EC proposal to oblige authorities to accept electronic documents

The ESC welcomes the proposal of the European Commission to oblige authorities to accept regulatory freight transport information in electronic format! ESC is the project manager of one the two working groups of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF) and has significantly contributed to the preparation of the legislative proposal. The proposal is a necessary step towards digitised and connected supply chains and it fits perfectly well with the EU’s digitalisation strategy.


In general, the proposal for a regulation aims at reducing the administrative burden for both the industry and the authorities and will enable the use of digital information transmission on cargo transport to the authorities not just at the point of entry and exit of the EU, but also on the entire EU territory.

More specific objectives are the mandatory acceptance of public authorities of freight transport information made available electronically, a uniform application of that obligation by authorities, and interoperability of IT systems and solutions used.

Requirements for the authorities, logistic service providers, and shippers

Authorities are required to accept freight information made available electronically, to apply harmonised rules for accessing and verifying the available information, and to use common data (sub)sets.

Operators, like shippers, will not be obliged to present the required information electronically, but if they do, it should be done by means of certified EU-wide platforms.

Electronic Freight Transport Information Platforms

An ‘eFTI platform’ is an information and communication technology (ICT) based solution, such as an operating system, an operating environment, or a database, that will process electronic freight transport information. The platforms will need to comply with certain functional requirements and ensure data authenticity, integrity, and cybersecurity. Platforms cannot become operational without certification from competent bodies.


The progress of the new legislation will depend on the involvement of the sector stakeholders and the commitment of Member States, the development of the related delegated acts in a timely manner, and their implementation by the authorities. The proposal foresees 4 years to allow adoption for all relevant legislative acts. The full proposal can be found here.

Further digitalisation: second mandate of DTLF

The ESC welcomes the decision of the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) to continue the work of the Digital Transport and Logistics Forum (DTLF) giving it a second mandate. ESC is certain that DTLF can speed up further digitalisation of the supply chain and encourages shippers to participate in the expert group and drive the progress.

The objectives of the expert panel are to facilitate cooperation and foster coordination between the Commission, Member States, and key stakeholders in the field of digital transport and to support the EU in the preparation, development, and implementation of legislative proposals and delegated acts.

The DTLF will consist of up to 120 members comprising organisations, authorities, public entities, and individuals who are active in digital transport and logistics related areas and covering a wide range of expertise.

The deadline for submitting your application to become a member of the expert group is 26 October 2018. To get further information and to submit your application, please see the call for applications here.