector development in Eastern partner countries.
Experts in the field provided insights into the latest developments and trends in electronic freight transport information exchange and the eFTI Regulation in the region.
- Risardas Bedulskis, an expert in EU practices for digital logistics solutions, covered successful DIGINNO-Proto and DINNOCAP project pilots for eCMR (a paperless solution for logistics) in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The key benefits – reduced workload and paper documentation for logistics carriers and quicker B2A data transfer.
- Walter Trezek, an expert in legal matters and EU data standards for exchanging logistics data, gave a brief update on developments in the EC’s expert work group providing technical assistance for the implementation of eFTI Regulation, DTLF (Digital Transport and Logistics Forum). DTLF experts are currently working on the adoption of Delegated Acts (DA) on the eFTI data set and national requirements, as well as Implementing Acts (IA) on common rules for authorities. Adoption of these Acts is planned to be carried out during the timeline of the Digital Transport Corridor activity and will play an important role in the creation of a comprehensive roadmap for Eastern partner countries to implement eFreight infrastructure.
- Vladimir Obucina, an expert in transportation planning, logistics and digital transport solutions,presented a practical example of eFTI deployment from a project in the Western Balkans, where six countries are on the way to deploying the eFTI Regulation. The project is enabling wider use of digital technologies, ensuring a reduced administrative burden for logistics operators and facilitating multimodal transport covering road, rail and inland waterways.
The event participants engaged in discussions and shared their experiences and best practices in the implementation of eFTI exchange. For instance, representatives from Ukraine shared about the ongoing electronic consignment note (eTTN) deployment initiative, which is currently in the last stages of testing and is expected to be in force by August 2023.
Overall, more than 40 participants from Eastern partner countries’ governmental bodies, customs authorities, academia and commerce associations gained valuable knowledge and insights into eFTI exchange and the eFTI Regulation. The event underscored the importance of continued efforts to raise awareness and support the implementation of these important initiatives in Eastern partner countries.