5 March 2018 Benelux launched a pilot to use electronic documents at the border-crossing. Although Belgium has not ratified the e-CMR protocol of the CMR Convention yet, the country will allow the use of electronic documents in the framework of this pilot for the border-crossing operations between Belgium, France, and Luxemburg.
The experience that they will gain through this 3-year exercise will allow Belgium to decide on signing or not signing the e-CMR protocol. As Belgium Minister Mr François Bellot explained, the decision will depend on the ability to control the operations while using electronic documents. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management welcomed the development as an important step to stay competitive as an economy.
Besides the road, e-CMR has the potential to serve other modes, like inland waterways, rail transport, and combined transport. Inland waterways are a particularly attractive option as the Benelux countries are responsible for 78% of all inland shipping operations.
Main providers of electronic solutions are TransFollow and Pionira.