Marsh publishes report on electronic bills of lading

Broker Marsh has noted that the introduction of electronic bills of lading (eBOL) was seen in the industry as a major step towards minimnizing paper-based frauds. However, the broker noted that there was still much disquiet surrounding their use. In a new report — Switching From Paper to Electronic Bills of Lading – marsh attempts to offer guidance from an insurance perspective, “reviewing the effect of eBOLs and their impact on the prevalence of fraud in the maritime and marine industries”.

eBOL services are currently offered by three separate enterprises: — Bolero: which operates by sending bills electronically on behalf of the carrier to prospective consignees via the Internet, following authentication by a digital signature, and then submitted to the Bolero Title Registry;  essDOCS: which allows for eBOLs to be drafted directly onto a system known as CargoDocs. And finally E-title: a peer-to-peer system which utilises the user’s back office functions to create electronic titles through a Hardware Security Module (HSM), which safeguards the information.

Two systems approved by the International Group in their versions current at the date of this circular are that administered by Electronic Shipping Solutions (the ESS system – version DSUA v. 2009.3) and that administered by Bolero International Ltd (the Bolero system – Rulebook/Operating Procedures September 1999).