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SIBCON 2022: S&P Global Market Intelligence and Bunkerchain in MoU

05 Oct 2022

S&P Global Market Intelligence and Bunkerchain on Wednesday (5 October) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to continue their collaboration on Marine Vessel Pass at SIBCON 2022.

The development was witnessed by Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore’s (MPA) Assistant Chief Executive (Operations), Captain M Segar from MPA.

Marine Vessel Pass service is the World’s first Digital Identities for ships tied to the IMO Database. The unique Identity as a Service (IDaaS) enables ship owners to create Digital Identities for ships similar to Sovereign Digital Identities programs run by most countries such as Singpass in Singapore.

The service is designed to encompass the highest levels of security incorporating the latest encryption technologies used in such as Private-Public Key Infrastructure and Oauth 2.0 for Single Login Identity Assess Management capabilities for users to use across multiple platform infrastructures. The service will effectively replace wet ink ship stamps and signatures used now on paper documentation with verified digital versions to speed up digitization efforts in the Maritime Industry.

S&P Global Market Intelligence is the originating source for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ship Number and is the sole authority with responsibility for assigning and validating these numbers. The Numbers are issued and maintained on behalf of the IMO.

Bunkerchain is an awardee of the Digital Bunkering project from MPA and are also the inventors of the World’s first Smart Contract eBDN service called “Touch and Sail”.

The service retrieves information direct from the IMO database to ensure proper onboarding of Ships and Companies by validating Identities registered against the IMO Global Maritime Database before activating their Digital Identities. With the onboarding validation handled independently by the IMO Team from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Users can be assured that the Digital Identity credentials used to login, sign digital documents are accurate and verifiable against their Identities.

The Public Key is shared with S&P Global Market Intelligence after generation and the transaction hash from every digital transaction signed with the service will be stored for validation and compliance purposes in case the transaction is challenged. In the Enterprise version of the service, documents signed with the service are hashed and stored in client managed servers, providing privacy and confidentiality for the ship owners.

There are two ways to use the system.

  1. The service can be integrated with current systems of ship management companies or owners to enable Marine Vessel Pass interoperability with existing systems and pre-designed forms.
  2. Users of the system can also digitize a paper document received on the vessel by taking pictures of any Paper Document and designate the position of the electronic signature and ship stamp before calling on their Digital Identities to sign the documentation.

Any company involved in the Maritime industry can choose to connect to the service to digitize their operational workflow. Electronic documentation is shared with permissioned connected systems or emailed to counterparties instantly upon completion. Documentation that are signed by the Vessel Master and crew includes but are not limited to Bunker Delivery Notes, Master Bill of Ladings and Delivery Orders.

Leon Ling, CEO, Bunkerchain:

Digital Identities are the foundation of the digital economy. The support of MPA and S&P Global Market Intelligence has enabled the creation of this new service that will benefit ship management companies and owners by digitizing their paper based operational documents signed by the Vessel. Besides the efficiency gained from digitalization, regulators and shipping companies around the world can now be assured that a digital document signed with the service is authentic and that the integrity of the document has not been compromised since its creation.

Captain M Segar, MPA Assistant Chief Executive (Operations):

The MoU between S&P Global Market Intelligence and Bunkerchain represents yet another significant step towards bridging the physical and digital worlds of the maritime industry. The creation of digital identity ecosystem for ships will provide authenticity for electronic documents, and further enhance maritime efficiency as more ships replace wet ink stamps and embrace digitalisation. MPA looks forward to the trial of Marine Vessel Pass with Electronic Bunker Delivery Note in Singapore as we continue to explore further integration with other services and platforms to provide secure and efficient verification of ship identity.

Ashlee Williams, Vice President S&P Global Market Intelligence, Maritime, Trade & Supply Chain:

As the originating source and sole authority for assigning and validating IMO Ship, Registered Owner and Company numbers, S&P Global Market Intelligence collaborates and empowers those in the Maritime, Shipping and Logistics sectors, to integrate data through the adoption of new technologies. By leveraging data management, standardization, automation, and digitalization, we can help facilitate interoperability across maritime & trade platforms to enhance the efficiency, sustainability, and innovation of the shipping sector.

To build on well-established Industry Standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is a natural evolution to digitalizing the sector, and one that the IMO is working to ensure shipping can embrace. Digital identities for ships will allow for the fast and secure exchange of data and information, whilst still ensuring the universal public reference for ships, continues to be the unique ship identifier adopted in systems globally today.


Photo credit: Bunkerchain
Published: 5 October, 2022

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