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ICE Digital Trade Industry Approvals

Industry Approvals

In order to provide industry-accepted solutions – particularly with regard to ICE CargoDocs electronic Bills of Lading (eB/Ls) – it is critical to have approval from the relevant insurance groups, most notably: 

  • The International Group of P&I Clubs (IG), representing the 12 Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs which insure 95% of the world’s ocean going fleet 
  • The TT Club, representing Freight Forwarders 
  • ITIC, representing Ship Agents and Independent Inspectors 

Each of the above groups excludes from cover any liabilities costs or expenses which arise out of or in consequence of the member’s participation in or use of an eB/L system, unless such system has first been approved by the relevant organization. An example of this is the International Group of P&I Clubs: 

“In 2010, the IG agreed that liabilities arising in respect of the carriage of cargo under such systems will be covered from 20 February 2010 provided that the system has first been approved by the IG.” (P&I Club circulars 2010; emphasis added.) 

As such, for an eB/L not to compromise a member’s insurance, the eB/L legal framework must first be ‘Approved’ by the IG, ITIC and/or TT Club, as relevant. 

P&I Approvals via International Group 

The P&I Clubs have confirmed that ICE CargoDocs electronic Bills of Lading are covered under members’ P&I insurance. In Club Circulars, the 12 Clubs in the International Group advised all members that standard P&I risks associated with the carriage of cargo under an ICE CargoDocs electronic Bill of Lading are within members’ standard terms of cover, provided they have signed the DSUA Users Agreement, be it version 2009.3, 2013.1 (which became effective as of 18 March 2013), 2021.1 (which came into effect as of 1 July 2021), or 2023.1 (which came into effect as of 15 August 2023).

The IG decision came after an exhaustive review of the DSUA and the Group is satisfied that this legal framework provides the conditions for use of electronic documents.

The IG approved version of the DSUA forms the basis of any live-use of ICE CargoDocs solutions. Current signatories of the DSUA include many of the world’s largest Trading Companies, Ship Owners, Banks, Ship Agents, and Independent Inspectors. 

Relevant links to the latest P&I Club Circulars, outlining the approval framework for electronic Bills of Lading and related solutions, can be found below: 

Please note: under the terms of their cover, Members may be required to notify the Associations before using eB/Ls. It is therefore recommended that users check their Club rules to ensure that any formal requirements are satisfied prior to their first use of the solution. 

In addition to the 12 IG Clubs, China P&I have also approved ICE CargoDocs and members have been advised that standard P&I risks associated with the carriage of cargo under an ICE CargoDocs electronic Bill of Lading are within members’ standard terms of cover. 

ITIC Approvals 

ITIC is the leading provider of professional indemnity insurance to the marine sector. ICE Digital Trade (formerly essDOCS) first sought approval from ITIC ( in 2006. ITIC approval was granted in 2007. 

Globally, ITIC provides professional indemnity insurance for more than 500 Liner Agents and Port Agents, more than 350 Shipbroking companies, over 150 Ship Managers, leading Marine Surveyor companies and Shipping Pool Managers all over the world. 

Contact for more information & confirmation of ITIC approval. 

TT Club Approvals

The Through Transport Mutual Service (TT Club – specialises in the insurance of liabilities and equipment for multi-modal Operators, covering companies such as the world’s largest Shipping Lines, busiest Ports, biggest Freight Forwarders and cargo-handling Terminals. 
ICE Digital Trade (formerly essDOCS) approached the TT Club when the company commenced work on ICE CargoDocs eB/Ls for Liner. TT Club approval was granted in May 2012. 
Click here for a copy of the  2012 TT Club letter confirming approval, in addition to the 2013 TT Club letter confirming approval extension.