'is not a valid value for the type xsd:date' Error occurs on pipeline execution

I am currently working on similar 2 pipelines using an integration middleware tool.

The first pipeline executes successfully but the second doesn’t and generates an ouput error ‘is not a valid value for the type xsd:date.

Both pipelines are using the same expression to format the date, Date.parse("2021-03-14 02:40:18.000", "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss.SSS"), which validates as 2021-03-14T02:40:18.000 UTC

What do I need to look for/change?

Is it possible an empty value exists in an input document that is being used in the Date.parse() call?