Singapore announces initiatives to strengthen its maritime hub

Singapore announces initiatives to strengthen its maritime hub

Singapore has announced new initiatives to strengthen its maritime hub, including the Singapore War Risks Insurance Conditions (SWRIC) and the development of an inter-operability framework for electronic trade documents for the maritime and trade industries.

The SWRIC forms part of Singapore’s efforts to develop itself as a comprehensive marine insurance hub. It is an enhancement to the Singapore War Risks Mutual (SWRM), Singapore’s first national war risks insurance facility which was launched in 2015.

Available to members of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) irrespective of the flag of the ship, and non-members whose ships are registered in Singapore, the cover under SWRM rules includes Protection and Indemnity (P&I) war risks, hull war risks, detention and diversion expenses, sue and labour and discretionary insurance. Since its launch four years ago, the SWRM cover has exceeded expectations with close to 800 ships insured.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) says that SWRIC are the first insurance conditions to be written from a shipowner’s perspective. Local expertise will be developed to ensure that the conditions are updated and remain relevant to the industry.

To further digitalisation efforts in the maritime sector and to bring about benefits to the wider supply chain ecosystem, MPA is galvanising the shipping community and other government agencies to develop inter-operability enablers.

This is a step-up to the three-party Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that MPA, SSA and Singapore Customs signed at the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map launched in January 2018 to jointly look into the digitalisation of trade and maritime documentation, such as Bills of Lading (BL), in the industry.

Since the signing of the MOU in January 2018, the industry has seen progress with successful e-BL trials amongst consortiums led by two shipping lines including APL and the PIL and IBM.

The trials simplify existing processes and leverage blockchain technology to support information sharing and transparency. Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA) is now included as a partner to develop a new inter-operability framework.

MPA says the industry can expect to see a change in the interaction of digital ecosystems with efficient exchange of electronic trade documents. The work will involve the development of a set of governance and legal frameworks, technical standards and inter-operable digital enablers.