Shift to Open Account Trade Highlights Evolving Risks in the Maritime Sector

February 8, 2021 - Policy Alerts

About This Policy Alert

This alert was created in collaboration with Windward, the global leader in maritime insights. Windward’s AI-powered solution fuses maritime expertise with best-in-class data, to enable real-time, predictive intelligence-driven decisions, providing a complete view of risk across the maritime ecosystem and its broader impact on safety, security, finance, and business.


In recent years, importers, exporters, and their financial institutions have shifted away from traditional, document-based trade finance instruments and toward non-documentary, “open account” settlement through clean wire transfers. Since 2014, traditional trade transactions have declined by 58 percent as a proportion of overall message traffic, according to data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”)—despite a continued expansion of global trade in goods and services over the same period.

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