Paperless Trading – Electronic Shipping Solutions

28 August 2007 No.07-004

Members will recollect that the Club issued the Circulars No.98-021 of 13 January 1999 and No.99-018 of 29 October 1999 on the subject of paperless trading. These circulars were written at the time of the development of Bolero, which is intended to replacebills of lading and other paper trade documentation by electronic messages.

As described in the circulars, all International Group Clubs introduced a Paperless Trading Endorsement in the 1999 policy year (Please see attached). The endorsement is incorporated in the Member's Certificate of Entry. The effect of this endorsement is to exclude liabilities which arise under paperless trading systems such as Bolero which would not arise under conventional paper documentation systems. The Club is able to provide cover for those liabilities which would have arisen if shipments had been madeon the basis of conventional documentation.

The International Group has continued to maintain market insurance available for Members participating in Bolero, which provides cover for P&I liabilities excluded from normal Club cover by the Paperless Trading Endorsement. This market cover has a limit of US$50 million any one accident or occurrence.

With effect from 13 April 2007 that cover is also available on the same terms for Members who participate in Electronic Shipping Solutions (ESS) paperless system, which functions in a broadly similar way to Bolero.

Members are reminded that this cover is available upon declaration to the Club. It continues to be important therefore that Members who wish to benefit from the cover advise the Club before commencing use of Bolero or ESS.

Further details of the Bolero and ESS are available from their websites at   and

Members should be aware that the Paperless Trading Endorsement is widely drafted and will, for instance, apply to liabilities (other than those which would in any event have arisen under a conventional paper system) arising from a document containing or evidencing a contract of carriage (e.g. a bill of lading) which is created ortransmitted under a paperless system.

The International Group has examined the practice of a carrier electronically transmitting a bill of lading to a shipper, who is then expected to print the bill of lading, and felt that this practice did not constitute use of a paperless system within the scope of the Paperless Trading Endorsement.

Nonetheless, Members who are involved in the electronic transmission of bills of lading are recommended to advise the Club so that the Club can ensure that P&I cover is not prejudiced.