A new law allowing shipping containers to be traded using digital documents, not paper ones, has been created after the Electronic Trade Documents Act received Royal Assent on 20 September 2023.

The simple yet impactful change is estimated to add over £1 billion to the British economy over the next decade by making trade more straightforward, efficient and sustainable.

Existing laws dating back to the 1800s previously meant that exporters and importers have to use paper documents to transfer ownership of the goods they are shipping – creating a costly, inefficient and outdated way of working.

The government estimates that the new law could generate a net benefit of £1.14 billion for the British economy over the next decade for UK businesses trading across the world, supporting the Prime Minister’s priority of growing the economy.

UK businesses, both big and small, have been calling for paperless trades for decades, especially as the development of electronic document technologies has become increasingly feasible for the industry.

With less chance of sensitive paper documents being lost, and stronger safeguards through the use of technology, digitalising trade documents is also set to give businesses that trade internationally greater security and peace of mind.

Source: New feed