DCSA Electronic Bill of Lading APIs


An eBL is the electronic equivalent of a traditional paper Bill of Lading. It is a digital document that provides the same functions as a paper BL but is transmitted and stored electronically. The DCSA_EBL API specification implements digital standards for a fully automated electronic Bill of Lading. Focuses on the process steps “Shipping Instructions and Draft Transport Document” and “Transport Document Issuance, Amendment and Surrender” as part of the end-to-end documentation process.

Reference implementation

Reference implementation

DCSA OpenAPI specification for electronic Bill of Lading

The eBL API specification (DCSA_EBL) is used to create, update, get and/or cancel Shipping Instructions and Transport Documents. The eBL API is forms the next step in the DSCA standards adoption after the Booking Process, however it is possible to use the eBL API as a standalone API.

DCSA OpenAPI specification for eBL Notifications

It is possible to have notifications pushed to you whenever the provider needs input and/or a state change. The format of the notification is defined by the eBL Notification API. Signing up for notifications is defined outside the scope of this API specification.

DCSA OpenAPI specifications for surrender requests

The eBL surrender request, involves the process of relinquishing the rights to the goods specified in the eBL. There are two distinct API specifications:

  1. DCSA_EBL_SUR (submitting a surrender request)
  2. DCSA_EBL_SUR_RSP (response to a surrender request)

DCSA OpenAPI specifications for issuance requests

When a party involved in a trade transaction wants to use an eBL, they submit an eBL issuance request to the platform responsible for generating and managing electronic bills of lading. This request initiates the creation of the electronic document. There are two distinct API specifications:

  1. DCSA_EBL_ISS (issuance request)
  2. DCSA_EBL_ISS_RSP (response to an issance request)

DCSA OpenAPI specification for eBL Platform Interoperability (PINT)

The PINT API is designed to support non-repudiable transfer of eBL document and any number of additional documents between two eBL platforms.

In the most common scenario, the sending eBL platform executes the envelope transfer by:

  1. Initiating the envelope transfer using 'Start envelope transfer' endpoint
  2. Transfering the additional documents (one at the time) using 'Transfer additional document' endpoint
  3. Completing the envelope transfer using 'Finish envelope transfer' endpoint.