Turkey’s Accession To e-CMR Opens Major Digital Corridor

Strategically located for global trade as a key transit hub between East and West, Turkey is the newest country to opt for digital consignment notes accessing to the e-CMR protocol

Starting with e-CMR and digital TIR, Turkey joins neighbouring countries to establish a corridor for the digitalisation of road transport between Asia and Europe.

Strategically located for global trade as a key transit hub between East and West, Turkey is the newest country to opt for digital consignment notes, with its accession to the e-CMR protocol.

The decision follows last year’s successful pilot project on digital TIR operations between Turkey and Iran, and marks a significant step forward for the wider global adoption of digital transport and logistics systems – including for customs transit.

Offering advantages of reductions in costs via faster and more transparent data input and exchange, Turkey’s commitment to e-CMR consolidates ongoing wider regional efforts.

Greece launched a national pilot operation in 2017 with the goal of further expansion. Romania has recently stepped up momentum towards accession, while Bulgaria – which has already acceded to the additional protocol – hopes to operationalise e-CMR soon. Iran’s accession was announced last November, and the Russian and Moldovan governments have recently passed decrees on joining e-CMR.

As one of the world leaders in transport and logistics, Turkey recognises that e-CMR will support the efficiency of logistic chains to enable the flow of goods to be streamlined and more secure.

Making freight truly paperless: e-CMR

Rules for transporting goods internationally are covered by the United Nations Convention for the carriage of goods, known as the CMR.

This Convention has been ratified by most European states, as well as several other countries. Goods companies, drivers and those receiving shipments use a CMR consignment note, which presents information about the shipped goods and the transporting and receiving parties. Until recently, CMR notes were only in paper form, and IRU is now advocating for a move to an electronic format.

In February 2008, a protocol was added to the CMR Convention, which requested that CMR could be managed electronically, via ‘e-CMR’. This protocol entered into force on 5 June 2011, and to date 16 countries have acceded including: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Iran, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.

e-CMR officially launched in January 2017 with the first ever border crossing to use electronic consignment notes between Spain and France, proving that the system works and is simple to implement and use. It is likely to prompt other countries to join – therefore increasing the potential for common benefit.

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