iTrade Digital - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is a Trade Management Specialist (TMS) always needed?

No.  However, each transaction needs a Case file editor to input the buyer and seller information and follow the A, B and C checklists that define the Digital Trade Payment transaction.  If you chose a TMS, that person can be the Case File Editor. 

2.  What is the difference between a Trade Management Specialist (TMS) and a Case File Editor? 

The Case File Editor enters the data provided by the parties to create a Case file for  them to use  as they negotiate and complete the documents needed for their transaction.  The TMS is a document preparation editor.  During  an online meeting between the Buyer and Seller, the TMS makes the changes to the trade documents for the parties and provides advice to the Principal Parties (buyer and seller) on applicable trade rules and guidelines for completing the documents specific to their transaction.   

3.  Can I request a TMS if I start a transaction without one, then later realize I need one?

You can request a TMS at anytime. Requesting a TMS before you begin a transaction ensures the TMS will be available during your conference call.  Requesting for a TMS  to particiapte in a conference call after a transaction has commenced may result in delays as a TMS may not be immediately available at the time requested. 

4.  How were the TMS experts selected by iTrade Digital?

Only international trade document preparers who have complted the Digital Document Training can act as a Trade Management Specialist. 

5.  Can I change a TMS after I have begun a transaction?

There are no restrictions on changing your TMS. 

6 .  What is the "UCP" and why is it important to international trade.

UCP is an acronym for the International Chamber of Commerce Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits.  This document was first published by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France, in 1933, and is become the global standard for managing trade documents and credits.

7.  What is the difference between iTrade Digital  DIY and iTrade Digital?

The  iTrade Digial DIY is  not automated.  Each trade document must be completed by the  buyers and sellers involved in managing a transaction.  There is no cost to use iTrade Digital DIY; it is open source and available to everyone everywhere. The iTrade  Digital platform software  populates  all 30  Global Business Method  trade documents  with  the  buyer's and seller's information.   iTrade Digital with its supporting databases is available by subscription.   

8. If I or one of my employees completes Digital Document Training and becomes certified as a TMS, can we use iTrade Digital without paying a fee?

No.  The fee is used by iTrade Digital Member Services to initialize the Member and Case databases for each transaction's Case automation.

You can avoid the TMS assistance fee but not the subscription fee.  The monthly subscription fee is required for anyone utilizing the Case Platform.  The subscription fee covers the cost of having a Case file initialized on the Member and Case databases for each of your transactions as well as for maintaining the site.  

9.  What is ITFglobal.ie? 

ITFglobal.ie is the source domain name for all of the derivative iTrade global websites:  iTradeDigital.com; iTradeDigitalDIY.com; Internetlc.network; edttplatform.com; edttworkspace.org; iTradeDigital.net; iTradedigitalDIY.com; and URDTT.org.

10.  Where are my digital documents stored?

iTradeDigital Case files are stored in the Google Workspace cloud.

11. Who can access my digital documents?

Access to digital documents is restricted to those access emails specified by the buyer and/or seller Member for the transaction requested via the Case Initialization Request to member services.

12.  What security protection is provided for any documents I create?

Google Workspace Security.

13.  Once we initialize a Case, is it possible for both parties to make changes?

The Principals in a transaction can only make changes to those trade documents that are specific to either the buyer or the seller.   All other documents can only be changed bilaterally by the TMS.

14.  How are the changes prioritized?

Changes that effect payment or shipment are prioritized first.

15.  Is iTrade Digital involved in managing , or transferring, any of the funds agreed to between buyer and seller?

No. 

16. How are the funds reconciled between parties?

The Principals decide the destination, the amount and how the funds are to be transfered. 

17.  Can any other parties that are crucial to the shipment (e.g.  logistics service providers, financial providers, compliance advisors, etc.) be included on the video calls between buyer and seller if deemed necessary?

Yes.


18.  How are digital trade documents filed and with whom?


Digital trade documents are used between the buyer and seller for negotiation and payment.  The buyer and/or seller are responsible for filing with the entity or agency that needs the information.   This is usually done by their respecitve freight forwarder or logistics company. 


