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Quickie bills of lading for Taiwan shippers

Evergreen and Yang Ming will work with Taipei Fubon Bank to develop what has been termed "express bills of lading" which can be processed in an hour.

Under this scheme, the bills of lading are to be sent to the bank electronically, after which letters of credit are issued to the shippers. Taipei Fubon is also exploring blockchain technologies for this purpose. The scheme aims to help Taiwanese manufacturers which have seen high demand for exports amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taipei Fubon said that although the pandemic has impacted global exports, Taiwan’s exports have been growing for five consecutive months, driven by Taiwan’s rapid shift of production chains and the island’s low Covid-19 infections.

However, as export orders are rising, so has the financial pressure on manufacturers’ daily operations. As of the end of July 2020, Taipei Fubon has increased export financing for small and medium enterprises, by about 38% compared with the same period last year.

Taipei Fubon therefore worked with customs clearance network operators, Evergreen and Yang Ming to develop innovative trade financing services.

The bank said that such services can greatly improve the speed of financing, the transparency of risk control and the objectivity of risk assessment, to ensure that shippers have sufficient funds to maintain their operations, and increase the competitiveness of exports.

Taipei Fubon stated that previously, export financing of SMEs was complicated due to bureaucratic document inspection procedures. It took about one day to complete each fund transfer application.

Taipei Fubon’s new service removes the need to prepare a large number of paper documents such as orders, bills of lading, and shipping bills. Funds can be obtained in as little as one hour, with reduced interest rates given to preferred customers.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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