The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors has released a set of proposed standards for participation agreements for e-marketplaces. The standards were developed by an NAW task force composed of several leading distributors of MRO supplies, including McJunkin Corp., representing the PHCP industry.

During the past year, a number of e-marketplaces have been established to bring together sellers and buyers of MRO supplies. However, actual operations of these e-marketplaces have been delayed and many distributors, manufacturers and other sellers have balked at providing their products for sale on the e-marketplaces. One big roadblock to implementation has been the multiple, individual agreement forms for supplier participation developed by the e-marketplaces. These forms frequently contain terms that are ill suited for commerce, and individual negotiations of these agreements have been expensive and time-consuming.

NAW's standards address restrictions on use of content and data made available to the e-marketplace, intellectual property rights, individual authorizations of customers for each supplier and standard confidentiality and security protections. The standards also provide a balanced approach to common issues such as warranty, liability, amendments and termination.

A complete copy of the standards is available on NAW's Web site at