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HomeBill of Ladingtrace:original - by Enigio added to IG P&I's list of approved eBL...

trace:original – by Enigio added to IG P&I’s list of approved eBL service providers

The digital wave is truly sweeping our industry .. The approval of electronic bill of lading (eBL) service providers by the IG P&I club is a definite measure of this.. Between 2010 and 2020, only 6 eBL service providers were approved by IG P&I..

Fast forward to 4th April 2024, IG P&I has approved trace:original by Enigio AB as the 12th approved eBL service provider.. Twice the number of service providers in a span of 4 years..!! Bravo..

The speed of approval is particularly significant because, until February 2010, the rules of all of the Group clubs specifically excluded liabilities in respect of the carriage of cargo under all electronic (i.e. paperless) trading systems to the extent that the liabilities under such systems would not have arisen under a paper system, i.e. one using transferable paper documentation..

Why is the approval of IG P&I important..??

The International Group is a grouping of 12 leading P&I Clubs providing marine liability cover for 90% of the world’s ocean-going vessels..

Whilst being individually competitive, between them, the clubs share their large loss exposures and their respective knowledge and expertise on matters relating to shipowners’ liabilities, insurance, and reinsurance of such liabilities..

This approval is important because these are the clubs that would cover the shipowners for any eventualities during carriage and the liabilities of the carriage and carrier are covered in a bill of lading (paper or electronic)..

These are the 12 eBL service providers by IG P&I Clubs.. Bolero International Ltd, E-TITLE Authority Pte Ltd, Global Share S.A., WAVE, ICE Digital Trade Management Limited, CargoX, IQAX Limited, Secro Inc., TradeGo PTE. LTD, eTEU Technologies Ltd, BRITC ETRADE SOLUTION Co., Ltd, and Enigio AB (trace:original™)

Paper vs Electronic Bill of Lading

The journey toward digitalization in shipping has been both complex and intriguing as the industry has been anchored in traditional practices and heavily reliant on paper documentation..

An electronic bill of lading is a bill of lading issued electronically to fulfill the 3 main roles of the bill of lading in the same manner as a traditional paper bill of lading..

The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) which is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law created the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR) to enable the legal use of electronic transferable records such as bills of lading, bills of exchange, promissory notes and warehouse receipts that are functionally equivalent to transferable documents or instruments..

According to the MLETR, an electronic transferable record is functionally equivalent to a transferable document or instrument under certain conditions..

The shift towards electronic, or paperless, documentation and trading systems represents not just a technological evolution but a cultural shift within the sector.. It’s a move that, as highlighted by the Group, has been cautiously embraced, with specific systems being approved for use, ensuring they meet rigorous standards of reliability and security.


In June 2023, Sweden-based Enigio AB completed its first end-to-end paperless digital trade document transaction using its solution for digital original documents – trace:original essentially replacing all paper documentation in this transaction..

Enigio’s solution leverages cutting-edge cryptographic technology and a hybrid blockchain ledger to facilitate the creation and transfer of original electronic documents, including electronic bills of lading (e-bills)..

This innovation is not just about moving away from paper; it’s about creating a more secure, transparent, and efficient framework for global trade.

There is a caveat however based on Enigio’s terms and conditions.. As per Enigio’s Standard Terms and Conditions which the IG P&I has also approved, Enigio’s eBLs can only be governed by the law of England and Wales, or other governing law that is compliant with MLETR..

In addition to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, other jurisdictions adopting MLETR are Bahrain, Belize, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Singapore, Timor Leste, and Abu Dhabi Global Market..

The IG P&I group members have been requested to ensure that they comply with this provision..


The critical role of human engagement in this transition cannot be underestimated.. We need to remember that technology serves as a tool that can be wielded with insight, empathy, and a deep understanding of the sector’s nuances..

The integration of systems like trace:original represents a leap forward in addressing some of the most pressing challenges in shipping and logistics bringing into focus the potential of digital solutions to enhance traceability, reduce fraud, and streamline operations..

The approval of systems like Enigio’s trace:original by the International Group of P&I Clubs and efforts and commitments by the likes of BIMCO, DCSA, FIT Alliance, ICC DSI to digitalize the industry is a milestone in this journey..

As the industry continues to navigate the waters of digitalization, it is signaling a readiness to embrace the future while acknowledging the importance of maintaining a human-centered approach to innovation.. It is a journey of transformation, collaboration, and ultimately, a shared vision for an inter-connected, transparent, and efficient maritime and shipping sector..

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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


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