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AuthorUnited Nations Conference on Trade and Development
TitleElectronic Commerce and International Transport Services
Imprint Geneva, United Nations. 2001
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Descript 21 p. : table


This document introduces some of the crucial issues relating to the wider use of electronic means of communication in international trade and transport services. It covers the impact of e-commerce on both the organization of transport and the current paper-based legal framework of international trade transactions. Part I highlights how e-commerce is already transforming relationships between transport service providers and users by making access to information more readily available to all. It also indicates that with information technologies increasingly being used in all forms of transportation services, the availability of such services is an important determinant of the growth of e-commerce. It identifies port systems as one of the potential areas for developing countries' service suppliers to take advantage of the opportunities offered by electronic commerce. Also it explains how e-commerce has stimulated competitiveness among service suppliers and strengthened the position of shippers in transport markets. Finally, it stresses the need for appropriate training and know-how transfer aimed not only at operators, but also at governmental authorities responsible for designing the necessary framework for private sector participation. Part II, dealing with legal and documentary aspects, reviews the role of transport documents, particularly that of the negotiable bill of lading, in the functioning of international trade transactions. It highlights a number of legal issues and uncertainties arising from the application of the existing laws and transport conventions in an electronic environment, including the challenge of replacing the negotiable bill of lading by an electronic alternative. Attempts to facilitate the development of electronic transport documents are also reviewed, including both contractual and statutory approaches. It is suggested that while legislative solutions are needed, experience has shown that it could be many years before a complete legal framework is in place. In the meantime, contractual solutions need to be explored further

International Institute for Trade and Developement : UNCTAD CollectionTD/B/COM.3/EM.12/2CHECK SHELVES

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