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From: Electronic Documents in Maritime Trade: Law and Practice (2nd Edition)

Miriam Goldby

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 05 December 2022

Carriage of goods — Electronic commerce and choice of law — Documents

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the use of electronic alternatives to documents used in the international sale of goods carried by sea. The legal implications of the transition to paperless international trade are a topic that has been much discussed and debated. The major obstacles that commentators have viewed as likely to slow down the emergence of electronic alternatives to trade documents are lack of confidence; uncertainties regarding risk and liability; the absence of a single universally used standard for electronic communications; the absence of the necessary technological infrastructure in developing countries; and governmental requirements at points of exit and entry into different jurisdictions. From the legal point of view, earlier contributions to the debate are concerned with the difficulties to which expressions such as “original,” “document,” “writing,” and “signature” may give rise when they appear in the law.

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