E-COMMERCE – Here and Also on its Way

Reflecting on the time it took for FOSFA to include e-mails as written communications under the Notices Clause of its contracts, it seemed appropriate that FOSFA opened dialogue with providers of service platforms where the emphasis is upon e-documents, such as e-Bills of Lading and e-Certificates, etc.

The opportunity presented itself through essDOCS back in December and last month when representatives of the company, Mr Alex Goulandris, essDOCS’ CEO, and Mr Ashley Shaanild, Head of Trade Finance and Chemicals, gave a presentation at the conclusion of the Oils and Fats Committee meeting and at the more recent Oilseeds Committee meeting. This also linked into the work being undertaken by the trade, and an industry working group has been working closely with EssDOCS and also Bolero for several years now.

Members were told of the on-going developments and shown the operation of the essDOCS platform, demonstrating its relative simplicity and efficiency for mundane everyday events associated with documentation in support of trade, transport, insurance and finance effectively.

essDOCS are just one of several leading platform providers and many readers active in trade will no doubt have come across them or be aware of their presence and participation in some markets.

It seems that shipowners and insurance companies are getting to know and use e-documents increasingly (P&I Clubs, accepting at face value, policy documents generated via the platform) and, as banks engage more and more, then commodities will follow suit. More details can be found at www.essdocs.com.

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Association for international trading in oils, fats and oilseeds