Electronic Documents in Maritime Trade: Law and Practice, 2nd Edition

Dedicated exclusively to the subject of electronic documents the international sale of goods carried by sea.

The book provides a critical analysis of electronic alternatives to documents used in the international sale of goods carried by sea, including invoices, bills of lading, certificates of insurance, as well as other documentation required under documentary credits, and payment processing arrangements. It constitutes an in-depth discussion of their legal status and the practices relating to their use.

The new edition examines recent developments in the evolving digital transformation that is taking place in the field of international trade. The book examines the commercial pressure to move from paper to electronic data, and the new technologies and relationships built for this purpose. This transition is ever evolving and as such an understanding of the attendant legal implications of the change is crucial.

Analysis is provided on the adoption by UNCITRAL of its Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records, the author having been involved first hand in its drafting as a delegate and observer in UNCITRAL Working Group IV, and on the Uniform Rules on Bank Payment Obligations (URBPO). The book considers the practical workings and legal underpinnings of new electronic bill of lading platforms such as e-Title and Placing Platform Limited and of pilot projects such as Wave BL, Marco Polo and Voltron. It also examines the legal implications of proposed uses of new technologies such as distributed ledger technologies (DLT) (including blockchain), Internet of Things (IoT) and smart contracts.

This book provides a complete and practical analysis of e-documents in cross-border business contracts for goods carried by sea. It examines recent trends in practice and assesses the ability of electronic alternatives to achieve legal functions performed by the paper documents they replace.


Focuses on international standards and English law, comparing other domestic laws such as those of the United States, Canada and Australia, and emerging systems in China, Singapore, and South Korea.


ISBN 9780198811978

Published 03 October 2019

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