What is EKAER?
Electronic Road Control System (EKAER) has been introduced in 2015, since then traders that perform certain Intra Community or domestic transactions that involve the transport of goods by road by a qualified vehicle should report the movement of these goods in the EKAER system. Inter alia the license plate of the vehicle, the weight, the ship from and the ship to address must be reported on real time basis (EKAER number must be obtained before the transport of goods). The obligation to report is with traders, although it is an industry practice to outsource the reporting to freight forwarders.
The definition of the qualified vehicle changes from 1 August 2016
Previously qualified vehicle was defined as being a vehicle with maximum weigh capacity of 3.5 tons. There were EKAER avoidance schemes aimed at overloading the capacity of the vehicle beyond the maximum permitted capacity, thus avoiding EKAER all together at cost of risking small penalty from the transportation authority. From 1 August 2016 the definition of the qualified vehicles includes vehicles with the total weight of more than 3.5 tons (hereinafter: overweight vehicle) and the vehicles with the total permitted weight of 3.5 tons.
What this means for traders?
Trader of goods that are being transported by a qualified vehicle, may need to report EKAER. They are not obliged to report EKAER if the total weight of the vehicle used to transport the non-risky goods they trade with is less than 3.5 tons. If someone have oversight over how the vehicles are loaded, it is advised to implement internal processes to assure that the vehicles are not overloaded. If traders do not have oversight over how the vehicles are loaded (for example they rely on external freight forwarder) it is advised to seek assurance from the freight forwarder that not overloading takes place or all information for EKAER reporting is provided in time. Everyone shuold be aware that EKAER authority may penalize trades if the vehicle that is used to transport the goods that fall under the EKAER obligation are not reported in the EKAER even if trader do not have oversight over how the vehicles are loaded. To this extent traders may wish to demand compensation of any damages from their freight forwarder if they are caused by the overloading vehicles not reported in the EKAER.
As a freight forwarder that transports goods subject to EKAER reporting, it is advised to pay special attention to overloading vehicles, as from 1 August 2016 overloading attracts EKAER reporting and EKAER penalties, if not reported. In addition, transporters may be liable for compensation of damages to their customers (i.e. traders of goods) if the timely reporting of EKAER was jeopardized by their failure to provide information or incorrect reporting on behalf of the trader.