Despite advances in communication and information technology, paper documents such as the bill of lading are still the primary method for transferring information regarding international trade transactions in the maritime and logistics industries. The standardization of e-business procedures and data and the use of electronic transport records could create more efficient and effective processes and information flows. The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) has undertaken the development of criteria defining the conditions under which electronic records can be considered legally equivalent to paper documents. This article provides a critical analysis by outlining international initiatives for developing electronic commerce law and by exploring the existing structure of negotiable transport documents. It examines how a transport document can be dematerialized and the legal challenges of using electronic transport records. Existing electronic registry systems are reviewed as well as relevant provisions of the Rotterdam Rules. A case is made for the opportunities that the use of electronic transport records could offer to the maritime and logistics industries, including a discussion of a global financial service. Finally, strategic recommendations are provided.
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Juridik (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Law (hsv//eng)
SAMHÄLLSVETENSKAP -- Juridik -- Juridik (exklusive juridik och samhälle) (hsv//swe)
SOCIAL SCIENCES -- Law -- Law (excluding Law and Society) (hsv//eng)
Bills of lading; Business practices; Electronic commerce; Electronic media; Freight documents; International trade; Legal factors; Logistics; Maritime industry