Singapore amends law to give eBLs and other electronic trade instruments legal footing

Singapore has become the second country to adopt the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (MLETR) into domestic legislation, a move which sees the city-state grant electronic trade documents such as promissory notes and electronic bills of lading (eBLs) the same legal standing as their paper-based counterparts. As part of the amendment to its electronic documents act last week, Singapore’s Parliament outlined that electronic transferable documents – specifically the digital versions of promissory notes, bills of exchange and bills of lading – will be considered functionally equivalent to paper-based transferable documents or instruments. Singapore’s Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) has been in force since May 2010, and since then has been working to facilitate electronic transactions through the recognition of electronic signatures and records. But certain matters – including promissory notes, bills of exchange and bills of lading – had been excluded from the scope of the ETA. The MLETR amendment brings these instruments within the remit of the ETA, and allows for the use of cross-border documents in a provision detailing that electronic documents will be classed as valid whether they are issued or used in Singapore or abroad. Bryan Tan, a partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, says… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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