Launch of the Future International Trade Alliance – ICC


ICC, DCSA, BIMCO, FIATA and SWIFT have launched the Future International Trade Alliance and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to standardize the digitalization of international trade. Together, industry associations will work together to develop and adopt relevant standards to facilitate the use of electronic bills of lading.

Formed to further the digitization of container shipping technology standards, Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) – a neutral, non-profit group – in conjunction with its nine member carriers, today announced the formation of the Future International Trade (FIT) Alliance with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DCSA, ICC, BIMCO, FIATA and SWIFT in which the organizations commit to collaborate to standardize the digitization of international trade.

Through this initiative, the FIT Alliance will work together to raise awareness of the importance of common, interoperable data standards and common legislative requirements across international jurisdictions and platforms. The objective is to facilitate the acceptance and adoption of an eBL by regulators, banks and insurers and to unify the communication between these organizations and customers, physical and contractual carriers, and all other actors. involved in an international business transaction.

“Digitizing documentation for container shipments will bring added value to international suppliers who rely on shipping across all industries,” said David Loosley, BIMCO’s Corporate Secretary and CEO. “Aligning these standards with the electronic bill of lading standard for the dry and liquid bulk sectors, which we are developing with the help of DCSA, will help accelerate the digitization of trade globally.”

“Interoperability between all players in the trade and transport industry is the essential foundation to enable smooth data exchange and to streamline the end-to-end shipping process for our members,” said Dr Stéphane Graber, Director General of FIATA. “FIATA, as the owner of the only negotiable multimodal transport document, endorsed by UNCTAD and ICC, believes that an industry-wide effort to establish open source, interoperable and industry-independent standards technology is essential to make the digitalization of international trade a reality. FIATA is committed to making it easier for freight forwarders to adopt digital processes. We have taken the lead in developing the FIATA Electronic Bill of Lading (eFBL) standard, which will acceptance of electronic documents by all stakeholders involved in a bill of lading (B/L) transaction By simplifying their day-to-day activities, our members will be able to focus on creating truly differentiated offers for their customers on future-proof digital foundations . »

“ICC represents 45 million businesses in more than 100 countries, and our mission is to make business work for everyone, every day, everywhere,” said John WH Denton AO, Secretary General of ICC. “To live up to this means finding ways to make international trade much less complex than it is now. Through the FIT Alliance, we are working with key industry players to create and accelerate the adoption of digital standards for bills of lading that will make international shipping dramatically simpler, more secure and transparent. This will drive a sea change in business productivity and business models, the two critical ingredients to help businesses build back better and unlock ecosystem-level benefits that have never been achieved before.

David Watson, Chief Strategy Officer at SWIFT, said: “SWIFT is how the world moves value, connecting 11,500 institutions in more than 200 countries and facilitating more than US$2 trillion in global trade each year. We have dramatically accelerated cross-border flows in recent years and are innovating at scale to make them instantaneous. To that end, we are excited to be part of this cross-industry collaboration to address friction through standardization and enable interoperability across the ecosystem to allow rich data to flow freely across multiple platforms.

“From the beginning, DCSA understood the importance of cross-industry collaboration to achieve the elusive goal of universal eBL,” said Thomas Bagge, CEO of DCSA. “The FIT Alliance is one of the exciting results of our ongoing efforts to foster this collaboration. Container ships transport 90% of the world’s goods. As such, an incredibly diverse set of stakeholders affect the B/L transaction, from government regulators to insurers to shippers in all industries. To achieve widespread use of eBL, they must all agree to the adoption of digital B/L standards. The agreement between DCSA and these various industry associations is an exciting step in our journey towards standardizing all container shipping documents through our electronic documentation initiative. We salute the foresight and leadership of these organizations that have joined us in the effort to bring greater transparency, efficiency, reliability and sustainability to the container shipping industry.


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