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The UK’s Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023

The UK’s Electronic Trade Documents Bill was signed into law and will come into force on 20 September. It is the most significant piece of trade law in decades and a landmark milestone for world trade, enabling 80% of bills of lading, 60% of global trade finance, marine insurance, shipping and every company and sector transacting on English law to remove paper and transition to a digital trading future. It also unlocks the first G20 and east-west trade corridor to go fully digital with Singapore and the first G7 corridor to do the same with Germany. For African ecommerce exporters to the UK this should improve customs facilitation.

Globally, the WTO’s Committee on Import Licensing Procedures is considering a new online notification portal and import licensing database, which will facilitate the drafting and submission of notifications. Member states will hold a capacity-building workshop on import licensing and notifications at the WTO at the end of September.



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Alastair Tempest

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