Digitising Trade: Are You Ready or Will You Fall Behind?

Global Trade Review Directory 2021-22
September 21, 2021

Geoffrey Wynne, partner and head of Sullivan’s Trade and Export Finance Practice, has authored the Foreword to the 2021-22 Global Trade Review (GTR) Directory, titled: "Digitising Trade: Are You Ready or Will You Fall Behind?"

The article looks at recent advances in the digital world and the status of the tools required under English law to digitise trade that are already in place, or are likely to be over the next 18 months.

It also discusses the UK Law Commission’s recent Consultation Paper on Electronic Trade Documents, UNCITRAL’s Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records, as well as smart contracts, the notion of ‘exclusive control’ and how technology is playing a key role in dealing with these issues.

Highlighting how digitisation is being promoted by the major trade associations, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Trade and Forfaiting Association (ITFA), the article looks at how new ICC Uniform Rules on Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT) will help facilitate the evidencing of trade transactions, including the sale of goods digitally.

These developments "provide only the means to make digital trade possible," says Geoffrey Wynne, "but countries will need to pass laws to facilitate international digital trade across borders." He adds that all "those who participate in physical trade transactions will quickly need systems to move to the digital world."

The article is reproduced with permission of the publisher and can be accessed here.

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