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ICC Publishes Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions

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On 1 October 2021, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) published the Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT). The URDTT define digital trade transaction, set out principles that are applicable to each party of a digital transaction and regulate the presentation of electronic records as evidence in transactions.

 

Recent development

On 1 October 2021, the ICC published version 1.0 of the URDTT, the preparations for which started in December 2018, following six drafts. The ICC Banking Commission has already approved electronic rules for digital transactions. The URDTT set out principles for fully digitalized transactions. You may access the URDTT here.

What does the URDTT cover?

The URDTT are designed to be used in fully digital environments and aim to be neutral with regard to technology and messaging standards and to extend into corporate space, including commercial transactions and to non-bank providers of financial services.

The URDTT apply to transactions to the extent it is stipulated under the terms and conditions of a digital transaction and to all parties of the transaction. The URDTT define digital trade transaction as the process in which electronic records are used to evidence the sale and purchase and the incurring of a payment obligation.

The URDTT set out principles for the use of electronic records in detail. As per the URDTT, the compliance of an electronic record must be set out under the terms and conditions of a digital trade transaction and all information with respect to a digital trade transaction must be delivered in the form of an electronic record. Unless otherwise stated in the applicable law, the requirement for information to be in writing is deemed fulfilled when such information becomes accessible to an addressee via an electronic record that is not affected by any data corruption.

The URDTT also stipulate the noncompliance of an electronic record. If an electronic record is noncompliant with the terms and conditions, the submitter must be informed thereof. In such case, (i) the electronic record may be replaced, (ii) the terms and conditions may be amended or (iii) the noncompliant electronic record may be accepted.

Furthermore, the URDTT include provisions on payment obligation and financial service provider’s payment undertakings including their transfer and force majeure.

Conclusion

The importance of digitalization has grown with the COVID-19 pandemic. With the URDTT, the ICC aims to create a framework for digital trade transactions and provide standardization for such transactions.