Paperless benefits

On July 10th, the Electronic Trade Documents Bill (ETBD) reached its third reading in the House of Commons, marking a significant milestone for electronic trade documents. The bill gives the same legal weight to digital documents as it’s paper-based counterparts, allowing the logistics industry to take another step into a paperless world. As a UK freight forwarder, Espace wanted to highlight exactly what this means for our customers.

The Government’s Minister for Digital Economy, Paul Scully, spoke on behalf of the government, emphasising the transformational impact of the ETBD. He praised the bill as a “fine piece of work” that would not only propel the UK ahead of other G7 nations but also position it as a global leader in digitalising trade processes.

But how will Electronic Trade Documents Bill (ETBD) affect UK exporters? What are the benefits of paperless freight?

Faster Document Processing:

Electronic trade documents eliminate the need for physical paperwork and manual processing. Espace will be able to submit, receive, and process documents digitally, reducing processing times significantly. This is particularly beneficial for time-critical shipments.

Real-Time Data Sharing:

With electronic trade documents, Espace can access and share information in real-time with relevant parties, including shippers, carriers, customs authorities, and others. This will improve collaborative working and benefit everyone involved in the supply chain.

Enhanced Accuracy:

Digitising trade documents will reduce the risk of error that occurs inevitably with manual data entry. Espace will be able to validate information far more effectively, reducing the risk of any delay.

Simplified Compliance:

Electronic trade documents can be integrated with customs systems and other regulatory platforms to ensure compliance.

Cost Savings:

By eliminating the need for physical storage, printing, and postage costs, electronic trade documents can significantly reduce operational expenses for exporters, importers and agents. Streamlined processes lead to faster turnaround times, which positively impact overall efficiency therefore reducing cost for the entire supply chain.

Environmentally Friendly:

Corporate social responsibility is more important than ever. Adopting electronic trade documents aligns with CSR to create more sustainable businesses. Paperwork is reduced and the ETBD gives us a more eco-friendly approach to document management.

Accessibility and Mobility:

Digital trade documents can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows for remote and around-the-clock access for your time-critical freight shipments whilst also keeping company information secure. Another of the benefits of paperless freight.

The ETBD sets the UK up for a more efficient flow of trade and here at Espace we are always looking to make exporting and importing that bit easier. If you have any questions about the ETBD or have any other questions regarding freight and customs do contact our solutions team at or call 01543 412348. As always, we’re here to help.

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