For information only - not an official document
25 July 2018
VIENNA, 25 July (UN Information Service) - With its ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (the "Electronic Communications Convention" or the "Convention"), Paraguay becomes the tenth State party to the Convention, which will enter into force there on 1 February 2019. Cameroon, Congo, the Dominican Republic, Fiji, Honduras, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Singapore and Sri Lanka, are the other States parties to the Convention.
The Electronic Communications Convention aims to enhance legal certainty and commercial predictability where electronic communications are used in international contracts. For instance, it provides criteria for establishing functional equivalence between electronic communications and paper documents with respect to legal requirements such as "writing", "original" and "signature".
The Convention also aims to foster the modernization and harmonization of e-commerce law. It builds on the legal principles and provisions contained in other UNCITRAL texts on electronic commerce, such as the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, already adopted in some 150 jurisdictions across more than 70 countries.
Another goal pursued by the Electronic Communications Convention is removing legal obstacles to the use of electronic communications that may arise from the terms of treaties concluded before the widespread use of electronic media, including the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, 1958 (the "New York Convention") and the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, 1980 ("CISG").
The Electronic Communications Convention is open indefinitely for accession and ratification. Further information on the Convention is available on the UNCITRAL website at www.uncitral.org.
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is the core legal body of the United Nations system in the field of international trade law. Its mandate is to remove legal obstacles to international trade by progressively modernizing and harmonizing trade law. It prepares legal texts in a number of key areas such as international commercial dispute settlement, electronic commerce, insolvency, international payments, sale of goods, transport law, procurement, and infrastructure development. UNCITRAL also provides technical assistance to law reform activities, including assisting Member States to review and assess their law reform needs and to draft the legislation required to implement UNCITRAL texts. The UNCITRAL Secretariat is located in Vienna and maintains a website at www.uncitral.org .
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