In Re (#11 November 2019)

Electronic Document Management

by Irina KRAVTSOVA, Elena LOZINSKAYA

Electronic document management has long ceased to be an exotic definition in Ukraine. After the tax invoice, the delivery note has become the next major transfer to electronic form. From 12 July 2019 the delivery note can be issued in electronic form under the Order of the Ministry of Infrastructure of 3 June 2019 No. 413, which amends the Rules for the carriage of goods by road in Ukraine, approved by the Order of the Ministry of Transport of 14 October 1997, No. 363 (the Cargo Transportation Rules). At the same time, the parties of the contractual relations can choose independently the form in which the delivery note will be designed, as arrangement of the delivery note in electronic form (e-delivery note) is an option, but not an obligation, and the paper form has the same legal force as before.

Even though the Cargo Transportation Rules do not establish a mandatory electronic form of delivery note, obligatory information that should be stated in the document is foreseen by the Rules. The requirement of the content of the e-delivery note does not differ from the requirement to the delivery note in paper form. The Rules outline the following mandatory information that should be outlined in the document: name of document; date and place of compilation of document; name (surname, name, patronymic) of the carrier and/or forwarder, customer, consignor, consignee; the name and quantity of the cargo, its main characteristics allowing for unique identification of this cargo; car (model, type, registration number), trailer/semi-trailer (model, type, registration number); loading and unloading points with the full address; positions, surnames and signatures of responsible persons of the consignor, consignee, driver and/or forwarder. It has to be noted that in paragraph 9 of the Law of Ukraine On Accounting and Financial Reporting in Ukraine of 16 July 1999, No. 996-XIV, an amendment was made according to which the Уplace of compilationФ was excluded from the list of mandatory details of the primary document. Thus, the Cargo Transportation Rules requirement to mark Уplace of compilationФ of the e-delivery note/the delivery note creates another conflict of law. Thus, in order to avoid any negative consequences, it is recommended to adhere to the requirements for the content of the e-delivery note described in the Cargo Transportation Rules. In addition, the parties to the contractual relationship may agree on additional information that will be contained in the e-delivery note/delivery note. However, if a mistake was made in the e-delivery note during its registration, the signatories, under a mutual decision, can create and re-sign the e-delivery note. The wrong e-delivery note can be deleted once the e-delivery note with the correct information is signed by all the parties.

The parties that should sign the e-delivery note are the driver and/or forwarder, consignor and consignee. The e-delivery note is signed by the authorized representatives in the way of putting their qualification electronic signatures (QES) on the e-document. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that at the moment even if the delivery note is designed in electronic form, such e-document should be printed in one copy and passed to the driver. This copy of the e-delivery note will be necessary for the driver to present to persons authorized to exercise control of the road transport and in the field of road safety. At the same time, the driver should physically sign a paper copy of the e-delivery note that indicates the acceptance of the cargo for transportation. If the delivery note is designed in electronic form, all accompanying documents should also be transformed into electronic form as well.

In the event of cargo overload during transportation to another car, an act in a free form should be drawn up in a paper or electronic form, that should indicate: full name, location (for legal entities) or surname, first name, middle name, place of residence (for individual entrepreneurs) of the owner of the vehicle that has accepted the goods; surname, name, patronymic of the driver who accepted the cargo; registration number of the vehicle of the carrier that accepted the goods; registration number of the vehicle of the carrier that delivered the goods. The act is drawn up in two copies that are signed by the representatives (drivers) of both carriers (one for each), affixing personal signatures or electronic signatures.

The requirements of the Law of Ukraine On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Management of 22 May 2003 (the Law On Electronic Documents) regarding the creation, sending, transfer, receipt, storage, processing, use, destruction, apply to e-delivery note. At the same time, the Law On Electronic Documents clearly states that if during the organization of electronic document management the parties of a contractual relationship need to settle additional rights and obligations that relate to such document management and are not defined in legislation, they have the right to establish them independently.

The term for storage of the e-delivery note cannot be less than the term for storage of a delivery note in paper form, established by law.

There is no doubt that the introduction of the electronic form of delivery note is a positive aspect in creating an attractive economic microclimate in Ukraine. Such legislative innovation helps to increase the efficiency and transparency of contractual relations, which directly affect the optimization of business processes and, accordingly, the quality of the services provided. The introduction of a e-delivery note solves a number of problematic situations that occur when working with the paper form of the delivery note, namely:

Ч Efficiency of document exchange: a e-delivery note can significantly reduce the time spent on receiving a document signed by all parties. E-delivery note is formed and signed in the system by the consignor after unloading of the goods from the warehouse, by the driver Ч after delivery of the goods, and the consignee puts QES upon receipt at his warehouse. Thus, time spent sending paper documents is reduced.

Ч When issuing the e-delivery note, the loss and damage of the document are reduced to 0.

Ч The speed of payment for logistics services due to the receipt of e-delivery note signed by all parties that confirms the delivery of goods.

Ч Optimization of labor and financial costs, concern about the ecosystem: when issuing an e-delivery note, there is no need to physically print 4 copies of the document.

Of course, the logistics market still awaits a long way of implementation and establishment of the working process related to an e-delivery note, but the most important and difficult step has already been taken and the legislative base has been laid for further development of the logistics business in Ukraine.

Despite the fact that currently an e-delivery note is an option for the market, our company has since September been carrying out internal movements of goods with e-delivery notes. This is the first step. Next, we face a complex task Ч to introduce e-delivery note into the process of transporting goods as part of a groupage cargo, while integrating several participants from different business fields.

Irina Kravtsova †is a general counsel at Raben Ukraine

Elena†Lozinskaya is a national customer service manager, RND & Fresh logistic at Raben Ukraine

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