BCC Greets New Era Of Digital Trade 

Sep 21, 2023

The BCC is urging businesses who want to boost their exports and reduce costs to quickly embrace a new era of digital trade. 

It made the call as the Government’s flagship Electronic Trade Documents Act finally came into force today (September 20). 


William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: 

“Campaigners, including the BCC, have worked for years to have the Electronic Trade Documents Act passed, and its introduction is a huge milestone. 

“This new era is starting in the UK, but we can also act as a beacon, leading towards further digitalisation of trade across the world. We now need to see other governments accelerating their work to digitalise border processes.   

“In our Trade Manifesto, we called on the UK Government to work with business to ensure 60% of the UK’s exports are carried out digitally by the end of the decade. 

“The whole Chamber Network has already risen to this challenge and has switched to using Digital Certificates of Origin for the UK.  

“As more countries make the transition, we will be able to increasingly digitize our trade – making it much less bureaucratic, and leading to big savings in both costs and time.” 


About The Act  

The Electronic Trade Documents Act gives legal status to electronic Bills of Exchange and Bills of Lading and other commercial documents.  

The new legislation gained Royal Assent on July 20 this year and came into force on September 20.  It provides opportunities to digitalise international trade documents and reap efficiency benefits. It also covers trade documents such as promissory notes, warehouse receipts, marine insurance policies, and cargo insurance certificates.   


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