In these unprecedented times, the ability to access the information you need, when and where you need it, is crucial. This need has been dramatically compounded by the recent OFAC and OFSI advisories, reinforcing how essential proper due diligence is within the wider maritime industry to face the issues caused by documentary fraud. Working remotely has brought home this reality.
As such, today we are pleased to announce the launch of a new extension to PurpleTRAC; Bill of Lading Verification (BLV).
Pole Star, through its web-based PurpleTRAC regulatory technology application, enables institutions with sanctions and risk management exposures in maritime trade to screen and track vessels and their associated ownership and management’s regulatory status in seconds, by entering just the vessel name or IMO number.
The release of our new BLV module will allow PurpleTRAC customers to significantly extend their sanctions risk and compliance investigations. By simply entering the bill of lading number of a container shipment, PurpleTRAC will confirm whether this is a recognised asset within the database of carriers currently supported and then provide a list of all the vessels involved in the delivery of this BL, all ports visited, and all carriers involved in the transaction.
At this point, the relevant vessels will pass through PurpleTRAC’s unique vessel screening capability to ensure they meet their specific sanctions compliance requirements.
All BL searches will be recorded and saved to allow our users to trace and prove their due diligence steps.
In focus: what is a Bill of Lading?
A Bill of Lading (BL) is a legal document issued by a carrier to a shipper that details the type and destination of the goods being carried and serves as proof of ownership and as a shipment receipt when the carrier delivers the goods.
When it comes to container cargo logistics, the BL proves that the carrier has received the freight as described and is obligated to deliver that freight in accordance with their transit terms and conditions. For carriers, the BL is the basic document entailing their liabilities whereas for shippers, it helps in the provision of financial credit from the banks.
Financial institutions, insurance companies, shipping companies and traders all rely on transport documents – such as BLs – when making decisions. It prompts a bank to finance a trade; it convinces an insurance company to grant cover, and many more crucial decisions to ensure the smooth flow of goods.
The need for verification is nothing new, but the process for banks and insurers is manual and therefore very lengthy. Finding the registered BL verifies the trade and logistics, but it does not tell you anything about the parties involved- this is where Pole Star now comes in.