Bryan Tan, Partner and Head of TMT at Singapore joint venture law firm Pinsent Masons MPillay on Thursday (7 January) published an article on the impact of the possible amendment to Singapore’s Electronic Transactions act on maritime trade transactions:
Singapore seeks to enable digitalisation of key trade documents by adopting the Model Law on Electronic Transferable Records (2017) (MLETR).
This week Singapore’s parliament introduced an amendment to the current Electronic Transactions Act, which could allow cross-border trade documents to be digitised.
Trade and technology expert Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons MPillay, the Singapore joint law venture between MPillay and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “If passed, these changes will make Singapore one of the first to implement the MLETR, which can be used for trade finance documentation. This is an important development for Singapore which is a shipping and finance hub. Further, dealing with electronic documents reduces the risks of contact-based transmissions of viruses, a point which should not be lost in the current pandemic.”
According to the proposed changes, important documents such as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which allows an appointed person to make medical and financial decisions on another’s behalf should the latter lose mental capacity, will also be digitised.
Most maritime trade transactions currently use physical bills of lading that are legal and commercial documents that provide evidence for the contract of carriage, receipt, and ownership of goods. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore have been working with the Port of Rotterdam’s blockchain centre Blocklab on introducing title transfer capability in relation to electronic Bills of Lading.
In December deputy prime minister Heng Swee Keat said that Singapore was trialling digital documentation with Qinzhou and Tianjin ports in China to facilitate trade by reducing the amount of paperwork involved in cross-border trade. The trials are part of Singapore’s move to build its Networked Trade Platform that launched in 2018, which will allow for electronic exchanges of documents needed in cross-border trade.
A full copy of the amendments proposed for the Electronic Transactions Act is available here.
Caroline Yang, President of SSA, addresses issues earlier raised by players; including PMC No. 04, the seven-day restriction, contactless bunkering, sampling point, hose connection, and more.
IBIA Asia, ABIS, sources from Singapore’s bunkering and surveying companies, and an industry veteran share with Manifold Times the issues expected from MPA’s latest Covid-19 measures.
The top three positive movers in the 2020 bunker supplier list are Hong Lam Fuels Pte Ltd (+13); Chevron Singapore Pte Ltd (+12); and SK Energy International (+8), according to MPA list.
‘We will operate in the Singapore bunkering market from the Tokyo, with support from local staff at Sumitomo Corporation Singapore,’ source tells Manifold Times.
Changes include abolishing advance declaration of bunkers as dangerous cargo, reducing pilotage fees on vessels receiving bunkers, and a ‘whitelist’ system for bunker tankers.
Claim relates to deliveries of MGO to the vessels Pacific Diligence, Pacific Valkyrie, Pacific Defiance, Crest Alpha 1, and Pacific Warlock between March 2020 to April 2020.