International Group Approval And Guidelines For Electronic Bills


Within the International Group’s recent circular, the approval of the ICE Access Agreement has brought forth changes in electronic bill of lading protocols. This notice highlights the options available for utilizing electronic bills of lading and their implications on Club cover, emphasizing key exclusions under Group Club Rules.

ICE Access Agreement

Members are referred back to Member Circular No. 6/2023 by which the International Group approved DSUA 2023.1. This version superseded DSUA 2021.1. 

Both versions remain approved for the purposes of Club cover. This notice confirms approval by the International Group of the ICE Access Agreement (2023.01) (‘the ICE Access Agreement’). 

Electronic Trading Flexibility

The ICE Access Agreement allows parties to use ICE’s electronic trading system for electronic bills of lading without the need to sign the multilateral DSUA, in cases where

  1. any relevant bill of lading is subject to a law that recognizes its legal validity as equivalent to a paper bill of lading; 
  2. ICE has issued a circular notifying the user accordingly. Members are asked to note that the ICE offering includes electronic bills of lading both under the Access Agreement and the multilateral DSUA. 

Coverage Details

Both are available and approved for the purposes of Club cover, and Members should liaise with ICE as to the most suitable option for their trade routes. Other exclusions of cover under Group Club Rules relating to the carriage of cargo will of course continue to apply in respect of all the approved providers in the same way as for paper systems. 

These exclusions include discharge at a port or place other than the port or place provided for in the contract of carriage, the issue / creation of an ante or post-dated electronic document / record, and the delivery of cargo without the production of the negotiable electronic document / record, which in the case of an approved electronic trading system will mean delivery of cargo other than in accordance with the rules of that trading system. 

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Source: Gard


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