A high level virtual workshop gathered the transport ministries, customs administrations, and national TIR and road transport associations of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia International Transport Corridor (TRACECA) as well as IRU experts. Participants discussed the latest developments in the digitalisation of commercial transport documents, and how these can mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.
“The introduction of restrictive measures has slowed down transportation across the globe, with disruptions resulting in turnover losses of EUR 22 billion for goods transport companies in Eurasia (CIS, ECO and Georgia). Well-functioning commercial road transport services are fundamental to drive economic and social recovery,” said IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto in his opening remarks.
“There is an urgent need for digital tools to facilitate the flow of goods across borders and allow information to be exchanged electronically, without physical contact. eTIR is one of these tools,” added Tatiana Rey-Bellet, IRU’s Director of TIR and Transit Services.
Significant progress has already been made in the implementation of eTIR pilot projects between Iran and Turkey and Iran and Azerbaijan. The adoption of annex 11 of the TIR Convention, due to enter into force soon, is also a positive step towards the full digital use of the system.
Allowing for the advance provision of transport documents online, e-CMR is another vital tool to facilitate international road transport. With e-CMR, handling costs are up to four times lower and information exchange is not only quicker, but more secure.
IRU is calling on all TRACECA governments to implement e-CMR and eTIR to swiftly reap the benefits of road transport digitalisation. The first step towards this is to accede to the e-CMR protocol.