As part of its mandate to prevent fraud in the maritime industry, the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is calling on non-vessel owning common carriers (NVOCCs) to sign up to its IMB NVOCC register.
“NVOCCs that do so stand to benefit from being recognised as adhering to an agreed standard of anti-fraud measures,” says the IMB.
“They can use the fact that they are listed on the IMB register to demonstrate that they are abiding by a code of conduct for the issuance of bills of lading (BL) – in other words that they are the “good guys”.”
The organisation points out that this gives trade banks confidence that the transport documentation generated by NVOCCs has been properly issued, and hopefully speeds up the process of clearing those transactions.
While the vast majority of NVOCCs issue bills of lading correctly, there has been a rise in the cases of suspect and misrepresented BLs over the last year, according to the IMB.
It provides extensive authentication services for trade finance documentation and is warning organisations and companies to be alert to fraud and malpractice of this important document of title.
BLs are crucial documents relied upon by many stakeholders in the trading chain, including banks, shipping companies, carriers, charterers, and others.
Around 95% of the false BLs that are identified by IMB are issued NVOCCs or freight forwarders.
“The IMB register provides a mechanism to recognise participating NVOCCs who adhere to a minimum standard of anti-fraud measures in their operations.”