Singapore’s tech agency conducts world’s first paperless cross-border trade

Business professionals are managing files and folders digitally storing corporate data. Cyberspace technology concepts and large archives Paperless online storage,Process to manage files efficiently

Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has partnered with industry players to execute a paperless, live cross-border trade from Singapore to Thailand.

The trade involved the use of an electronic transferable record (ETR) that is functionally equivalent to a paper Bill of Lading (eBL), using Singapore’s TradeTrust framework.

IMDA reportedly developed TradeTrust to address the challenges of paper-based cross-border trades, leveraging international standards and frameworks and utilising blockchain powered technology to enable digitalisation of transferable documents into ETR.

The Singaporean agency added that its TradeTrust framework harmonises the legal recognition of digital documentations between various jurisdictions which has adopted the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR2).

READ: Why resilient supply chains need an electronic bill of lading

The world’s first ETR cross-border trade involved ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. as the shipper, Bunkerchain as the TradeTrust-enabled digital platform provider, and VLK as the vessel owner who is supported by their Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Club.

Bunkerchain provided a digital solution that supported the key logistics documentation processes for the cross-border liquid chemical trade which involved multiple parties such as a surveyor and custom broker.

The use of TradeTrust has enabled the digitalisation of the issuance, ownership title transfer, and surrender of the ETR as an electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) between the different stakeholders across different systems, that is compliant to the UNCITRAL MLETR requirements.

READ: GSBN electronic Bill of Lading receives International Group of P&I Clubs approval

This live cross-border trade reflects a greater modern digitisation shift across industries worldwide.

In October 2022, the UK government presented the Electronic Trade Documents Bill to promote digital trade across supply chains and cut carbon emissions. The new legislation is expected to boost UK’s international trade and reduce costs for paper trade documents.

More recently, Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN) signed a five-way non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote paperless trade. The objective of the MoU is to boost efficiency and reduce the environmental impact throughout the shipping process.

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