The Indian government is looking to digitalise letters of credit (L/Cs) and other trade documentation as part of its electronic Port Community System (PCS).

Trials of electronic bills of lading have already proved successful and the government says it is keen to introduce a digital system in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health risks and bottlenecks

Digital systems at India's ports aim to reduce health risks and avoid bottlenecks caused by time consuming paper-intensive processes for export-import cargoes.

The Indian Ports Association and trade bodies in the Federation of Indian Logistics Association have been emphasising the need for digital systems since the early days of the pandemic.

Government evaluation

This prompted the Indian government to start evaluating ways to implement electronic L/Cs, bills of lading, electronic delivery orders, certificates of origin and other trade documentation across all export-import transactions.

The PCS has been built by Portall Infosystems. It has now successfully tested the CargoX Platform for blockchain document transfer to manage the process of transferring electronic bills of lading.

This article represents the views of the author and not necessarily those of the ICC or Coastline Solutions.