Marine Trading Markup Language Released announces formation and release of a new XML standard

June 1, 2000 -- announces its formation as a neutral standards body supporting the open development and evolution of electronic trading standards in the marine industry.  As its first act, is releasing the Marine Trading Markup Language (MTML), a new XML-based standard derived from and compatible with the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA) Electronic Trading Standard Format (ETSF) widely used for electronic exchange of purchasing information in the marine industry.  MTML has been developed in cooperation with IMPA, and several other industry players. To facilitate review and promotion of this standard, has established a web site at

IMPA ETSF is based on the UN/EDIFACT standard for electronic data exchange.  Yet because it is based on XML, the standard for conducting electronic business over the Internet, MTML opens electronic trading to a wider base of small and medium size businesses that serve the marine purchasing industry.

Using MTML, marine industry businesses and their suppliers can produce and accept requests for quotes, quotations, orders and related interchanges using simple interfaces to their business software.  No complex or costly EDI messaging software or translators are required.  Since MTML files are human readable, they can even be created and edited on a personal computer and exchanged via electronic mail.  They can also be viewed using industry standard Web browsers.  These browsers validate some elements of the content, helping to reduce data entry errors.

While maximizing the advantages of its XML foundation, the content and format of MTML messages has been kept as close as possible to IMPA ETSF. Those companies already utilizing IMPA ETSF should find that adding support for MTML requires minimal rework to their existing software packages.

MTML is being developed as an open industry standard and has been submitted to OASIS and other organizations for review, standardization, and publication. welcomes all participants in the marine purchasing supply chain to begin utilizing and providing input to this new standard.

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