October 17, 2018

The Legal Status of E-Bills of Lading

Global law firm Clyde & Co, in conjunction with the ICC Banking Commission, have launched a report on the legal status of electronic bills of lading. The report considers whether the law in this area reflects the technological change that is rapidly occurring in the international trade sector.

For centuries the principal document in international trade has been the bill of lading (B/L), however can the rights and liabilities be replicated if the original paper B/L is replaced by an electronic bill of Lading (eB/L)? What are the legal consequences if the eB/L is subsequently printed in paper format?

The International Chamber of Commerce Banking Commission appointed Clyde & Co to conduct a survey on the legal status of eB/Ls, whether in the form of an electronic record or in paper format when converted from an electronic record. 

The survey covers the following ten jurisdictions:  UK (English law), USA (NY law), Germany, Netherlands, UAE, China, Singapore, Brazil, India and Russia. The report sets out the relevant issues and the results of the survey.

The survey has been coordinated by London based Clyde & Co consultant Stephen Tricks and partner Robert Parson.

Other lawyers and law firms also contributed to the report, including:

  • Dr Tim Schommer LLM, Germany
  • Van Traa Advocaten NV, Netherlands
  • Clasis Law, India
  • Sokolov, Maslov & Partners, Russia