Singapore, 15 January: The ICC Academy — the educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) — in partnership with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), has developed a specialised certificate for Non-Vessel Owning Common Carriers (NVOCC) Bills of Lading (B/L). Launched today in Singapore at a high-level event, hosted at Enterprise Singapore, the programme aims to raise standards and reliability of maritime trade for active NVOCCs and their trading partners operating in the global market.
IMB estimates that over 95% of all improperly issued B/L are issued by NVOCCs. In today’s complex international environment, it is crucial that documents are not only delivered properly but also comply with the IMB’s Code of Conduct.
ICC Academy General Manager Daniel Kok said: “Bills of lading are one of the most vital documents associated with trade, making it essential that NVOCCs have the right understanding of their role. Our goal with this certificate is to provide the right knowledge and expertise that will help boost industry standards along the trading transaction chain.”
The launch event included a half-day ceremony that featured a demonstration of the certificate programme and a roundtable discussion on IMB’s NVOCC Register, which works to improve anti-fraud standards. The panel was moderated by IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan. Panelists included Steven Tan Kok Boon, Executive Director of the United Overseas Bank; Ramaprasad Perumbala, Director. Trade Finance Operations of Deutsche Bank; Baldev Bhinder, a Partner at Joseph Tan Jude Benny Law Firm; Aarthi Fernandez, Head of Global Trade at Standard Chartered Bank; and Michael Howlett, IMB Deputy Director.
Mr Mukundan — who is also the author of the certificate curriculum — said: “A bill of lading is one of the most critical elements of an international trade transaction. When the content of a bill of lading is manipulated, the risks of fraud, malpractice or money laundering increases significantly for the stakeholders relying upon it — these include banks, shipping companies and counterparty traders. It is therefore important that NVOCCs understand the key role played by the bill of lading that they issue and the need for them to accurately represent the physical shipment.”
The e-course covers everything from the basics of trade logistics and recognising the process of B/L issuance to the reliance of stakeholders on correct B/L and how the document can be misused along with its consequences. Designed for NVOCCs operating in global markets — as well as related stakeholders in banks, actual carriers, cargo owners and other general traders — the interactive programme offers case studies, structured lessons, self-assessments, models, videos and a virtual coach.
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