Instant messenger systems

A number of shipbroker Members have asked the Managers for their views on the use of instant messenger systems, such as those provided by MSN Messenger, Yahoo and AOL, as a medium for doing business.

These systems allow written messages to be sent but do not create a permanent record of the communications. The systems may be sufficient to circulate general market information but if these exchanges lead to negotiations via the same system there is no automatic record of the messages sent. This can be problematic if a dispute develops. In the Managers’ opinion, brokers should either avoid using the system for important exchanges (offers, recaps and so forth) or should take steps to create a record by either printing off messages or storing them electronically.

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