Introduction of ELFA


The foundation meeting of Estonian Logistics and Freight Forwarding Association (ELFA) was held on 6 December 1994 in Tallinn. Today, ELFA unites 51 companies engaged in international transport and freight forwarding or the provision of other logistics services.

  • ELFA is a volunteer association of legal persons engaged in international freight forwarding and the provision of logistics services. The objective of the organisation is to represent and protect the common professional interests of the members of ELFA, prevent unfair competition, and contribute to the development of legislation related to its area of activity and the distribution of all relevant information. In order to achieve the set objectives, ELFA organises sessions, prepares presentations, and co-operates with organisations and officials of Estonia and other countries. ELFA is a non-profit association.

ELFA mainly finances its activity from joining and membership fees.

The activity of ELFA is directed by the Management Board which is elected for two years and appoints the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman of the Management Board from among its members.

The initial strategic objectives of ELFA were to join the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and to introduce the General Terms and Conditions of the Estonian Freight Forwarders Association (EFFA) regulating relationships between freight forwarders and their customers in Estonia. The contract regarding the establishment of the General Terms and Conditions of EFFA was signed together with the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 6 May 1995, and the terms and conditions entered into force as of 1 July 1995. The named General Terms and Conditions are analogous to the General Terms and Conditions of the Nordic Association of Freight Forwarders, and have been taken into use with the knowledge and approval of the latter. New General Terms and Conditions of ELFA, EEA ÜT 2000, which are analogous to the NSAB 2000 used in the Nordic countries, entered into force as of 1 January 2001.

On 4 October 1995, ELFA became the member of the FIATA. Being a member of the FIATA primarily provides ELFA access to information related to freight forwarding to a global extent, the possibility to issue the FIATA multimodal transport documents, and additional opportunities for the professional training of the employees of freight forwarding companies, where those who have passed the study programme will be issued the internationally recognised FIATA Diplomas.

As of May 1996, ELFA issues the following FIATA multimodal transport documents and forms:

  • FIATA bill of lading of multimodal transport (FIATA FBL; Multimodal Bill of Lading);
  • FIATA bill of lading (FIATA FWB, Waybill);
  • FIATA certificate of receipt of the forwarder of goods (FIATA FCR, Forwarder’s Certificate of Receipt);
  • FIATA freight forwarding instructions (FIATA FFI, Freight Forwarding Instructions).

ELFA is active in the following areas:

  • Representing freight forwarders and other providers of logistics services in relationships with state institutions, participation in the development of legislation related to freight forwarding.
  • International Freight Transport training for the members of ELFA. In February 1997, a system of vocational trainings for international freight forwarders organised by ELFA and the training company EMI EWT was launched, where those who pass the one-year vocational training course have a possibility to receive the FIATA Diploma for passing a training programme meeting the minimum standards to obtain the FIATA Diploma in Freight Forwarding (by vocational training and examination). The FIATA Diploma is widely accepted in the freight forwarding circles of the whole world. In October 2007, FIATA issued an education licence to a new study programme conforming to the improved standards; the Tallinn University of Applied Sciences carries out the FIATA diploma training on the basis of this study programme in co-operation with ELFA.
  • Developing PR relationships, informing the public of all important events of ELFA.
  • Mediating various contacts and foreign connections to the members of ELFA.
  • Information exchange with the freight forwarders associations of neighbouring countries.
  • Co-operation with various governmental and non-governmental organisations for developing Estonian transit.
  • Periodical remuneration analysis of people working in the field of logistics and freight forwarding.
  • Annual statistical summaries of the activity of the members of ELFA.