19.  What countries accept URDTT compliant trade documents?


All countries that follow the International Chamber of Commerce guidelines to include the URDTT,  UCP,  URC, etc.


20.  If English is not my first language, what other languages do the Trade Management Speicalitst speak?


English, German, Spainist, Turkish,  Afrikaner,  Tagalog,  Serbian, and Romanian


21.  My counterpart is reluctant to use electronic documents,. What can I do to help convince them that URDTT compliant digital documents are better, more efficient than utiizing paper documents?


There is no "convincing" involved.  Buyers and Sellers are at liberty  to use paper and pay the cost.  However, one party cannot use paper and UCP guidelines, and the other party use digital documents and URDTT rules.  Both parties must agree to use the same ICC rules.


22.  Does iTrade Digital plan to add any additional electronic documents to their library?


Yes.  iTrade Digital will be compiling a library of country specific trade documents as Members need them. 


23.  What if I use only (1) Case in one month, do the remaining unused cases roll over to the next month?


No.  The subscription cost support up to ten (10) transactions per month.


24.  Can I/we use our own forms when we use the Digital Platform?


YES.  The GBM document templates are "digital documents."  Scanned documents such as, bills of lading, company packing lists, company invoices, insurance certificates, fumigation certificates, legalized documents, and the like are "electronic records".  Both are acceptable under ICC eUCP, eURC and URDTT guidelines and rules.  The electronic records are uploaded and attached to the case; the information is transferred to the digital document for management and (TESs) examination prior to payment.


25.  Can I use the iTrade to help me arrange shipping?


The Case Management Interface (CMI) has links to help arrange logistics.


26.  Can you help me find a shipping company?


The Trade Management Specialist is not permitted to select the shipping company. 


27.  Can you help me with the paperwork, terms, classification and payment of the freight to make sure it is done correctly.


Yes, but only to explain the meaning and/or options available.  


28.  What happens if there is a problem during shipping?  Who do I contact?


You must contact your freight forwarder or logistics company to address any concerns.


29.  How do I know how much I'm supposed to pay for shipping?


The freight forwarder, logistics services provider will provide a quotation.


30.  Why should I use digital documents instead of paper documents?


By using digital document the buyer and seller gain faster, lower cost, online management.

 

31.   How do I get paid if I use digital documents rather than paper documents in selling my product?  


The same options apply as with paper documents.  


31.  Do you have a form for letters of credit?


Yes.  eUCP Documentary Letters of Credit can be issued under SWIFT Code Field 40E: Applicable Rules - EUCP LATEST VERSION 0R EUCPURR LATEST VERSION.   (Reference Digital Library, ref 24 SWIFT MESSAGES);.

 

32.  How do digital documents protect a buyer from losing money on a nonconforming delivery?  


The iTrade Digital Case Platform has the capability to examine shipping documents for compliance prior to the release of funds.  Transaction Examination Solution software (TESs). 


33.  What are your security standards? 


Data protection is provided by Google Cloud protocols.    Access is restricted to the buyer and seller members and those team member that are granted access.


34.  How do I complete a digital trade transaction without a bank?


Using banks to handle exchange of funds for international trade transactions is the traditional and more expensive way to complete a transaction as banks usually charge ​1-5 % of the value of the transaction. The URDTT includes rules for payment processing by non-bank financial services providers (FSP). These can be a business entity or even an individual, other than a Principal Party to the transaction (URDTT Article 5).  Using URDTT compliant digital documents, the buyer and seller can select from a multitude of no fee or low fee non-bank payment methodologies of their choice, such as a peer to peer payment service (Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Wise, etc.), paper check (courier), promissory note (commercial paper), trade acceptance (commercial paper), crypto currency and even a barter exchange (goods for goods)​.  An FSP of choice may be added to a Case (transaction) by completing  the "Financial Services Provider Payment Undertaking Financial (PUF)" as part of the Case documents.  It is also possible to use a no fee or low fee direct deposit to a bank account or the use of a Bankers Acceptance note.