eURC Version 1.0: Article e12 Additional Disclaimer of Liability for Presentation of Electronic Records under eURC


URC 522 contains several disclaimers that are relevant to an eURC collection instruction. eURC article e12, by its title, indicates that this disclaimer is additional to those contained in URC 522.


A disclaimer is a device by which risk is shifted from one entity to another. Where the disclaimer reflects the reasonable expectations of an industry, it is typically enforceable under applicable local law, even where it is stated in rules of practice as opposed to in a bilateral contract. Due to the limited role of banks in collection practice, disclaimers have been used to limit their liability from the actions or omissions of others.


The eURC requires authentication of electronic records that is greater in degree and, arguably, different in character from the examination of a paper document, for example in eURC sub-article e7 (c) (Presentation) (implying that a bank will authenticate an electronic record that is sent to it) and in eURC sub-article e4 (b) (iii) (Definition of "electronic record") (indicating that an electronic record must be capable of being authenticated as to the apparent identity of the sender, the apparent source of the data contained in it, and its integrity). Since this level of authentication is already greater than that undertaken with paper documents, and could be increased even more by requirements for more security in the eURC collection instruction (and potentially further by future technological developments), it was thought important to emphasise the limited role of authentication in the eURC process.


This article emphasises that any authentication undertaken with respect to electronic records under the eURC is only on the level of appearances and does not go to the underlying reality that an electronic record represents.


The liabilities disclaimed in the eURC and URC 522 are the result of external systemic or third party actions, inactions, or risk.  Reflecting the content of URBPO 750 article 14 (Unavailability of a Transaction Matching Application), eURC sub-article e12 (b) indicates that a bank does take on liability and responsibility for the unavailability of its own data processing system.





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