SMDG e.V. > Cooperations

SMDG cooperates with European and International organizations. For further information please open the following menu.


UN/CEFACT as major focal point for electronic business standards provides the framework for SMDG’s activities in standardization. Interworking in UN/CEFACT allows our own ideas being inspired by achievements and experiences from other business areas beyond maritime container shipping.

Among other activities, SMDG takes part in


The PROTECT Group has been established by the Port Authorities of major ports in Europe, supported by their Port Community systems. The Group aims to harmonize the implementation of the UN/EDIFACT standard messages for vessel reporting in the different ports.

The PROTECT Group has developed the UN/EDIFACT standard messages for the electronic notification of Dangerous Goods (IFTDGN) and of waste (WASDIS) to Port Authorities.

The PROTECT Group has further developed MIG”s – Message Implementation Guides – for these messages and also for the acknowledgment message from the Port Authority and for the berth (request) management message (BERMAN) to Port Authorities.

Very recently the work of this group has resulted in the completion of a universal implementation guide.

In April 2005 the PROTECT Group released a new version of the PROTECT Message Scenario, also called the PROTECT Guide. This PROTECT Guide together with an introduction can be downloaded from the PROTECT website.

Logo protect


The DCSA (Digital Container Shipping Association) was founded in 2019 by several of the the largest container shipping companies as their digital voice. DCSA’s mission is to drive technology standards and set frameworks that will enable carriers to bring innovative solutions to market.

The DCSA output includes an Industry Blueprint, Glossary of Terms, an own Information Model, on which the DCSA API definitions are based, covering wide range of business areas, for example Track&Trace, Smart Container Communication or Vessel Schedule. These documents are perceived and discussed in SMDG working groups.

Members of the SMDG are carriers, terminals, and other stakeholders from the maritime industry such as software vendors or standardization organizations. Some carriers are active in both DCSA and SMDG.
Focus of the SMDG continues to be to develop, maintain and publish EDIFACT message formats for the maritime industry. Another focus are standard code lists which are used globally in electronic communication.

The DCSA information model and APIs make reference to some of the SMDG code lists, for example for terminal codes, carrier codes, or delay reason codes. The EDIFACT messages used in the maritime industry, for example BAPLIE, COPRAR, IFTSAI, TPFREP etc.) remain under the auspices of SMDG.


Both BIC and SMDG have a long history as non-profit organizations providing global standards to the maritime industry. BIC provides the global container prefix registry, the global container database “Boxtech”, the Global ACEP Database, and a code list for inland depots, container yards and M&R vendors named “BIC Facility Codes”.

The BIC Facility Codes for inland container facilities are complementary to the SMDG Terminal Codes for sea port terminals. Both are used by the maritime industry. Both are official child codes of the UN/LOCODE.

In 2020 a joint API was launched which provides both the BIC Facility Codes and the SMDG Terminal Codes. The API is available for free, after registration on the BIC website.

Both BIC and SMDG code lists, along with the new API are recognized by the DCSA. The BIC has worked closely with the DCSA over the past year on a major harmonization effort of BIC Facility Codes and to ensure the joint BIC-SMDG API is aligned with DCSA API standards.


The development of UN/EDIFACT messages in the Transport sector in the late 1980″s initiated the formation of a global EDI standards organisation and this development has continued to progress from the inception of the UN/EDIFACT standard to the present time. Message structures essential to the use of electronic commerce in the transport sector have been agreed and approved by the relevant United Nations and local authorities, have been implemented by various communities around the world over the past ten years.

These existing implementations have, in most cases, developed in isolation and this has resulted in differing interpretations of the standard messages.
In turn this has resulted in a lack of international synergy with regard to the use of codes, qualifiers, data elements, composites, segments, groups of segments and even the messages themselves.

The UN/EDIFACT Message Development Group for Transport (TBG3) has recognised that this lack of synergy represents a serious inhibitor to the growth of global electronic commerce. Interested members of the Transport Group formed an informal group to harmonise known message implementation guides and user manuals and to provide a basis for intending implementers to proceed with confidence.

This group formally established itself in 1995 as the International Transport Implementation Guidelines Group (ITIGG).

ITIGG realised its major objective of compiling and issuing a document which provides the principles and rules for the international implementation of electronic messages in the transport industry. ITIGG has thus produced harmonised guidelines for all modes of transport (maritime, air, road, rail and other means of inland transport) through consistent recommendations which apply across all modes.

Through TBG3 ITIGG is actively participating in the UN/CEFACT process of comparing and harmonising segment usage between different industry sectors.


Exis Technologies, leaders in the management of dangerous goods in sea transport for over 30 years has been part of the NCB Group since 2018. Exis supports shipping lines, ferry operators, ports and terminals, logistics operators, freight forwarders, government and regulatory organisations worldwide with their regulatory compliance.

National Cargo Bureau (NCB) is a container inspection company based in New York. Operating since 1952, the Bureau was created to render assistance to the United States Coast Guard in discharging its responsibilities under the 1948 International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea and for other purposes closely related thereto.

Exis and NCB have been working together for over a decade in containerised dangerous cargo management solutions, most recently in the development of the Hazcheck Inspections and Hazcheck Detect tools. They have the resources, expertise and global reach to better support customers in the critical area of containerised cargo regulatory compliance, training, safety and loss prevention. Together their not for profit mission is the Safety of Life and Cargo at Sea.


The SMDG Plenary #70 in Sankt Petersburg agreed to the Hapag-Lloyd proposal to host the documents that were previously published on These are Implementation Guides, Process Maps and Data Models.
These docs will be put in a new menu item under “Cooperations”. Christian Henze will be shown as point of contact on the SMDG website.

The documents on this page were developed in 2015 by the EIPP SAB, that was the Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment Standards Advisory Board. The EIPPSAB members were major shipping lines and forwarders.

The mission of the EIPPSAB was “…to lead the ocean freight industry, as a community, towards greater efficiency in Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment through standardization and automation.”

The Standards (process descriptions, data models and EDIFACT Message Guides) which were worked out, support the electronic transmission of an invoice and credit note to the customer and transmission of a payment advice to the shipping line. After the decommissioning of the EIPP SAB, the documents were transferred to the SMDG website in order to give them a new ‘home’ at an international standards organization in the maritime field. The SMDG is only hosting these standards but is not developing them any further

For questions on these documents please send an e-mail to:

Mission Statement

EIPP SAB ( Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment Standard Advisory Board) mission is to lead the ocean freight industry, as a community, towards greater efficiency in Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment through standardization and automation.


  • Understand standards and regulations for electronic invoicing
  • Influence standards and regulations for electronic invoicing
  • Make the industry more efficient with regards to dispute management
  • To become the recognized authority on ocean EIPP standards


  • Identify and develop electronic invoicing and payment requirements
  • Determine the implementation of current standards used by the industry
  • Develop implementation guides of existing standards
  • Determine and prioritize the adoption of future standards used by the industry
  • Develop new standards based on best practices
  • Provide ongoing governance of the work items


  • Provide an independent, collaborative forum for, and driven by, industry participants
  • Shape electronic invoicing for the ocean freight industry
  • Create standards for business process and data exchange

Basic Operating Principles

  • Facilitate discussions to reach decisions that benefit the industry
  • Fast moving, collaborative environment
  • Focus on results within bounds of Charter
  • Publish two to three industry EIPP standards as early as possible
  • Staff leadership positions with proactive individuals that can dedicate time to the initiatives
  • Adapt existing standards before designing new
  • Suggest enhancements to existing standards


Process Guidelines

EDI Message Guidelines

Payment Advice Message