• Who could use an electronic system?


    A local IT infrastructure and legal framework must be in place first.. If they are, anyone with web access, or whose bank, coffee authority or IT provider is linked into the system, can access it, either as a full member or by buying the service on a retail basis.

    In practice only those countries whose customs and possibly coffee industry authorities have accepted the system and have installed the necessary capability will benefit. It seems likely that larger producing countries will be more interested  because for them the potential economies of scale are tremendous. The roasting sector will also participate more and more because of the control and information the network provides, which will permit some to move from just-in-time systems to vendor managed inventory systems.

    Even if a roaster is not linked into the system, the importer can surrender the electronic documents and have them replicated as paper originals by the original issuing authority, for instance the carrier or warehouse.

    For the buyer it is essential however that the exporter is linked into the system. Given the cost savings and reduced working capital requirements the system provides, this linkage can become an important issue when considering the viability of any particular transaction or business relationship with an origin country or an individual exporter.

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