The trade digitalisation act
The electronic trade documents act received Royal Assent last week granting electronic trade documents the same legal status as physical trade documents, hopefully making trade more efficient, cleaner, and cheaper for firms.
Existing laws dating back to the 1800s previously meant that exporters and importers have to use paper documents to transfer ownership of the goods they are shipping – creating a costly, inefficient and outdated way of working.
UK businesses, both big and small, have been calling for paperless trades for decades, especially as the development of electronic document technologies has become increasingly feasible for the industry. With less chance of sensitive paper documents being lost, and stronger safeguards through the use of technology, digitalising trade documents could give businesses that trade internationally greater security and peace of mind.
The UK government estimates that the new law could generate a net benefit of £1.14 billion for the British economy over the next decade for UK businesses trading across the world.