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Turkic States: private and public partners stir debate on e-CMR
Türkiye | Istanbul

Turkic States: private and public partners stir debate on e-CMR

9 Feb 2023 · Prosperity

The Organisation of Turkic States (OTS), together with the UN and IRU, has led a workshop on e-CMR, as more countries from the region join the protocol.

A recent workshop organised by OTS, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and IRU sought to raise awareness on e-CMR among public and private actors. The participants were also informed of the ongoing discussions at the UNECE’s GE.22, the Group of Experts on the Operationalisation of e-CMR.

In her opening remarks, IRU Director of TIR and Transit Tatiana Rey-Bellet said, “A swift implementation of digital transit, transport, customs documents, e-permits, and e-visas has become even more urgent.

OTC 1“They enable the exchange of essential information without physical contact, while at the same time facilitating the smooth flow of goods across borders.

Although e-CMR offers enhanced transparency and security across the entire logistics chains, eliminates paperwork, and lowers handling costs, the process of shifting from paper to digital consignment notes poses new challenges to both contracting parties and enforcement authorities.

The challenges are related to the issuance of digital consignment notes, methods of authentication, IT solutions for data exchange, the mutual recognition of digital signatures, access to data, and cybersecurity.

IRU member GS1 shared its expertise on digital transformation and how to overcome digitalisation challenges.

Transport and customs authorities from OTS member states as well as national associations of international road carriers expressed their full support of digitalising cross-border transport operations, following successful use cases with eTIR and e-permits.

However, joint efforts are required to facilitate the practical implementation of digital consignment notes based on a harmonised approach and sustainable solution.

Private sector representatives also called on governments to accede to e-CMR, if they have not done so yet, as well as to conduct legal framework assessments and gap analysis to ease the adoption of e-CMR.

What are CMR and e-CMR

OTC 2Consignments notes under the UN Convention for the carriage of goods (CMR) are primarily used for commercial transport contract purposes. They are also often used by law enforcement and customs authorities to check goods and consignor/consignee/carrier information in cross-border trade. 

In place since 2008, the digital version of the United Nations convention for the carriage of goods (the CMR Convention) has been ratified by 34 countries so far.