The URDTT came into force on 1 October 2021, so are very much in their infancy. At the inception of the drafting process, the Drafting Group was given a strict mandate to develop a high-level framework outlining obligations, rules and standards for the digitalisation of trade transactions.

This work is now supplemented by a Commercialisation sub-stream that is examining both the ICC eRules (eUCP/eURC) and the URDTT, and is developing a framework to evaluate the challenges and ideas to drive commercialisation and adoption forward.

This will result in a comprehensive plan and recommendations to be published in 2022. In the meantime, an implementation guide to the URDTT has been published.

The guide details various generic themes which should be taken into account when utilising the URDTT. These include the buyer and seller agreement, legal issues, technology requirements, and the usage and examination of electronic records.

There is also a comprehensive section on Operational Issues. In order to gain optimal benefit from the URDTT, a clear understanding of applicable operational issues is essential.

As to the scope of the URDTT, the rules are entirely compatible with UNCITRAL Model Laws, primarily MLETR which, as mentioned earlier, is the foundation for the G7 work on the digitisation of trade.

It is important to note that any Digital Trade Transactions subject to the URDTT must be digital only – no paper!

A major significance is that the basis of the rules is not bank-centric. Everything derives from the buyer/seller agreement and, of equal significance, the rules recognise that financial services providers in the current world are no longer restricted to banks only.

David Meyell, Digital Rules Advisor to the ICC Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation, provides a comprehensive introduction to the ICC Uniform Rules for Digital Trade Transactions (URDTT).

Download article here: