For information only – not an official document

27 June 2024

UNCITRAL/UNIDROIT Model Law on Warehouse Receipts adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law

VIENNA, 27 June (UN Information Service) – The UNCITRAL/UNIDROIT Model Law on Warehouse Receipts was adopted by the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) at its 57th session in New York. The Model Law was developed as a joint project of UNCITRAL and the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), and its text was already approved by the UNIDROIT Governing Council at its 103rd session on 8-10 May 2024.

The Model Law provides a legal framework that covers the private law aspects of a warehouse receipt system for adoption by States seeking to reform their legislation in this area. As with all UNCITRAL and UNIDROIT instruments, the Model Law is compatible with different legal and economic systems.

Importantly, the Model Law contemplates the issuance and transfer of both paper-based and electronic warehouse receipts on a medium-neutral and technology-neutral basis. This allows the use of central registries, distributed ledgers, platforms and other technologies for managing the electronic warehouse receipts.

The Model Law is accompanied by a Guide to Enactment, including commentaries on the model provisions as well as guidance on complementary legislation necessary to implement the Model Law.

The Model Law was developed over a three-year period in two phases. First, UNIDROIT led the joint preparatory work through a UNIDROIT Working Group, developing a first comprehensive draft for a Model Law on Warehouse Receipts over the period 2020-2023. Once completed, the draft Model Law was submitted for intergovernmental negotiations through UNCITRAL Working Group I in 2023/2024.

The text of the UNCITRAL/UNIDROIT Model Law on Warehouse Receipts, as adopted by the Commission, together with complementary information will be available for download on the UNIDROIT website ( and on the UNCITRAL texts webpage ( It will also be included as an annex to the annual report of UNCITRAL.


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. For more information,

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For information, please contact:

José Angelo Estrella-Faria 
Principal Legal Officer and Head, Legislative Branch 
UNCITRAL Secretariat 
Email: joseangelo.estrella-faria[at]

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