Honorable Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal Launches FIATA Bill of Lading in India at FFFAI Convention

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CHENNAI: The Federation of Freight Forwarders Association in India (FFFAI) in his 24e Biennial Congress being detained from August 12-14 in Chennai introduced FIATA Bill of Lading (eFBL) in India. This was officially launched by the Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister for AYUSH Shri Sarbananda Sonowal who attended the Convention as Guest of honor to inaugurate the Business Sessions on August 13, 2022 in the presence of Mr Shankar Shinde, VShairdresser, FFFAI; Mr. AV Vijayakumar, Past President, FFFAI; Mr. Dushyant Mulani, President Elect, FFFAI; PK Agrawal, Prof. Chief Commissioner of Customs, Mumbai Area – I; other eminent dignitaries and more than 600 delegates from all over India and overseas countries.

The FIATA papersbill of lading allows the freight forwarder to easily issue secure eFBLs through their daily tools (TMS and other software), facilitating the issuance process by eliminating double data entry. Freight forwarders can then decide in which format they wish to share the document with their stakeholders: as a secure printed document or in digital format.

Established over 30 years ago, the negotiable FIATA multimodal transport bill of lading is a reliable and reputable commercial document, mainly thanks to its terms and conditions, which include the requirement for the issuer of the document to be a valid member of FIATA /national association and to have valid liability insurance.

This is the only truly multimodal negotiable standard bill of lading, introduced by FIATA for use by freight forwarders acting as Multimodal Transport Operators (MTO). The ICC logo, visible at the top right of the document, demonstrates its compliance with the UNCTAD/ICC rules for multimodal transport documents.

The FIATA paperless bill of lading is based on Blockchain technology and therefore offers much-needed transparency, security and accountability in the supply chain.

Each dematerialized FBL is registered with a unique hash on a private ledger and provides an audit trail accessible to all stakeholders interacting with the document, simply by scanning the unique QR code – ensuring supply chain security. The FIATA paperless bill of lading solution is open source and can be implemented by any interested software provider.

Presentation of the eFBL, Mr. Shankar Shinde said that FFFAI, one of the members of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with FIATA to implement the same in India for the benefit of Customs Brokers / Freight Forwarders India and significantly improve the ease of doing business in view of the rapid evolution of the entire logistics/supply chain industry due to digitalization.

The Honorable Minister Shri Sonowal also highlighted the growing importance of an IT-driven logistics industry for faster movement of goods from manufacturers to consumers around the world. And FFFAI’s initiatives in this regard through services like eFBL would enable Indian products to reach global markets with reduced transaction times and costs, making Indian products competitive in international markets.

In a study carried out by the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA)), the estimated cost savings if 50% e-bill of lading adoption is achieved, will result in savings of $4 billion per year worldwide.

Key Benefits of eFBL:

● To save time and money – Issue electronic documents in seconds and save money by avoiding the costs generated by paper documents.

● To optimize processes – Issue dematerialized FBLs directly from your TMS and avoid double data entry.

● To improve trust and security – Give your stakeholders the possibility to check at any time: the validity of the eFBL, your identity as well as the integrity of the document’s content.

● To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals – Go green, help save unnecessary paper and courier services.

● To provide format flexibility – Decide in which format you want to share your FBL with your stakeholders: in a paperless format (PDF) or you can still print it if needed.

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