RealTime IT News

Internet-Based World Trade System Goes Live

The Internet-based world trade system called bolero.net went live Monday, after extensive trials during spring and summer this year.

The new system enables all parties in the trade chain to exchange documents and data, obtaining substantial cost-savings and improved efficiency as a result.

bolero.net is a joint venture between international banking co-operative S.W.I.F.T and the TT Club, a body that represents the world's port authorities and logistics operators. Between them, the two organisations have 12,500 members who in turn deal with nearly every company that conducts cross-border trade.

"There has been an awful lot of talk about e-commerce, but mainly in a retail or consumer sense," said Peter Scott, commercial director of bolero.net.

"Business to business e-commerce, has been held back by the need for a secure environment, universally accepted standards, legal certainty and a neutral, trusted third-party that guarantees the whole process. bolero.net is the first organisation to address all of these requirements."

One of the key aspects of the bolero.net system is its legal dimension. To prepare for it, the partners conducted the largest ever study into e-commerce in 18 countries, and went on to produce the Bolero Rule Book which sets out the rules that will ensure disputes can be resolved.

"Most international agreements take the use of paper as given. Until now, sending electrons down a wire has not involved the exchanging of contractual obligations - bolero.net will change this," noted Peter Scott.

To use bolero.net, a company needs first to visit the site and download the application forms.

Charges can be as low as $2,000, but there is a complex pricing system with four distinct categories - basic, corporate, enterprise and premier, to meet the needs of all users according to company size and the volume of trade conducted.

It is expected that bolero.net will enable companies worldwide to make dramatic savings in their trading costs. One business alone (the Norwegian state oil company) has already said it will save $3 million a year as a result of being "bolero-connected."