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IMB NVOCC Register: a business solution to a business problem
CreatedWednesday, 06 January 2021
Last modifiedFriday, 08 January 2021
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The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is inviting non-vessel owning common carriers or 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.
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 (BLs) i.e. that they are the “good guys”.
This in turn gives trade banks confidence that the transport documentation generated by NVOCCs have been properly issued, and hopefully speed up the process of clearing those transactions.
Bills of lading fraud
IMB provides extensive authentication services for trade finance documentation and notes that there was a disproportionate rise in the cases of suspect and misrepresented BLs over the last year.
It 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 percent of the false BLs that are identified by IMB are issued NVOCCs, or freight forwarders, as they are known in the logistics industry.
It must be made clear that the vast majority of NVOCCs issue BLs correctly. There is however a minority that do not issue their documents to the same high standards.
The IMB Register provides a mechanism to recognise participating NVOCCs who adhere to a minimum standard of anti-fraud measures in their operations.
Since its launch in January 2019, a sizeable number of firms have signed up to the IMB Register. Several trade finance banks have also encouraged their clients to use NVOCC's that are on the Register.
The vast majority of those who registered in 2019 have already renewed their subscriptions.
A notable instance where the IMB Register has proven to be effective was a case whereby a trade bank raised concerns about a bill of lading they were presented with. The issuing NVOCC had registered with the IMB, allowing the matter to be quickly resolved with no delay to either the financing or the collection of the cargo.
In another case, the IMB advised a registered NVOCC that some of their operational procedures fell short of what the Bureau would expect, and they promised to remedy the situation. No further concerns have been reported since.
Separately, a United Kingdom-based NVOCC also confirmed that since joining the Register, they have had to deal with far fewer phone calls from banks and other parties looking to confirm shipment details, which they greatly appreciate
The IMB Register truly is a business solution to a business problem; hence NVOCC’s are being urged to sign up and banks asked to encourage their clients to use NVOCCs listed on the Register.
* More details about the IMB Register can be found at https://www.icc-ccs.org/nvoccregister or contact Michael Howlett, Director, or Cyrus Mody, Deputy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +44 (0)20 7423 6960