UK Fully Digitalizes Documentation for Containerised Trade
The UK has passed a new law allowing shipping containers to be traded using digital documents, not paper ones. This comes after the Electronic Trade Documents Act received Royal Assent.
The simple yet impactful change is estimated to add over £1 billion to the British economy over the next decade by making trade more straightforward, efficient and sustainable.
With English law being the foundation of international trade, this Act puts the UK ahead in digital trade and sets out an approach which the rest of the world could follow.
The International Chamber of Commerce estimates 80% of trade documents around the world are based off English law, and this Bill serves as the cornerstone to truly digitalising international trade.
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have to use paper documents to transfer ownership of the goods they are shipping – creating a costly, inefficient and outdated way of working.
Paul Scully, Minister for Tech and the Digital Economy said: "The global container shipping industry generates billions of paper documents a year – and in reality there’s no need for the immense costs UK businesses have to face in producing them, and the detrimental environmental impact that this has."
UK Minister for International Trade, Nigel Huddleston, said: "This new act will make it easier for businesses to trade efficiently with each other, cutting costs and growing the UK economy by billions over time.
"It’s exciting to see the power of technology being harnessed to benefit all industries, reduce paper waste and modernise our trading laws."