Electronic Bills of Lading

Call for Proposal for Electronic Bills of Lading


MPA, supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA) and Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) would like to invite industry to submit proposals for development, enhancement and pilot electronic bills of lading (eBL) solutions for cross-border trade.

eBLs were first introduced in the 1990s. However, only 0.1% of bills of lading are issued electronically today, in limited or closed systems, with each guided by their own rules and standards. In addition, supply chain parties may have different BL formats or varying IT system requirements, making it challenging for eBLs to be used freely for cross-border trade. The lack of statutory law recognition is one other factor that impedes adoption.

With the amendment of Singapore’s Electronic Transactions Act, MPA would like to issue a Call-for-Proposal to:


  1. Encourage Industry Adoption through Consortiums: BL is a key legal document in maritime trade providing proof of ownership of goods in transit. As such, it requires commitment and collaboration between supply chain partners such as carrier, shipper/trader and consignee to digitalise the end-to-end BL handling process. Through this Call-for-Proposal, MPA would like to bring about collaborations between key supply chain stakeholders to trial, adopt and realise commercial value (tangible and intangible).

  2. Develop eBL Solutions: With legal and technology developments in the space of digital trade, MPA would like to catalyst development, enhancement and pilot of eBL solutions that are able to conduct (a) title transfer interoperability across different digital ecosystems, (b) comply to UNCITRAL MLETR and leverage on legislation framework(s) of jurisdiction(s) that have adopted MLETR, (c) adopt industry standards where applicable.

Evaluation Criteria and Funding Support

Selected projects may be eligible for up to 70% of project grant for qualifying items. The application form can be found here. All applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Relevance and impact to the maritime industry
  • Innovation and differentiation
  • Capability development in Singapore
  • Local value capture
  • Organisation and team competency


Application Start: 21 April 2021

Application Deadline: 31 July 2021, 1800 (Singapore Time)

Expected Project Award: 31 October 2021

Further Clarifications

Please contact Ms Loh Sin Yee, Senior Manager, Innovation, Technology and Talent Development Division at loh_sin_yee@mpa.gov.sg.