... from a BILL to an ACT


As of 20 July 2023, the Bill has completed all required parliamentary stages through both Houses of Parliament, received royal assent, with the outcome that the ETDB is now an Act of Parliament (law). 


The ETDB can now be cited as the Electronic Trade Documents Act 2023

The Electronic Trade Documents Act (ETDA) provides for certain digital trade documents to be put on the same legal footing as their paper counterparts, and implements the recommendations made by the UK Law Commission in March 2022. 


In essence, the ETDA covers trade documents that must be capable of being possessed for them to have legal effect and function as intended. 


Under previous existing law, only things that could be physically held were considered as being capable of being possessed. UK law now recognises the possibility of possessing electronic documents.



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