How the advanced electronic signature must be integrated into the eCMR or electronic transport document

Second edition of FIELDEAS Talks. "An old formula for the new times: veni vidi vici...signum"

14 May 2024
Firma electrónica avanzada_FIELDEAS

FIELDEAS has held the second edition of FIELDEAS Talks under the title “An old formula for the new times: veni vidi vici…signum”, where different transport and logistics managers have analyzed in depth the degree of digitalization of the road freight transport sector. Among the topics analyzed, the advanced electronic signature in the eCMR and transport documentation were highlighted.

The main demand from managers is that digitization tools ensure visibility of the entire supply chain. In this sense, the digitization of document management is very relevant, as it allows eliminating the black hole of data loss through the outsourcing chain and combating unfair competition.

The digitization of transport documents, whether CMR, consignment note, control document or delivery note, guarantees that the data included are completely accurate. Why? Because they are based on the advanced electronic signature, which is uniquely linked to the signatory, allows the signatory to be identified and is linked to the data being sent so that any subsequent modification of the data can be detected.

What is the advanced electronic signature in the eCMR and what is it used for?

Before analyzing how the advanced electronic signature is implemented in transportation documentation, it is important to be clear about what the advanced electronic signature is and what it is used for.

Advanced electronic signatures are regulated by Regulation (EU) 910/2014 of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market. Also known as eIDAS.

In its Article 26, this regulation establishes that the advanced electronic signature shall comply with the following requirements:

  • Be uniquely linked to the signatory.
  • Allow identification of the signatory.
  • Created using electronic signature creation data that the signatory can use, with a high level of confidence, under his exclusive control.
  • Be linked to the data signed by it in such a way that any subsequent modification of the data is detectable.

In this way, we are committed to creating a secure digital environment in which only the person who has requested the signature is allowed to access and manipulate the data.

How the advanced electronic signature is implemented in the eCMR

The advanced electronic signature is integrated into the transport documentation as an enhancement of data security.

In Spain, the latest Modification of the Regulations of the Land Transportation Law (ROTT)In June 2023, it determines the characteristics that must be met by the supports and computer applications of the control documentation (CMR, consignment note, delivery note or control document) to be completed by electronic means.

Thus, it determines that the supports and computer applications used for this purpose must meet the following characteristics in order to enjoy full legal and juridical guarantee:

  • The data entered must be accessible to any person authorized to do so.
  • Data storage and document delivery must be guaranteed.
  • In those cases in which the regulations applicable to each control document establish the need for the signature of one or all of the intervening parties, such signatures shall be required:
    • Be linked only to the signatory.
    • Allow identification of the signatory.
    • Have been created using means that the signatory can maintain under his exclusive control.
    • Be linked to the data to which it refers so that any subsequent modification of the data can be detected.

As we can see, this last point corresponds to the requirements included in the eIDAS and are the characteristics that an advanced digital signature used in the electronic transport document must have in order to have full legal and juridical guarantee. In other words, if you want to make the document in its electronic version, it must have an advanced digital signature.

Advanced digital signature process_FIELDEAS

Likewise, although the electronic transport document is not yet mandatory either in Spain or in the European environment, we have already seen that there is a regulation that allows its use with full guarantees and, in addition, technology is already available.

Thus, it is a competitive advantage for companies in the road haulage sector to implement the eCMR or electronic consignment note as soon as possible without waiting for it to become mandatory.

Advantages of the use of advanced digital signature in transportation documentation

The use of advanced digital signatures in electronic transport documents has a number of advantages for all agents involved throughout the supply chain:

  • Allows greater control over the subcontracting chain. With the electronic document, every time a subcontracting is done, it must be declared and signed electronically. In other words, successive carriers have to be declared in the eCMR, so that the shipper can see it and know the level of subcontracting that has taken place.
  • It allows greater control over unfair competition, since the electronic transport document cannot be modified by external agents that do not use the advanced digital signature. In this way, the vehicle, the license plate, the driver and the goods being transported are recorded, and at the time of a transit control, security agents can corroborate this data.
  • It guarantees the security of the data, since only signatories with an advanced electronic signature have access to them.

eCMR with advanced electronic signature

The eCMR or electronic consignment note with advanced electronic signature is already a reality in the market.

The SeamLess eCMR of FIELDEAS Track and Trace includes the advanced digital signature in the whole transport process, requesting it in the different actions of verification of events that occur (collection of the goods, control in transit, subcontracting, arrival at the platform…).

The different forms of advanced electronic signature of FIELDEAS Track and Trace are:

  • Through your SmartPhone. Biometric signature through our App or our online web channel, which collects all the information of the signature in terms of traceability, speed, acceleration…
  • Through OTP. We use the OTP (One-Time Password) mechanism through SMS or WhatsApp channels to ensure that the user is who he/she says he/she is and that the signer can be identified and the process is valid.
  • Digital stamp. Signing processes can be automated by all actors in the chain through the use of a digital certificate, which saves time in the process.

This fulfills the request of the executives who participated in the last edition of FIELDEAS Talks, which is to provide greater visibility and security throughout the chain with the use of advanced electronic signatures.

SeamLess eCMR FIELDEAS_advanced digital signature
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Barbara Rodriguez

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