For information only – not an official document
12 July 2022
VIENNA, 12 July (UN Information Service) – The Philippines has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts (2005) (the “Electronic Communications Convention”). With its ratification of the Electronic Communications Convention, the Philippines becomes the sixteenth State Party to the Convention. It will enter into force for the Philippines on 1 February 2023. Ariel Penaranda, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York, deposited the instrument of ratification during the “UNCITRAL digital trade week” taking place during its fifty-fifth session.
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", building upon 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 160 jurisdictions across more than 80 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").
UNCITRAL, the Philippines and the UN Economic and Social Commission of Asia and the Pacific have conducted joint work on establishing an enabling legal environment for electronic commerce and paperless trade facilitation. In that regard, the ratification of the Electronic Communications Convention complements Philippines’ accession to the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific.
Further information about the Electronic Communications Convention is available on the UNCITRAL website: https://uncitral.un.org/en/texts/ecommerce/conventions/electronic_communications.
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, Austria, and maintains a website at uncitral.un.org.
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For more information please contact:
José Angelo Estrella Faria
Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch